NBN Co under pressure, reviews SAU\nFollowing a letter from Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland, NBN Co withdrew its proposal with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and is planning to submit a revised special access undertaking (SAU) variation as soon as possible.\nRowland said in a statement that the SAU variation lodged in March 2022 under the former government would have allowed NBN price increases of inflation plus 3% a year on some products. \u201cThis was underpinned by unrealistic revenue expectations, and reflected a view to privatisation,\u201d Rowland said. She also said the existing proposal was not acceptable.\nNBN Co said it plans to \u201cmake substantive changes to key aspects of its proposed SAU variation.\u201d\nThe minister\u2019s letter came after heavy lobbying from the industry, and the increase in prices would be passed on to telco providers, therefore, causing prices to increase all around.\n\u201cAs modern infrastructure that is owned by everyday Australians, NBN Co should be focusing on committing to future network investment and better reseller incentives, not paying down debt,\u201d Aussie Broadband managing director Phillip Britt said in a statement.\n3.4 GHz and 3.7 GHz 5G spectrum to go to auction in 2023\nThe Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has declared the reallocation for parts of the 3.4 GHz (3400\u20133575 MHz) and the 3.7 GHz (3700\u20133800 MHz) bands. ACMA plans to conduct an auction in 2023 but no specific date has been determined yet.\nACMA is also examining licensing and allocation process for area-wide apparatus licences (AWLs) in the 3.4 to 4.0 GHz frequency range in remote Australia, as well as the technical framework and pricing arrangements and says the allocation for these will not happen until the last quarter of 2022.\nOptus, TPG Telecom upgrade mobile towers to 5G in Victoria\nOptus and TPG Telecom will deliver five new mobile towers and upgrade five existing ones to 5G through the $550 million Connecting Victoria program, improving connectivity in Derrimut, Hoppers Crossing, Mount Cottrell, Point Cook, Ravenhall, Rockbank, Tarneit, Truganina, Werribee South, and Wyndham Vale.\nThe telcos will also deliver a new mobile tower and upgrade other 10 existing ones to 5G that will service Bell Park, Bell Post Hill, Belmont, Breakwater, Drumcondra, East Geelong, Geelong, Geelong West, Hamlyn Heights, Herne Hill, Manifold Heights, Marshall, Newtown, Norlane, North Geelong, North Shore, Rippleside, South Geelong, St Albans Park, and Thomson.\nThe work will be carried out between 2023 and 2026.\nNSW Telco Authority gets emergency comms support\nOptus has supplied the New South Wales Telco Authority with eight additional ruggedised Kymeta U8 flat panel portable antennas. This is in addition to a managed satellite network\u00a0that the telco provides to the estate\u2019s telco authority and 45 Kymeta antennas.\nThe antennas will provide support to communications even when existing infrastructure has been compromised during fires and floods and will be delivered by mid-August 2022.\nVodafone NZ follows Spark in selling cell tower assets to offshore investors\nMost of New Zealand\u2019s cell phone tower infrastructure will no longer be owned locally.\nHot on the heals of Spark\u2019s announcement of the sale of 70% stake in its cell phone tower business to offshore investors, Vodafone New Zealand has followed suit.\nVodafone said in a statement it will sell its passive mobile tower assets for $1.7 million to funds managed, or advised, by two global investment firms \u2014 InfraRed Capital Partners and Northleaf Capital Partners.\nEach firm will own 40% share of the newly formed tower business, called TowerCo (which confusingly is the same name given to Spark\u2019s tower offshoot). Vodafone New Zealand\u2019s shareholder Infratil will hold 20% in the company, which will own 1,484 mobile towers. This will be the largest towers business in New Zealand, covering over 98% of the country\u2019s population, Vodafone claimed.\nSpark meanwhile sold its tower business, with approximately 1,263 sites for $900 million to the Ontario Teachers\u2019 Pension Plan Board.\nUnder its agreement, Vodafone New Zealand will enter into a 20-year master services agreement with TowerCo for access to both existing and new towers. TowerCo will also commit to build at least 390 additional sites over the next 10 years.\nVodafone will continue to own the active parts of its network, including the radio access equipment and spectrum assets.\nBoth Spark\u2019s and Vodafone\u2019s deals are subject to Overseas Investment Office approval.\nSpark trials faster rural 5G tech\nA store from agricultural provider PGG Wrightson is part of a 5G millimetre wave (mmWave) trial set up by Spark with loaned spectrum from the New Zealand Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE).\u00a0\u00a0\nThe store in Culverden, North Canterbury, is testing the 5G service beaming from a trial site set up 6km away in Mouse Point to run its rural operations over 5G connectivity. According to PGG Wrightson, connectivity is a challenge for some of its more rural store locations. Access to 5G could allow it to offer high-definition livestreams of auctions from saleyards and farms with minimal delays, the company said\nThe trial aims to test mmWave for use in future 5G networks. Current 5G networks in New Zealand use frequencies adjacent to 4G.\nA pre-trial performed by Spark and Nokia achieved a peak speed of 2.4Gbps at a range of 3km and 1.4Gbps at an extended range of 7km.