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TPG - Australia's fourth mobile operator?

It wouldn't be an unrealistic achievement if TPG wants to become the country's fourth largest mobile network operator (MNO) after its surprise participation in the 4G spectrum auction, according to analyst firm, Ovum.

The fixed broadband player paid $13.5 million for 20MHz of the 2.5GHz band.

TPG stated the 2.5GHz spectrum is a valuable asset, giving it the opportunity to offer innovative and value-adding products to customers, particularly in the wireless broadband market.

ACMA revealed Telstra, Optus and TPG were the successful bidders in the 4G spectrum auction. The Government collected just under $2 billion and failed to sell one third of its 700MHz band, worth approximately $1 billion.

Ovum communications and broadband analyst, Nicole McCormick, said potential plans for TPG to become Australia's fourth MNO would be ambitious, but it wasn't unrealistic.

"TPG has demonstrated expertise in running a lean business model and it has the platforms in place to support an extended mobile business, something which defunct One.Tel did not have," McCormick said.

McCormick was also surprised to see that Vodafone didn't take part in the auction process.

"We think it would have been a sensible long-term spectrum insurance policy for Vodafone to have picked up 2.5GHz spectrum for data traffic management purposes in metro areas," McCormick said. "We are surprised Vodafone didn't partake in the auction for 2.5GHz spectrum, preferring to instead rely on its 1800MHz spectrum for high broadband services."


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