Conroy’s underpants auction raises $2bn – mostly from Telstra – in spectrum sell-off

tele conroyThe government’s spectrum auction to telcos has raised just under $2bn for the government, less than market expectations.

Telstra snapped up the most expensive spectrum – suggesting it is likely to extend its dominance in the market offering 4G and 3G mobile services.

Optus bought more than half a billion dollars of spectrum according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority announcement.

TPG Internet spent a relatively modest $13m and Vodafone withdrew from the auction, suggesting its poor network reputation is unlikely to see much relief.

Some spectrum remained unsold.

The auction – in part made up of the airwaves which will be freed up when the analogue TV signal is switched off – became infamous after media minister Stephen Conroy boasted that he could make the telcos wear red underpants on their heads if he wanted to do so as part of the process.

The winning bids:

spectrum auction

ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said in a statement: “‘The auction tested the market and the auction’s conclusion is another important step toward realising Australia’s digital dividend,’ said Mr Chapman.”

Previous speculation had suggested the auction could raise $2.5-4bn.


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