ACCC forces Telstra to deregister 900MHz sites “hindering” Optus 5G rollout – Telco/ISP
ACCC commissioner Liza Carver
The Australian Opposition and Shopper Commission has acted towards Telstra for spectrum hoarding, right after the incumbent telco employed legacy access to 900MHz spectrum to baulk Optus’ 5G network rollout.
The carrier has presented a court docket-enforceable endeavor to address the difficulty, which has been approved by the ACCC.
The regulator explained that some of Telstra’s registrations of radiocommuncation web-sites “interfered with Optus’ designs to roll out its 5G network nationally”.
ACCC commissioner Liza Carver reported the ACCC considered the registration of 315 web-sites in the 900MHz band “had the significant objective or most likely outcome of lessening opposition by Optus, as Telstra realized of the worth of this spectrum band to Optus’ 5G rollout strategy.”
Telstra was capable to exploit long-standing accessibility to 900MHz spectrum for its 2G community, which closed in 2016.
As the carrier’s enterprise [pdf] discussed, prior to 31 January 2022, it held just 109 registrations for 900MHz web sites, and hadn’t registered a web page given that 2016.
Late past yr, Optus gained all the 900MHz spectrum on supply in the ACMA’s spectrum auction, and to facilitate community deployment forward of the July 2024 commencement of the auctioned spectrum, the ACMA declared it would authorise PMTS Class B licences (identified as “early entry licences”).
As opposed to spectrum licences, the PMTS (public cell telecommunications support) licences are what is identified as an “apparatus licence”, allowing for the proprietor to install machines in a area in the nominated spectrum band.
Exactly where there was a clash amongst an early accessibility licence and an current equipment licence, the ACCC claimed it would give principal access to the bash that had applied initially – and that gave Telstra the chance to use its outdated 2G-era licences.
On 31 January 2022, Telstra registered assignments at 315 internet sites, 153 of which have been deregistered, leaving 162 even now registered.
The ACCC’s issue, as in depth in the undertaking, was that all those registrations experienced the “purpose or very likely effect” of stopping Optus finding early entry to the 900MHz web sites, and was thus “prevented or hindered” the telco from competing in the retail mobile market place.
Telstra has agreed to deregister the remaining web pages “to the extent required to remove the barrier these registrations impose” on Optus.