NZ govt agrees to renew bulk of 3G, 4G spectrum from 2021

13 Mar 2019

The New Zealand government has confirmed that it will renew most spectrum rights in the 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands from 2021, although some frequencies will be reassigned for ‘other uses’. A statement issued by Kris Faafoi, the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, noted: ‘Spectrum is a limited resource and the rights to use spectrum in these two bands only come up for renewal every 20 years. When it comes to considering the next round of spectrum management rights, it’s important we strike the right balance to ensure spectrum is used efficiently to benefit all New Zealanders.’

In the 1800MHz band, each of the incumbent mobile operators – Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees – have been offered renewal rights covering 40MHz of their existing 50MHz allocation. The 2100MHz spectrum held by Spark (30MHz) and Vodafone (50MHz) will be renewed in full, as will the 30MHz block held by Hautaki Limited, part of a charitable trust dedicated to boosting Maori participation in the ICT sector. Telstra’s rights in the 2100MHz band are not currently being used and will not be renewed; the Australian firm sold its New Zealand unit to Vodafone in 2012.