Tuesday, 27 July 2021 09:23

The spectrum wars - again Featured

By
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The limits on the amount of spectrum that can be purchased by the Telco's in the November spectrum auction is creating some vocal comments in the main media.

In the last two weeks there was some tit for tat between Telstra, Optus with finally Minister Paul Fletcher weighing in.

This is all over the re-issue of 850/900Mhz spectrum that is already in use by the carriers for mainly 3 and 4G. The ACMA wants to reallocate the spectrum so that it is optimised for 4G and 5G.

Originally the 850MHz and 900MHz bands were allocated for use as 2G spectrum, this required relatively narrow spectrum bands especially compared to 4 and 5G.

Web Analytics

This low band spectrum has a considerable reach, I reported on Telstra and Ericsson's world's longest call, an amazingly 113km using 850MHz spectrum. By comparison a record in mmWave of 10km was achieved by Nokia, Qualcomm and USCellular.

Clearly this lower spectrum band is key to providing effective coverage and capacity in rural and regional Australia.

Telstra isn't happy that it isn't allowed to bid for the same amount of spectrum that it already utilises in regional and rural areas. It would like to have access to bid for up to 102MHz of spectrum rather than 82MHz limit recommended by the ACCC. The 102MHz would represent 43% of the spectrum that is on offer. Of course Optus, isn't happy either, they want to see Telstra restricted even further.

What's best for consumers?

Telstra, if we like it or not, has the largest market share of mobile customers especially in rural and regional Australia. Telsyte senior analyst Alvin Lee said, "Telstra has 40% of the mobile market in rural and regional areas compared to 23% for Optus and less than 10% for TPG".  Lee said, "MVNO's had taken market share over the last couple of years in rural and regional areas."

We can assume that the MVNO's most successful in the regional and rural areas are probably Telstra wholesale customers.

So is it in the best interests of consumers to lower Telstra's ability to continue to serve this customer base adequately? With just 82MHz of spectrum Telstra will have the coverage they need to reach their customers. However, Telstra may not have the capacity those customers will be demanding, without expending more capital on additional base-station sites.

The 700MHz auction lessons

If we cast our minds back to the first 700MHz digital dividend spectrum auction, there was considerable spectrum left on the table. Telstra purchased up its limit in the auction.

VHA didn't participate, pulling out at the last minute; it was still leaking significant amounts of cash due to the Vodafail fallout.

Optus could have purchased 2X5MHz more, but I'd spectulate that it probably reached its Singtel allocated capital limit.   

Twelve months earlier, as an analyst, I'd predicted that VHA wouldn't participate in the auction, based on my analysis of their business performance and what I considered their stakeholders appetite for risk.  At the time, the VHA CEO fervently announced to the press that they would be an active participant in the auction.   I was subsequently vindicated  a couple of weeks out from the auction when they notified Minister Conroy that they were withdrawing.

Based on this I'd forecasted that the reserve price for the 700MHz spectrum would be higher than $1.30 per MHz population, because there would be no contention with just two participants.   I'd based this on the fact that earlier the 850MHz spectrum had been renewed for $1.30 per MHz pop.  To this day there is still some 700MHz spectrum unallocated.

850/900MHz

It would be a shame if some 850/900MHz spectrum wasn't allocated because of capital constraints, especially when there was a willing market participant wanting to purchase the licences and deploy network on the spectrum.

Given the Government's current COVID induced budget position, they should be looking to maximise the return on this spectrum, a national asset.  On top of this they will want to see a national asset well utilised for the benefit of the people and to drive economic growth especially in regional and rural Australia.

It would be a large disservice for regional and rural consumers if their level of mobile capacity dropped as a result of poorly conceived rules in this auction process.

The decision rests with the minister, I hope he considers the people living in regional and rural Australia when making his decision.

GRAND OPENING OF THE ITWIRE SHOP

The much awaited iTWire Shop is now open to our readers.

Visit the iTWire Shop, a leading destination for stylish accessories, gear & gadgets, lifestyle products and everyday portable office essentials, drones, zoom lenses for smartphones, software and online training.

PLUS Big Brands include: Apple, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Sennheiser and many more.

Products available for any country.

We hope you enjoy and find value in the much anticipated iTWire Shop.

ENTER THE SHOP NOW!

INTRODUCING ITWIRE TV

iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the iTWire.com site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.

SEE WHAT'S ON ITWIRE TV NOW!

Related items

  • Semiconductor market seen growing by 17.3%, shortage set to end by mid-2022

    The market for semiconductors is expected to grow by 17.3% year-on-year globally, against a figure of 10.8% in 2020, the technology analyst company IDC says, adding that the current shortage should be over by the middle of 2022.

    Somewhat surprisingly, IDC forecast that there would potentially be an oversupply in 2023 as large-scale capacity expansions came online towards the end of 2022.

    In April, another technology analyst firm, Gartner, said sales of semiconductors in 2020 had reached US$466.2 billion, representing an increase of 10.4% year-on-year.

    Shortages of semiconductors are expected to keep easing through the final quarter of 2021 as capacity additions grow.

    {loadposition sam08}“The semiconductor content story is intact and not only does it benefit the semiconductor companies, but the unit volume growth in many of the markets that they serve will also continue to drive very good growth for the semiconductor market,” said Mario Morales, group vice-president, Enabling Technologies and Semiconductors at IDC.

    The company said that there was no noticeable drop in use of semiconductors due to the ongoing pandemic, with dedicated foundries having been allocated for the remainder of 2021 with almost full capacity utilisation.

    "Front-end capacity remains tight, but fabless suppliers are getting the production they need from their foundry partner," the IDC analysis said. "Front-end manufacturing is starting to meet demand in 3Q. However, larger issues and shortages will remain in back-end manufacturing and materials."

    Revenue from 5G semiconductor revenues are forecast by 128%, with mobile phone semiconductors expected to grow by 28.5%. Game consoles, smart home, and wearables are predicted to grow by 34%, 20%, 21% respectively.

    IDC said automotive semiconductor revenues would also rise by 22.8% as shortages were mitigated by year end. Notebook semiconductor revenues were forecast to grow by 11.8%, while X86 Server revenues would rise by 24.6%.

    The tech analyst firm said wafer prices had gone up during the first six months of the year, and this trend was expected to continue during the second half.

    The market for semiconductors is predicted to reach US$600 billion (A$826.5 billion) by 2025, a compound annual growth rate of 5.3%, and much higher that the 3.4% growth normally witnessed in a mature industry.

  • Telstra launches two hour delivery service in selected Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne stores

    A series of participating Telstra stores in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne are letting customers take advantage of Telstra's new two hour delivery service to coincide "with the latest handset launches," but Canberrans, who are also in lockdown, miss out.

    Telstra today announced the launch of its new "2 hour delivery service" from participating Telstra Stores to coincide with the latest handset launches.

    We're told the service is being offered in partnership with Zoom2u and will begin with "a limited offer for Telstra customers: free 2 hour delivery of Apple and Samsung handsets to customer’s homes in select areas of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The service is available today."

    Zoom2u does operate in Canberra, so no idea yet as to why Canberrans are missing out on this useful service. Perhaps someday, same day will come to Canberra, but until then, Canberra same day deliveries have been canned. It's clearly not "Yes we Canberra", or at least, not yet, and perhaps ACT Government restrictions prohibit it, with JB HiFi, Officeworks, Telstra and other stores closed due to the virus.

    {loadposition alex08}

    Whingeing aside, the service is up and running in Australia's three largest cities, with Michael Ackland, Telstra's Consumer & Small Business Executive noted that changes to retail brought about by COVID had inspired Telstra to invest in new customer experiences across a range of channels.

    Ackland added: “During COVID, our Call & Collect options have taken off. Customers are looking for more ways to shop; more offers and more immediacy and that is why we have introduced Telstra Day, and now we are introducing superfast delivery to give our customers more of what they want”.

    So, how does it work?

    Check your eligibility
    Currently, you need to be an existing Telstra customer, have had an active post-paid service for at least 6 months and be living within the delivery zones of one of our twenty five participating stores. (Details of participating stores can be found below or at Telstra.com/sameday)

    Place your order
    Call your participating Telstra store and order an Apple or Samsung smartphone with a plan. You may also bundle selected accessories with your delivery but your order must be placed at least 2 hours before doors close.

    2 hour delivery is currently only available for telephone orders at participating stores but will soon be available on select online and call centre purchases.

    Track your order in real time
    As soon as the driver has collected your order you will receive a real time tracking link via SMS so that you can watch your purchase in real time all the way to your front door!

    Secure delivery
    To ensure your purchase is kept safe, the driver will only deliver to the account owner who placed the order, at the billing address on the account and will use a pre-agreed 4 digit pin to confirm identity. Please ensure you are home to collect the delivery with your photo ID, otherwise your order will be returned to the store for collection.

    Full details can be found at Telstra.com/sameday.

    Participating stores:

    SYDNEY / NSW

    Chatswood Chase: 1800 724 303; CBD (400 George Street): 1800 721 425; Warringah Mall: 1800 724 297; Bondi Junction: 1800 723 917; Eastgardens: 1800 723 741; Parramatta: 1800 723 137

    BRISBANE

    Carindale Ground Floor: 1800 725 701; Mt. Gravatt: 1800 726 247; CBD (136 Queen Street): 1800 725 914; Indooroopilly: 1800 726 583; Browns Plains: 1800 725 793; Chermside: 1800 726 147; Loganholme: 1800 726 171

    MELBOURNE

    Doncaster: 1800 728 351; Northland Shopping Centre: 1800 728 409; The Glen: 1800 728 207; Eastland: 1800 728 069; Knox: 1800 726 751; Plenty Valley: 1800 870 576; Southland: 1800 728 410; Greensborough: 1800 728 907; Highpoint: 1800 728 406; Bourke Street: 1800 726 917; Craigieburn: 1800 926 324; Fountain Gate: 1800 728 904

    Michael Ackland added: “Our digital user base is one of the largest in Australia and we have invested heavily in our online experiences over recent years. Coupled with our store buybacks and the return of our call centres to Australian shores, we believe that we are well placed to service our customers, however they choose to engage with us”.

  • Ivory moves to Atturra as GM

    Atturra has appointed Estelle Ivory to the role of general manager, business applications within its Microsoft cloud and applications business unit.

    "Estelle Ivory is the ideal person to help lead Atturra's microsoft cloud and applications business unit as it moves from strength to strength, delivering a full spectrum of end-to-end IT services and a new standard of excellence to clients," said Atturra Microsoft cloud and applications business unit executive general manager Greg Mace.

    "As part of her role, Estelle Ivory will be primarily focused on building the Atturra Microsoft cloud and applications team, capabilities, knowledge, and go-to-market offerings in both the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform space. With her extensive expertise leading and working with diverse and high-performing teams, and strong relationships with Microsoft, we're excited to see what Estelle will achieve in this new role and are thrilled to have her join the team."

    Ivory joins the company from Optus where she worked as a client delivery director after spending more than 10 years at Microsoft, most recently as consulting practice lead.

    {loadposition stephen08}

    She previously worked for Volante as client executive relationship manager, and as a branch manager at Manpower.

    "This is an exciting time for Atturra as it continues to grow in the Australian market, and I am pleased to join such a strong and passionate team," said Ivory.

    "Atturra is a highly successful organisation with an experienced team of professionals focused on delivering specialism at scale to its clients. I'm thrilled at the opportunity to join Atturra to help further establish it as the leading local advisory technology specialist."

    Ivory will also will be a part of Atturra's partnerships with Women in ITC (WIC), Women Rising, and Code like a Girl.

    Atturra's key clients include the Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment; the Department of Defence; and the Department of Health.

    Until very recently the company was known as FTS Group.

  • Cygnett ring light remote recalled

    The remote control for a range of ring lights marketed by Cygnett has been recalled for safety reasons.

    With videoconferences now an everyday occurrence for many workers, ring lights have become a common tool to help present your best face to the world.

    But the remote control provided with various ring lights marketed by Cygnett has been recalled because its battery compartment is not adequately secured, with a consequent risk of choking or injury to young children.

    The affected ring lights are the V-Glamour, V-Pro, V-Pro Travel, V-Tuber Pro, and V-Dual Classic.

    {loadposition stephen08}

    They were sold between 1 November 2020 and 30 June 2021 by Big W, Bing Lee, Catch of the Day, Cygnett.com, Harvey Norman, Leading Edge, Myer, Officeworks, Target, Telstra, and The Good Guys.

    Owners are advised to immediately stop using the remote and store it out of the reach of children.

    They may request a replacement remote (with a screw to secure the battery compartment) here. Cygnett will also provide a return envelope for the old remote.

  • NCS hires Key to lead sales and marketing

    Technology services firm NCS Australia, has appointed Nicole Key to the role of director of sales and marketing.

    "We are excited to have Nicole joining NCS and are looking forward to her bringing both experience and energy to our team that will propel us forward – especially during the high growth phase NCS is currently experiencing following the launch of our local NCS Next Cloud Centre of Excellence and recent acquisitions in Australia," said NCS Next Solutions head Andre Conti.

    Key joins the company from Optus, where she worked as as executive business development lead.

    She previously ran her own consultancy, served as telco and utilities segment director at illion, had a previous stint at Optus as Victorian enterprise sales manager, and worked at Telstra as head of its global centre of excellence capability.

    {loadposition stephen08}

    "It's an exciting time to be joining NCS, as we build the future of a business designed to bring real innovation and customer-led digital transformation," said Key.

    "I am passionate about what we can achieve together with our clients, so stay tuned for many exciting announcements and proud moments that we have coming your way soon, especially around our acquisitions, commitment to sustainability and bringing digital jobs to the Australian market".

    NCS recently announced its acquisition of Australian cloud-based solutions consultancy along with companies in Singapore and Hong Kong.

WEBINARS ONLINE & ON-DEMAND

GUEST ARTICLES

VENDOR NEWS

Guest Opinion

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News

Comments