New Zealand Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams has announced that 2degrees, Telecom Mobile and Vodafone New Zealand have each acquired management rights to spectrum in the 700MHz band following the government’s recent frequency auction. Telecom and Vodafone each successfully bid NZD66 million (USD54.5 million, plus goods and services tax [GST]) for 2×15MHz blocks, while 2degrees agreed to buy 2×10MHz spectrum blocks, paying NZD44 (plus GST). The outcome leaves one 2×5MHz block of spectrum unsold; the government expects to make a decision about the unsold spectrum block in the coming weeks. With this in mind, the authorities are considering relaxing the initial 2×15MHz bidding limit to 2×20MHz, enabling Telecom and Vodafone to compete for the remaining block of spectrum in a supplementary allocation round.
Ms Adams commented: ‘Overall, this is a successful outcome for the auction that bodes well for the future of competitive 4G mobile services in New Zealand. While 2degrees has bid for slightly less spectrum than Telecom and Vodafone, internationally we have seen that 2×10MHz is sufficient to run a viable 4G network and provide much faster data speeds to mobile customers. Examples of 4G mobile networks with 2×10MHz of comparable spectrum can be found in Australia, the United Kingdom, South Korea and many European countries’.