This is a little expected, but raises many questions.
Austar has sold its spectrum to OPEL for $65 million dollars. Bargain!
The questions for me it raises are:
1. OPEL is obviously changing from the 5Ghz spectrum to the 2.3 and 2.5Ghz spectrum. The maps previously released on the broadband now website must now be out of date and the range must therefore be longer. When will the community be updated with this news and coverage plans?
2. Seven bought up Unwired, and were aiming for the Austar spectrum in a move that looked as though they wanted to be a Video, Voice and Internet supplier. Without the spectrum in regional areas, are they planning on instead just targetting metro, or will they wholesale from OPEL?
3. OPEL have now got new plans for new equipment, will they be rolling out mobile WiMAX, or sticking with fixed but using the different spectrum?
4. Austar have also stated they will have wholesale agreements with Optus, are these incentive based agreements with Optus to cover for what could be described as a $50 million spectrum price shortfall, or were Austar really just ‘very nice’ in the price they accepted?
5. Will Austar be removing its WiMAX network in the areas it is rolled out as a trial?
The news seems a little out of touch with expectations. I assumed Austar would have got greedy, much like a domain squatter and made both sides bid til they got angry for the spectrum.
Seven would have, imaginably fought hard for it, the idea they SEEM to have (but is unconfirmed) is probably destined to provide a great deal of market capitalisation for them, and translatable profit.
OPEL on the other hand won’t be expecting wholesale profit at amazing levels like Seven’s retail products could be, but, OPEL will have their independant retailers, Optus and Elders, making the larger profits.
This simply leaves us to believe more so that there are interesting times ahead in a market that is at times settled, yet active, and angry, yet relieved.
In related news, Austar can be quoted as saying they expect to begin wholesaling at the end of 2008, which still raises questions over how the network will be ready. I can understand ADSL2+ could be ready though, which might be the target angle of the comments (wholesaling ADSL2+).