WELLINGTON Feb 21 New Zealand will auction
radio spectrum for new fourth-generation telecommunications
services later this year, the government said on Thursday
without indicating how much it expects to raise from the sale.
The auction, to be held in the third quarter, will be for
blocks of the 700 Megahertz band, which will be free after the
switch-off of analogue television signals.
The frequencies can be used for ultrafast mobile broadband
services, at speeds up to 10 times faster than currently
available, enabling smartphone and tablet users to make video
calls and consume more content.
"Indications are that by using the spectrum for 4G mobile
networks, we can expect economic benefits for New Zealand of up
to NZ$2.4 billion ($2.01 billion) over the next 20 years," said
Information Technology Minister Amy Adams.
New Zealand has three mobile operators, Telecom Corp Ltd
which has been trialling Long Term Evolution (LTE)
mobile technology, British-based Vodafone Plc and
private operator 2-Degrees.
The government has given no estimate as to how much it
thinks might raise from the auction.
This week, Britain's telecoms regulator Ofcom said an
auction of 4G spectrum had raised less than expected.
($1 = 1.1952 New Zealand dollars)
(Reporting by Gyles Beckford; Editing by Stephen Coates)