Australian telcos have stumped $A650 million on 5G radio wave spectrum as part of a push to big band wireless networks.

Telstra has paid $276.6 million for 1000MHz of high speed 26GHz spectrum, while TPG paid $108.2 million for licences in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Optus spent $226.2 million for spectrum in each Australian capital city.

Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. “[Spectrum] gives you so much more capacity to be able to let the data flow through.”

Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn said the spectrum would allow the telco giant to invest in building standalone 5G networks and 5G fixed wireless services.

“If we can provide a better solution using 5G than they are able to get with NBN technology…that’s what we do,” Penn said.

TPG Telecom chief executive Iñaki Berroeta said spectrum will enable TPG to deliver 5G fixed wireless services as a compelling NBN alternative, and it will also benefit mobile services in high foot-traffic areas such as CBDs.”

A second auction for the 850MHz/900MHz bands will occur later this year.