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Optus predicts spectrum bunfight

The fight over the future allocation of the 700MHz and 2.5GHz bands of spectrum will not be just limited to Telstra, Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) and Optus, according to Optus products and delivery director Henry Calvert.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor on

The fight over the future allocation of the 700MHz and 2.5GHz bands of spectrum will not be just limited to Telstra, Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) and Optus, according to Optus products and delivery director Henry Calvert.

Fight

(Fight Club image by Polina Sergeeva, CC2.0)

At the trial of Optus' Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile technology in Gordon today, Calvert said the three major telcos would not be the only ones vying for a slice of spectrum pie when the government starts auctioning spectrum in the latter half of 2012.

"It's an open market so you might see other players come in. You might see broadcasters wanting some of the spectrum for their own use," he said. "We haven't seen the legislation but at the moment it seems to us that this is technology neutral."

"I don't think we can very quickly categorise it [as] Telstra, [VHA] and Optus will be fighting over it. I think you have to look wider and who else might actually play in this marketplace or want to get into this marketplace."

Optus said the future of LTE technology in Australia was dependent on the allocation of this spectrum and Optus' mobile director Andrew Smith said the telco had been pressuring the government to release more information on planned auction of the spectrum.

"It's important to get certainty on how spectrum for LTE will be allocated to the marketplace," he said. "We need to understand this to make LTE a commercial reality."

In May, Optus' government and corporate affairs director Maha Krishnapillai accused ACMA of taking far too long to decide on the allocation of spectrum.

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