/>
X
Home & Office

Telstra bought iBurst's wireless spectrum

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has confirmed that Telstra was the unknown bidder who bought the wireless spectrum belonging to Commander subsidiary Personal Broadband Australia, which shut down its iBurst network last month.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has confirmed that Telstra was the unknown bidder who bought the wireless spectrum belonging to Commander subsidiary Personal Broadband Australia, which shut down its iBurst network last month.

iburst2.jpg

(Credit: iBurst)

According to Australian Communications and Media Authority records, Telstra was issued the spectrum band previously held by iBurst parent Personal Broadband Australia on 24 December. ZDNet.com.au had aired industry speculation in November that the telco might have put its dibs on the spectrum.

Telstra confirmed it had snapped up the band, but said it had not acquired any other of the company's assets.

"Following a competitive tender process, Telstra was selected as the preferred bidder to acquire PBA's [Personal Broadband Australia] 5MHz of radio spectrum (1905MHz — 1910MHz) under licence up to 2017," a spokesperson told ZDNet.com.au.

iBurst came up for sale after the turnaround plan of Personal Broadband Australia's owner Commander failed, resulting in Commander's businesses, including iBurst, being offered to the highest bidder.

Despite wireless broadband companies BigAir and Pacific Wireless expressing interest in the company, it was later announced that the iBurst network was to be shut down on 19 December. A spokesperson for the receivers, McGrathNicol, said that a part of the business had been sold off, but wouldn't specify at the time which part or who was the winning bidder.

Although Telstra had to win a tender process to achieve the frequency band, Warren Chaisatien, research director of analyst firm Telsyte, had previously expressed scepticism that the company would use it. He believed the telco would have acquired the spectrum to take care of competition. "It would be switching off the competitor because the spectrum band is effective for wireless broadband and not for 3G," he said.

A spokesperson for Telstra disagreed, saying that although there had been no final decision made on how the spectrum would be used, the company would look to deploy mobile broadband and video technologies and applications over the band. "Watch this space," the spokesperson said.

Editorial standards