Clash Of Clans Over The Unused 5G Spectrum- All That You Need To Know

  • Jan 15, 2019 AEDT
  • Team Kalkine
Clash Of Clans Over The Unused 5G Spectrum- All That You Need To Know

It seems like mobile network providers have turned green after government-owned NBN hooked the large bundle of 5G spectrum unused. Top-tier telco player Vodafone has questioned the NBN’s move of neither using the exclusive access to 5G spectrum band nor releasing it to commercial telcos for their 5G network requirement.

Last year, Vodafone Hutchison merged with its peer TPG Telecom, bringing down the aggressing competition of telco industry. TPG-Vodafone acquired 131 lots of 3.6 GHz spectrum in the 5G spectrum auction held in November 2018. It was the second largest portion carved out from government’s reserves following Telstra who secured 143 lots at $386 million. But now the company rolls over its eyes to NBN’s unused 5G spectrum.

Vodafone believes that NBN should release the portion of the 5G spectrum that it is not using so that commercial telecommunication companies can have access to additional spectrum and provide better network performance at lower costs.

But National Broadcasting Company (NBN) dug its heels in and refuted Vodafone’s suggestions. The state-owned company expressed that it does not want commercial telcos to put their nose in its’ fixed wireless system. NBN stated that it requires these unused spectrums for its fixed wireless broadband, and providing access to commercial telcos would lead to unavoidable interference.

NBN has been granted 25% of the total 5G spectrum ranging from 3.4 GHz to 3.8 GHz frequencies in Australia. These spectrum bands are allocated for its fixed wireless services across peripheral areas located on the edge of cities where building fiber optic cable would not be profitable. But the problem started arising when the government decided to lock-in the same bands for the NBN in metro cities. That means a valuable portion of 5G spectrum, i.e., around 75 MHz, is lying unused with NBN in metropolitan areas of Australia.

If this chunk of the spectrum gets released in the market, the commercial telcos will have the stronger capacities to serve early access of 5G to Australian customer and at more affordable data packages. The battle is just between four telecommunication companies Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, and TPG. However, Vodafone and TPG have now become one and Optus may be restricted to participate in further bids as it already owns a significant amount of total available spectrum.

As of now, the NBN believes that allowing access of its spectrum assets to other commercial operators would create a risk of interference to its fixed wireless subscribers. But the government is reportedly looking for possible alternatives to mitigate the risk of interference so that the unused  5G spectrum can be utilized to support the 5G market in Australia.


This website is a service of Kalkine Media Pty. Ltd. A.C.N. 629 651 672. The website has been prepared for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as a complete source of information on any particular company. Kalkine Media does not in any way endorse or recommend individuals, products or services that may be discussed on this site. Our publications are NOT a solicitation or recommendation to buy, sell or hold. We are neither licensed nor qualified to provide investment advice.


All pictures are copyright to their respective owner(s) does not claim ownership of any of the pictures displayed on this website unless stated otherwise. Some of the images used on this website are taken from the web and are believed to be in public domain. We have used reasonable efforts to accredit the source (public domain/CC0 status) to where it was found and indicated it below the image.


There is no investor left unperturbed with the ongoing trade conflicts between US-China and the devastating bushfire in Australia.

Are you wondering if the year 2020 might not have taken the right start? Dividend stocks could be the answer to that question.

As interest rates in Australia are already at record low levels, find out which dividend stocks are viewed as the most attractive investment opportunity in the current scenario in our report.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. OK