back to article Terrible reception for Oz spectrum auction

Australia's spectrum auction has found a terrible reception from those hoped to be most interested in access to the airwaves, with local carriers deciding not to bid. The auction to be held in April next year is for Australia’s 700MHz and 2.5GHz spectrum, will reallocate the spectrum that becomes available when broadcasters …


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  1. drengur

    There will always be squealing....

    when they think they can get a better deal; Threaten not to bid, force the price down.

    Not like there's many serious bidders, one saying they don't need the extra spectrum so it's just going to be Telstra and Optus carving up the spectrum anyway.

  2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    I don't say this often...

    ...but I'm with the communications minister.

    Radio spectrum is another one of those national assets that shouldn't be undersold.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't say this often...

      The more the government makes from this, the higher your future mobile bills will be. Maybe the government should simply spend less. For example, all those free set top boxes (including installation) for pensioners, at a cost to taxpayers of $400 each (despite being available for $30).

      1. Joseph Lord

        Re: I don't say this often...


        Intuitive but Wrong!

        The only way it can make prices higher is if it results in less price regulation. Companies will try to maximise the gross profit whatever they paid in upfront costs. The hit will be to the shareholders as it was in the UK 3G auction.

        Do you think that if maximum profit is at price x they will charge less than x if they got the spectrum cheap (or charge more than x but sell less if the spectrum was expensive)? Even if including the spectrum costs they are loss making they won't be able to do any better, higher prices meaning less sales and bigger losses.

    2. cortland

      Re: I don't say this often...

      Whoa! Red Light!

      I'll take the femtoHertz at 700 nanometers. Users remit $1.36AU/day/user via palpay.

      excerpt: This contract binds any person or legal entity that uses, produces, generates, detects or perceives said spuctrum (above); any disagreements will be resolved under the laws and in the courts of the City of Cleburne, Johnson County, Texas, USA. In person. :end (fictional) quote

      Open your eyes and let the money fly in!

      So to speak.

      That's my agent there, going through your pockets.

    3. P. Lee

      Re: I don't say this often...

      It isn't an asset, it doesn't produce anything.

      Its more like a patent.

      The government is raising money buy charging for something that cost it nothing, the cost of which will hit most of the population.

      That would be a tax then.

      Why not just ask the mobile companies to submit a plan for the use of the spectrum and give it to whoever submits the most beneficial plan. Charge the company for deviating from the submitted plan.

      "Government *for* the people."

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vodafail anyone?

    It is astonishing that Vodafone , which is having the most problems with capacity, infrastructural and in-home penetration of their signal, is the one that is saying they have enough spectrum and don't need to buy more!

    I am one of their customers and when 4G become the norm in 1-2 years time and my contract is up for renewal, I will careless what Vodafone says, if their 4G network is not up and running and is fantastic (speed and reception in doors and out) then moving to another carrier will be what will happen.

    I will be presently surprised if Vodafone is still around in Australia by 2015, they are simply not putting enough money and forward investment to meet current and future demand and expectations.

    To me it seems they are putting just enough to stay around until maybe someone buys them off? not sure who would do that though.....

    1. DavidRa

      Re: Vodafail anyone?

      Vodafone has double the spectrum of either Optus or Telstra, as I recall. ISTR that the 700MHz spectrum was allocated 25% to each of Telstra, Optus, Voda and 3; then Voda bought 3 (and all the assets, including spectrum). Given the lacklustre performance and the resulting mass exit of subscribers, I don't see them being short on spectrum right now.

  4. kendb

    Does anyone know if this an auction to own spectrum in perpetuity, or for a fixed term lease?

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Vodaphone = PR bullshit.

    Their service is so bad their PR people ought to be kicked in the gollies for this - about 5 minutes after the management has been.

  6. mathew42

    NBNCo Protection Racket?

    I wonder if Conroy is trying to price Telstra & Optus out of providing viable wireless competition with the NBN?

    NBNCo have consistently predicted that 50% will connect at 12/1Mbps (page 64 of NBNCo Corporate Plan (2012-15). Secondly NBNCo have stated that people will opt for wireless because it is cheaper. If higher spectrum license fees push up the cost by $10/month then it makes it easier for NBNCo fibre to compete.

    Of course the minor issue that Labor have with delivering the budget surplus in 2012/13 might also be contributing to this. The next six months are going to be interesting to watch as the government seeks to defer every expense possible to the next financial year. Many (most?) political commentators are surprised that Gillard isn't opting for an early election while Labor can still promise a surplus rather than in the second half of the year.

  7. tkioz

    It's always amusing when Telstra and the other major Telcos call anyone else a rip off... Maybe if they demonstrated a smidgeon of social responsibility (such as not outsourcing everything they can to other countries) they might garner more sympathy.

  8. Tim Bates

    It's just Conroy clowning around again.

    Nothing to see here. Saw this coming the day he announced he was setting the price. He's just an idiot who thinks he's running the world. Remember who it was that obsessed over internet filtering... Or who was driving the NBN tendering process... He's got no idea what's outside, and doesn't bother asking anyone.

    If they set a reserve too high, and no one bids, who wins? The spectrum doesn't get bought. The customers can't use it. And the government makes no money.

  9. Troy Shanahan
    Thumb Down

    And as always...

    ... someone gets screwed. Usually us country people.

    According to NBNco's rollout plan, my area (Cape Jervis and Kangaroo island) is not going to even be considered for fixed wireless in the next 6 years. Meanwhile, the wonderful duopoly of optus and telstra 3G wireless continues to screw us for every cent we have. I don't think I've actually downloaded anything major in the last 2 years, simply because 20 gig for a month is bugger all, and I pay $74 a month for it.

    So much for the NBN delivering 'Affordable broadband to ALL Australians'.

    1. mathew42

      Re: And as always...

      > So much for the NBN delivering 'Affordable broadband to ALL Australians'.

      The NBN is very similar to electricity networks in the way it is priced. With both networks they are being built to support the most demanding users (1Gbps & Three phase multi-aircon homes). The economically disadvantaged cannot afford the premium services (1Gbps & Aircons) but have to pay an access charge that is significantly higher to support the premium users.

      With electricity there isn't much choice, but with the NBN there is 4G which is faster than the base 12/1Mbps NBN plans (50% of predicted take-up). Conroy is justifiably worried that 4G is a serious competitor for 50% of NBNCo's customers (it is already predicted to take 13%) and without the access fees.

      If the NBN speeds were uncapped then it would be a much easier sell.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conroy's Labor Cronies give up trying to return government to Surplus.

    Ha like that was anything news worthy to the man on the street!

    And this article about the Labor cronies trying to rort business for spectrum higher than other economies so they can desperately shove as much funds possible into the govt coffers and try and not arrive at the next election with egg on their face.

    Don't let the door hit you HARD on your ASS on the way OUT Labor!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NBN screwed me over as well!

    No Wireless yet, and years away.

    Meanwhile the existing Telstra Next G (3.5G?) network had all speed caps removed and it is running for me between 3 and 4 times faster than the NBN no show wireless network.

    NBN forced me to have no internet or spend money on directional antennas and installation so I can reach out more than 30 kilometers away to a distant town's tower.

    NBN Ass wipes!

    1. P. Lee

      Re: NBN screwed me over as well!

      There's no one solution.

      I've a friend who lives in Melbourne's suburbs - her (optus-based) wireless internet is complete rubbish. Even using my telstra connection (my landline was down) is really painful - fine for a mobile phone, but not useful for normal internet.

      Physical cables rule in areas with high requirements, wireless works better with lower requirements. Technically, 7.5 Mb/sec is faster than my landline, but contention is horrible.

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