The Wireless Internet Service Providers Association of New Zealand (WISPA NZ) called on the government to carefully assess mobile operators’ efforts to acquire 5G spectrum, which the body claims is a land grab and could lead to more expensive internet service for rural broadband users.
In a statement, WISPA NZ chairman Mike Smith said: “Vodafone and its competitors are putting huge pressure on government to reallocate radio spectrum so they can run 5G more cost-effectively”, but noted some of the spectrum is already used by about 30 regional wireless ISPs, which collectively service tens of thousands of rural customers.
Smith argued the advantages of 5G are very much in the future, but in contrast, wireless ISPs are “solving the connectivity issue for rural New Zealand here and now”. He wants clear assurance from the government that no decision will be made to reallocate spectrum until various issues have been thoroughly aired in public.
Vodafone New Zealand, the largest mobile operator in the country by subscribers, last week announced it plans to switch on its 5G network in December, starting in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back