Telstra Gets Most of $2 Billion Bandwidth Auctioned in Australia

Telstra Corp., Singapore Telecommunications Ltd.’s Optus unit and TPG Telecom Ltd. agreed to pay a total of A$1.96 billion ($2 billion) for Australian wireless spectrum for broadband services.

Telstra, the nation’s biggest phone company, will pay A$1.3 billion for spectrum in the 700 megahertz and 2.5 gigahertz bands, the Australian Communications & Media Authority said in an e-mailed statement today. Second-ranked Optus will pay A$649 million for an allocation in both airwaves, which were previously used for television, the regulator said.

Australia’s largest phone companies are buying airwaves to build their mobile operations as the construction of a national fiber network limits their ability to be wholesalers of more-profitable fixed-line services. Melbourne-based Telstra bought its maximum permitted allocation in the 2.5 gigahertz band, which is suitable for wireless broadband, and will finance the 15-year licenses from debt, the company said.

TPG will pay A$13.5 million for spectrum in the 2.5 gigahertz range, the government said.

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