Telecom NZ spectrum acquisition approved by New Zealand regulator

02 June 2014 | Sophie Donoghue


New Zealand telecoms regulator the Commerce Commission (ComCom) has approved Telecom NZ’s acquisition of a block of spectrum in the 700MHz band.

In January, the carrier announced its intentions to purchase the block of spectrum – which was left unsold during New Zealand’s auction in October last year – in an effort to speed up its 4G network roll-out to rural areas.

"This fourth lot will provide significant benefits to customers in terms of the potential speed and capacity of Telecom's 4G mobile network," Telecom NZ CEO Simon Moutter said in a statement.

During the auction last year, 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.

ComCom approved the sale of the remaining spectrum, saying the move was unlikely to lessen competition because the unused block was not placed next to 2degrees’ other bandwidth holdings.

In anticipation of the government’s approval of the spectrum allocation, the company was granted permission for the temporary use of the spectrum for trial purposes.

Telecom NZ partnered with Huawei to trial 4G through 700MHz spectrum in New Zealand in May this year.

New Zealand is said to be one of the first countries in the world to reallocate a portion of spectrum in the 700MHz band to support mobile broadband.