5 things you need to know in Australian tech today

Photo by Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture – © 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. via IMDb.

Check out these tech stories you need to know this Wednesday.

1. Broadband giant TPG is building its own $1.9 billion mobile network. It won the government’s 700MHz spectrum auction today, which will allow it to join Optus, Telstra and Vodafone as a mobile infrastructure owner. The 700MHz band, which TPG paid $1.26 billion for, is considered valuable for mobile services because it requires fewer towers to cover larger areas. Vodafone also won a smaller stake for $286 million. Telstra shares have now dived in response to the TPG deal.

2. For a few hours, people thought they bought a $4900 Apple Mac Pro computer for just $550. The Qantas store put the wrong price on the item over the weekend, which had people climbing on top of each other to pay just 93,000 frequent flyer points to get one (or 30). Read more on what happened when Qantas realised the mistake.

3. The Australian fintech community has had a good year. With the FinTech Australia “Finnies” awards coming up, Business Insider took a look back at the last 12 months and found the industry made leaps and bounds with individual successes, changing customer habits and favourable regulatory reform. Read more on why fintech startups have a lot to celebrate at the gala ceremony next month.

4. An Adelaide startup wants to launch satellites into space, and Blackbird and Mike Cannon-Brookes have backed it with a $5 million series A round. Fleet, which was founded by space engineer Flavia Nardini, aerospace engineer Dr Matthew Telow and entrepreneur Matt Pearson, wants the satellites in orbit to connect thousands of internet of things sensors together. Read more on their vision.

5. Technology magnate Bevan Slattery has slammed the government for demanding a commercial return out of the NBN. He said the model is a “fundamental problem that is screwing up broadband in this country” because it’s incompatible with its goal of fast and affordable internet access for all Australians, reported iTnews. An obsession with commercial returns encourages the NBN and its retail ecosystem to throttle speeds, Slattery added, rather than providing quality broadband.

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