Telecom New Zealand Seeks to Bid for More Blocks in 700Mhz Spectrum Auction
Telecom New Zealand has formally confirmed the expected news that it will be participating in the country's forthcoming radio spectrum auction.
The 700MHz spectrum band, previously used for analogue broadcast services, is expected to allow mobile operators to provide 4G mobile broadband services - already being built in New Zealand's main cities - much more extensively in New Zealand, including in less densely populated areas.
Telecom's Chief Executive Simon Moutter said "We are already well advanced in the build of our 4G network in major urban areas using 1800MHz spectrum, and will be launching 4G services for our customers in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch before the end of the year. We will be announcing more details on our 4G services shortly,"
"But 1800MHz spectrum is not particularly well suited for use outside major urban areas. In less densely populated areas, the broader coverage range of lower frequency spectrum enables a 4G network to be built with less cell site infrastructure, significantly improving the network economics."
In a separate statement, the Commerce Commission said that the mobile network operator had also applied for permission to exceed the preliminary spectrum acquisition limits.
As part of the auction rules, there are limits on the amount of spectrum each
bidder can acquire. At the start of the auction, each bidder will be limited to
acquiring up to 2 x 15 MHz (or three blocks) of spectrum. However, these limits
may be relaxed to 2 x 20 MHz (or four blocks) as the auction proceeds.
Telecom is seeking clearance to acquire the management rights to 2 x 20 MHz (or four blocks) of spectrum, should the acquisition limits be raised to this level during the auction.
The auction comprises nine blocks of 5 MHz paired spectrum in the 700 MHz band.
The auction is expected to commence on 29 October 2013.