The Auction Down Under: Aussie Government Reaps $1.26B From TPG
TPG Internet, Ltd won the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) spectrum auction this week, obtaining two 10 MHz unsold 700 MHz spectrum lots for $1.26 billion, adding to its 1800 MHz spectrum assets. Vodafone also purchased portions of the spectrum for $286 million.
The ACMA event, auctioning the unsold spectrum lots from the 2013 digital dividend sale, began on April 4, and concluded on April 10. After almost a week of strong bidding between three companies – TPG, Vodaphone, and Optus – the auction wrapped with the ACMA realizing total revenues of more than $1.5 billion. Australia’s largest telecommunications company, Telstra, was barred by the federal government late last year from participating, to promote competition between companies in the telecoms sector.
“This additional spectrum will help industry meet ever-increasing demand for high-speed wireless broadband,” said acting ACMA Chairman Richard Bean.
The auction win affords TPG – Australia’s fourth mobile network provider behind Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone – to expand its 4G mobile broadband network. TPG said it’s positioned to leverage its success in the Australian fixed-line broadband market to “drive the next phase of growth for TPG’s shareholders and bring new competition to the Australian mobile market.”
TPG claims to have Australia’s largest national dark fiber network, plus call centers and back-office systems supporting two million consumers. The telecom company plans to invest $1.9 billion to accomplish this network expansion, including a rollout of a $600 million mobile network.