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Picture: ACCC

Singaporean-owned Australian telco Optus has claimed it will be switching off its 2100MHz band for 3G companies in April 2022, with the spectrum reallocated to its LTE network.

For that reason, the telco is warning that instead of possessing a twin-band 3G network using the two 900MHz and 2100MHz spectrum, it will immediately after up coming April only be relying on a one band at 900MHz. This will use for Optus shoppers, and suppliers that resell its network.

“Clients with a 2100MHz-only 3G device will will need to up grade their system to have 4G LTE capacity to access the Optus community, which will provide them a superior client practical experience than the 2100Mhz 3G community,” the firm reported.

Optus explained it would arrive at out to shoppers impacted by the alter over the coming months, such as all those with “quite outdated SIM playing cards”.

The Australian Competitiveness and Customer Commission (ACCC) reported in guidance before this week that a essential competition issue was the lack of spectrum underneath 1GHz held by Optus, when compared to Telstra and TPG, when the 850/900MHz band is cleared out for an forthcoming spectrum auction afterwards this calendar year.

“Optus’ capability to contend effectively in the mobile companies marketplace will likely be constrained if it does not get more sub-1GHz band spectrum in the 850/900MHz allocation,” the watchdog wrote.

“In unique, there is a danger that Optus may perhaps not be ready to roll out 5G engineering widely and competently in Australia in the absence of a lot more sub-1GHz spectrum.”

As it presently stands, the ACCC said Telstra retains 46% of all sub-1GHz spectrum in metro parts and 54% in regional locations, TPG has 38% in metro spots and 31% in the locations, with Optus boasting only 15% in metro and regional parts.

“The ACCC considers that the asymmetry of sub-1GHz spectrum holdings concerning the MNOs [mobile network operators] is probable to have a major outcome on Optus’ capacity to contend with the other MNOs in the mobiles solutions market place,” it reported.

“In the brief time period, Optus and TPG may possibly need further sub-1GHz band spectrum if they wish to keep on to function their 3G networks. Nonetheless in the medium to extended phrase, Optus is the only MNO that does not currently have any sub-1GHz band spectrum that it could feasibly use to deploy 5G providers.”

Irrespective of the ACCC not recommending for any spectrum to be reserved for any telco, preferring a sub-1GHz limit be imposed to reduce Telstra scooping up also considerably spectrum, the section answerable to the former Optus government cum Communications Minister Paul Fletcher opted to established 10Mhz aside for both TPG and Optus in the higher 4 a lot accessible, wherever the telcos presently function underneath equipment licences.

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