Six providers in line for national WiMAX broadband spectrum

1 Jun 2007

The government of New Zealand plans to auction two blocks of wireless spectrum for the provision of nationwide WiMAX broadband services in December, writes online portal The country’s communications minister David Cunliffe has pushed back the sale of 100MHz of spectrum in the 2.3GHz band until the end of the year when it will be offered alongside a separate auction of frequencies in the 2.5GHz band. The state hopes to award national WiMAX licences to at least six companies, allaying fears that dominant players Telcom New Zealand and Vodafone might corner the market by acquiring the bulk of the spectrum. The decision is seen as good news for the likes of Woosh Wireless, Kordia, CallPlus and NZ Wireless – all of whom have expressed interest in bidding. CallPlus had called for Telecom to be barred from the 2.3GHz auction, but has accepted the minister’s compromise. Its CEO Martin Wylie said the announcement would be a ‘real boost’ to its WiMAX rollout plans, for which it has earmarked ‘hundreds of millions of dollars.’