Minister Of Communications Announces Radio Spectrum Auction

  • Maurice Williamson

The Minister of Communications, Maurice Williamson, announced today that the Ministry of Commerce will auction 32 management rights and approximately 1600 licences in the 2 GHz band of radio spectrum, which spans the frequencies 1710-2300 MHz.

The auction date is likely to be the end of March or early April next year, and is expected to attract interest from a wide range of telecommunication operators. The actual auction date will be advised early in the New Year.

The rights to be auctioned are expected to support a range of technologies associated with the next generation of digital cellular mobile services, collectively known as "Personal Communications Services". One such technology which is expected to be implemented in New Zealand is the "IMT 2000" system, which is suitable for the implementation of global digital cellular telephones and mobile data applications. The rights are also suitable for supporting various fixed service applications used for microwave distribution systems.

There is potential for the necessary infrastructure using these frequencies to be in place in time to provide enhanced global communications services for APEC and the America's Cup, which take place in late 1999.