Telstra must take part in 4G spectrum auction

 

Poised to call Government bluff.

Telstra's inclusion in future 4G mobile spectrum auctions is essential for competition in the mobile market, analysts told the 4G Summit yesterday, despite Communications Minister Senator Conroy's threat to restrict Telstra's participation unless the national telco structurally separates.

Speaking at the summit, Corrs Chambers Westgarth partner James North said that Telstra's restriction from the spectrum bidding process would be detrimental to a well-functioning market.

The Government is  expected to allocate LTE [Long Term Evolution] spectrum in the 2.5 GHz and/or 700 MHz bands; the latter currently used for analogue TV which is due to be switched off in 2013.

Under the Radio Communications Act, the Communications Minister has the power to exclude parties from the allocation of spectrum licences.

"The Radio Communications Act is about economic efficiency," North explained. "It makes clear that acquisition of spectrum is applied under section 50 of the Trade Practices Act."

But North argued that "one of the risks in excluding Telstra in that process is that right now we have a very vigorously competitive mobile market.

"If you take Telstra out of the picture, you'd be left with two major players [Optus and VHA] instead of three," he said.

North noted that there was precedent for Telstra being excluded from a spectrum auction when the company was restricted from bidding for 3.4GHz spectrum in 2000.

He said Telstra's exclusion restriction was "more appropriate" in 2000 as Telstra was by far the largest player in the fixed line market, and its constraint from bidding increased market competition.

In any case, spectrum winners Austar and Unwired left much of their obtained spectrum bands unused, and Telstra ended up acquiring spectrum in the 3.4Ghz band anyway - to provide voice and data to rural areas, he said.

Ovum analyst Nathan Burley agreed that the consequences of excluding Telstra from the LTE spectrum auction are too great for the government to take.

"It's very unlikely that Telstra will be excluded from buying dividend," he told iTnews.

"Telstra is the largest investor in mobile infrastructure, so its exclusion means that services would take longer to reach rural Australia."

Burley said that the big losers in Telstra's exclusion from the auction would be taxpayers, as the auction price would fall as a result of less bidding competition.

"Telstra is going ahead assuming it will be able to access this spectrum. The auction won't be until at least 2013 and there is still a lot in the air politically," Burley said.

He said that should Telstra be excluded from the 4G spectrum auction, the telco already has access to other spectrum bands to deliver LTE, or could purchase spectrum from other players.

James North concluded that Telstra would be highly unlikely to miss out.

"Telstra has certainly made clear many times that it sees [a future] 4G network as the jewel in the crown," he said.


Telstra must take part in 4G spectrum auction
 
 
 
Top Stories
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
Negotiating with the cloud email megavendors
[Blog post] Lessons from Woolworths’ mammoth migration.
 
Qld govt to move up to 149k staff onto Office 365
Australia's largest deployment, outside of the universities.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Another phone with Telstra's Blue Tick: The Samsung Galaxy S5
Apr 8, 2014
Samsung's latest flagship phone joins Telstra's list of recommended handsets for customers in ...
Run an online shop? This might be worth bookmarking
Mar 28, 2014
Things like Australian safety standards are probably the last thing on your mind, but just ...
Vodafone switches on 4G in Tasmania: list of locations
Mar 28, 2014
See a list of locations in Tasmania that now have access to 4G via Vodafone's network.
Samsung Galaxy S5 on sale from Telstra next month for $912
Mar 27, 2014
It's not cheap, but if you are looking to upgrade your phone then the Samsung Galaxy S5 could be ...
What Australian workplaces actually rely on tablet computers?
Mar 14, 2014
If you're curious about where tablets are being used at work, here are three examples.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  20%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  11%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  24%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1417

Vote