Australia’s largest telcos have spent more than $600 million on crucial radio wave spectrum that will help them build 5G networks and dramatically improve mobile and internet speeds.
Telstra spent $276.6 million on buying 1000MHz of 26GHz spectrum, which is highly sought after because it can be used to build high-speed mobile networks. TPG Telecom will pay $108.2 million for licences in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, while Optus was awarded licences in most capital cities for $226.2 million by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Including smaller providers Dense Air Australia and Pentanet Limited, the group of telcos spent $647.6 million.
“Just imagine you are stuck in traffic at rush hour and suddenly 50 more lanes open up,” Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. “[Spectrum] gives you so much more capacity to be able to let the data flow through.”
Mr Penn said the spectrum would allow the $40 billion telco giant to invest in building standalone 5G networks for specific industries such as mining.