Dense Air and TPG Telecom have agreed to acquire spectrum licenses from each other. Dense Air to bring its industry-leading shared neutral host solution to the Australian market and partner with cities and service providers to build shared wireless networks that advance broadband equity and improve carrier economics
Marlow, UK on 2nd August, 2021 – Dense Air Limited (“Dense Air”) is pleased to announce that it has agreed with TPG Telecom Limited (ASX: TPG), to purchase TPG Telecom’s 2.6 GHz nationwide spectrum supplementing Dense Air’s existing spectrum licenses and enabling Dense Air to work with Australian service providers and cities to build shared 4G and 5G wireless networks that close digital divides and ensure ubiquitous future-proofed connectivity. These first-of-their-kind shared networks will accelerate equitable digital access for cities and communities across Australia, benefiting consumers, network operators, and enterprises. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals. Dense Air would acquire TPG Telecom’s 2.6 GHz nationwide spectrum and also sell to TPG Telecom Dense Air’s 3.6 GHz city licenses. Dense Air, which recently acquired 5G mmWave spectrum in the ACMA auction, will use this spectrum in combination with its market-leading neutral host RAN-as-a-Service technology to build shared wireless networks that accelerate contiguous connectivity and extend and enhance the networks of carrier partners. Post the transaction, Dense Air and TPG Telecom look forward to exploring opportunities to use Dense Air’s RAN-as-a-service technology solution in the Australian market. Dense Air builds, owns, and operates 4G and 5G “small cell” networks that enhance and extend the traditional “macro” networks built by telecom companies. The global firm, with operations in Australia, Belgium, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, and the United Kingdom, partners with cities and carriers through public-private partnerships to build city-wide networks that ensure equitable wireless connectivity on shared and licensed spectrum. Small cells, deployed by Dense Air on street lights, traffic lights, or rooftops, provide cellular coverage that extends hundreds or thousands of feet rather than the miles covered by macro cells, delivering higher capacity and lower latency to the end user. Small cells complement macro cells by easing network congestion and reaching areas where services deteriorate, providing the building blocks for deploying high-speed 4G and 5G networks. The 2.6 GHz band license to be acquired from TPG Telecom, combined with the 5G mmWave spectrum license Dense Air recently acquired in an ACMA auction, gives the company a platform to offer both 4G and 5G network densification and extension services across Australia. This deal also opens the door for new business models and deployment partnerships. For the consumer, it means faster, more efficient 5G access.
Expanding consumer access to reliable broadband allows more Australians to benefit from the digital transformation in education, commerce, and community services. Those with lower levels of income, employment, and education are most at risk of digital exclusion. In Australia’s urban centres, Dense Air will focus on in-building neutral host solutions, private 4G and 5G networks, and outdoor network densification. In suburban and rural areas, Dense Air will focus on network extension to help all communities benefit from modern necessities like borderless classrooms, remote learning, assisted living, community working hubs, and connected infrastructure.
“We are very pleased to announce the agreement to acquire spectrum from TPG Telecom, which we reached despite the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic. This spectrum, along with our other holdings, will allow Dense Air to bring its unique ‘RAN-as-a-Service’ business model to Australia and enable us to empower cities and communities to build shared neutral host networks that close the digital divide and benefit operators and consumers alike.”Paul Senior, CEO of Dense Air
About the transaction:
The transaction involves subsidiaries of TPG Telecom and Dense Air Limited entering into an agreement under which TPG Telecom will sell its 2.6 GHz spectrum band licenses to Dense Air Networks Australia. In a separate agreement, a wholly owned subsidiary of TPG Telecom will acquire all the shares of an Australian subsidiary of Dense Air Limited, which holds 3.6 GHz spectrum licenses acquired at auction in 2018.
The agreements for both the 3.6 GHz spectrum transaction and the 2.6 GHz spectrum transaction are subject to conditions precedent, including that the two transactions are completed concurrently, and receive approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Following satisfaction of the conditions, the transactions are expected to complete in September 2021.
About Dense Air:
Dense Air, headquartered in London, UK, has spectrum assets in Ireland, Belgium, Portugal, New Zealand and Australia. Focusing on mobile and fixed broadband services, Dense Air builds innovative public-private partnerships with cities to solve connectivity challenges and works with existing network operators to densify and/or extend mobile networks. Dense Air provides a unique carrier of carriers neutral host small cell service, supporting multiple operators through a single RAN infrastructure on clean, licensed spectrum. Working closely with operators and municipalities, Dense Air delivers cost-effective 4G and 5G solutions to support a range of use cases, including enhanced mobile broadband, IoT, public safety, first responder networks, and remote learning.