NZ to re-auction ‘some’ mobile spectrum in sector shake-up

13 Apr 2007

The government of New Zealand says it plans to re-auction some under-used spectrum rights in the 800MHz and 900MHz bands to third-party entrants, in a bid to loosen the de facto duopoly of Vodafone and Telecom in the country’s mobile market. The Communications Minister David Cunliffe says he will auction the spectrum bands, seen by some as critical in establishing low-cost mobile access in rural areas, when the concessions expire in 2011 and 2012. A recent government review of mobile spectrum usage found that Vodafone and Telecom had ‘not fully or efficiently used their existing spectrum holdings’. Cunliffe plans to sell off 7.5MHz of spectrum in each band to all comers, including the two incumbents, although it has also introduced incentives to encourage the pair to sell on their cellular rights to other providers ahead of the auction.