New Zealand renews 3G, 4G spectrum rights - Mobile World Live

New Zealand renews 3G, 4G spectrum rights

14 MAR 2019

The New Zealand government confirmed most spectrum rights in the 2.1GHz and 1.8GHz bands will be renewed when they expire in 2021, although some airwaves will be released for other uses.

In a statement, Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said the renewal is intended to ensure mobile network operators can continue to provide 3G and 4G services. The rights offered will cover a 20-year period.

“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,” Faafoi added.

The cabinet agreed to renew all spectrum rights in the 2.1GHz band held by operators Vodafone, Spark and 2degrees, as well as 40MHz of the 50MHz each of the three is allocated in the 1.8GHz band.

Hautaki, part of a charitable trust dedicated to boosting Maori participation in the ICT sector, also will be offered full renewal of its existing 30MHz in the 2.1GHz band. Australian operator Telstra holds rights in that band, but does not currently use them and they won’t be renewed.

Faafoi said cellular technology is constantly evolving, “so we need to have some spectrum in reserve to remain flexible to change. The 40MHz that’s been freed up from these partial renewals might be used for new technologies or by the new emergency services network that is currently being considered”.

2degrees was pleased to have certainty after the spectrum expires in 2021, but said it was disappointed some of the spectrum has been set aside, Reseller News reported.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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