Vodafone confirms spectrum licence renewal

Plans to extend licences to 15 years following ACMA spectrum limits

Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) has responded to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) limits on the amount of spectrum due to be sold to individual companies in 2012 by renewing its current licence holding.

Under the new limits, companies will be restricted to 2x20MHz in the 700MHz band, and 2x40MHz in the 2.5GHz band. These have been set to ensure a level playing field for the three main bidders — Telstra, Optus and VHA — to take part in the auction without excluding a potential new competitor.

Vodafone’s licences will be renewed over the next few years for a period of 15 years each. Chief executive, Nigel Dews, said in a statement that the decision gives it “greater certainty” as the company looks ahead to its next network investment.

In September 2011, Vodafone negotiated the relocation of certain blocks of 1800MHz spectrum with New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia state railway authorities to aid its rollout of Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in capital cities.

It has also built a new 850MHz network for data and smartphones, upgraded its 2G/3G network and replaced equipment across all existing network sites. In addition, 4G capable equipment is being introduced as part of the upgrade.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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