Telecom NZ wins final lot of New Zealand 4G spectrum

Telecom NZ has won the bid for the final lot of 4G spectrum in the 700MHz band, which was left unsold during New Zealand’s auction in October last year.

The company paid $69 million for the spectrum, but the purchase remains subject to clearance by the commerce commission, the competition regulation agency.

"This fourth lot puts Telecom in the best position in the market to deliver a very high-performance 4G mobile network for New Zealand, including in less densely populated areas," said Simon Moutter, CEO at Telecom NZ.

Telecom NZ and rival Vodafone both successfully bid on three lots of 2x15MHz for US$54.55 million each, while Kiwi mobile operator 2degrees secured two lots of 2x10MHz bandwidth in the spectrum auction last year.

The spectrum became available as a result of the switchover from analogue to digital television.

In a move to ensure that 90% of the country has access to 4G networks within five years, auction conditions stipulate that mobile operators have to upgrade rural cell sites to 4G capability within the time period and continue to expand their coverage.