OzTech: Public cloud spending surpasses $10B; Woolworths acquires data science company; 5G spectrum auction results

OzTech Roundup is Computerworld Australia’s weekly look at the world of IT.

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Australia to spend $10.6 billion on the public cloud in 2021

New forecast from research firm Gartner has predicted Australian organisations will spend $10.6 billion on public cloud services in 2021. This represents an 18.4% increase from 2020, when spending on public cloud reached $8.9 billion.

“Emerging technologies such as containerisation, desktop as a service, and edge computing are becoming more mainstream and driving additional cloud spending. And hyperscale public cloud services have proven their underlying scalability and elasticity. This has led to stronger forecasts for cloud adoption in coming years,” said Michael Warrilow, a research vice president at Gartner.

Gartner found that software as a service (SaaS) remains the largest market segment and is forecast to reach $5.7 billion spending in Australia in 2021 because the demand for composable applications requires a different type of SaaS experience. The highest growth in 2021 will be in infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and desktop as a service (DaaS), at 30.2% and 57.7%, respectively, as CIOs face continued pressures to scale infrastructure that supports moving complex workloads to the cloud and the demands of a hybrid workforce.

Woolies increases stake in data science organisation

Woolworths Group has increased its shareholding of data science and analytics company Quantium from 47% to 75%, for $223 million.

The retailer had acquired 50% of Quantium in 2013 for $20 million, which resulted in the jointly development of products and services that provide insights to Woolworths Group and its suppliers.

A new business unit called Q-Retail will be created upon completion of the transaction, bringing together Quantium and Woolworths Group’s collective data science and advanced analytics capabilities.

5G spectrum auction results start coming out

The auction of 26MHz-band 5G spectrum, which started on 12 April, has seen five telecommunications providers pay a total of $647.6 million for their share.

Telstra invested $277 million for 1000MHz of the band, securing spectrum in all major capital cities and regional areas where it was sold.

There were 12 lots of 200MHz allotments available across 24 areas and 24 lots of 100MHz allotments available across three areas, including Greater Perth, Hobart, and Margaret River.

Telstra acquired 150 lots, while Optus acquired 116 lots, including 800MHz of 26GHz band in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, and a range of regional areas, and 600MHz in Hobart and Margaret River in Western Australia for a total of $226.2 million.

“For enterprise, this spectrum could support remote controlled automation — for example, robotics in a warehouse or factory, or the creation of a secured private network at a university campus to support thousands of students and academics,” said Optus Networks managing director Lambo Kanagaratnam in a statement.

Through its subsidiary Mobile JV, TPG Telecom has acquired 400MHz of the 26GHz-band spectrum licences for Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth, and 600MHz licenses for Brisbane and all other metropolitan and regional areas for $108.2 million, a total of 86 lots.

Pentanet acquired four lots, including a licence for 200MHz of 5G millimetre wave (mWave) spectrum covering the Greater Perth area in Western Australia, including Perth, Mandurah, Bunbury, and Margaret River, for $8 million.

Dense Air Australia won two lots for $28.6 million.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) said 358 of the 360 lots available in the auction were sold at a total revenue of $647.6 million. Licences won at auction will come into force later this year, for a 15-year term ending in 2036.

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Communications announced in October 2020 that successful will be able to pay their spectrum access charges in five instalments, to support the rollout of 5G infrastructure.

An auction of low-band 5G spectrum (in the 850/900 MHz band) is planned for the second half of 2021.

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