Discussions may result in Econet investment

12 Mar 2007

New Zealand may finally get its third mobile operator, with negotiations taking place to secure investment in cellular licensee Econet Wireless. Econet was awarded a 3G licence in January 2001 and also holds 2G spectrum in the 1800MHz band, but its Africa-based parent company has so far failed to secure investment to fund a network rollout. The Dominion Post reports, however, that the firm is now in negotiations with equity groups General Enterprise Management Services and Communications Venture Partners with a view to getting a service off the ground. The New Zealand mobile market is currently served by just two players, Vodafone and Telecom New Zealand. Australian-owned TelstraClear is currently rolling out a limited 3G network.