Vector wades in on 4G spectrum, opposes letting telcos buy more

Vector opposes antitrust approval being given to dominant mobile phone operators Telecom and Vodafone New Zealand to buy more radio spectrum set aside for fourth-generation mobile technology, saying it would lock out other potential users in the future.

The Auckland-based electricity, gas and telecommunications lines company says the Commerce Commission should extend its brief in deciding whether to clear Vodafone and Telecom to buy a fourth lot of the 700 megahertz spectrum.

The regulator needs to consider a broader range of users in markets beyond simply telecommunications, Vector says, citing convergence between telecommunications and sectors such as broadcasting, energy, agriculture, finance, retail, health and emergency service applications.

If the regulator doesn't look beyond cellular operators, it could effectively lock-in the spectrum for almost two decades, Vector regulatory affairs manager Bruce Girdword said in the company's submission on the clearance applications.

"Imposing limits on the further concentration of spectrum holdings will help ensure that parties who wish to deploy similar or other services would not be prevented from doing so at a future date, or when it makes sense for them to do so operationally, due to the unavailability or prohibitive price of spectrum," Girdword said.

The regulator is considering applications by the two telecommunications operators to buy a fourth lot of the spectrum if it became available. Both Telecom and Vodafone bought three lots in the government's auction, while Two Degrees Mobile bought two lots. The government is mulling whether to re-tender the remaining spectrum, or shelve for allocation at a later date.

The spectrum became available when the government decided to switch-off analogue television services, freeing up the radio waves for use on 4G mobile networks.

The Electricity Networks Association, a lobby group for electricity distribution companies, said in a separate submission that the regulator should view the wider value of the spectrum to other infrastructure providers, to ensure communications channels in the event of a civil emergency, and to reserve space for smart network development.

The Radio Network, whose stable of stations include NewstalkZB, ZM and Radio Hauraki, said it wanted the regulator to be aware of potential interference on its broadcast transmitters if best engineering practices aren't adhered to.

(BusinessDesk)

This article is tagged with the following keywords. Find out more about My Tags

Post Comment

3 Comments & Questions

Commenter icon key: Subscriber Verified

Spectrum should be free, it should be a public resource available to everyone and not privately owned.

Reply
Share

Certainly agree with the views of vector... The spectrum should not be locked in with service providers who have no immediate need for it... And considering advancements in 5G spectrum efficiencies the dependency on greater spectrum allocation would not be in the best interest of anyone.
Also considering the the spectrum evaluation from international standards organisations are uncertain as to the future of the 700Mhz spectrum for telecommunications would not be in the interest of users and the choices they will have in handsets available.
I'm my opinion this spectrum should be offered to any industry who can promote fair usage and promote research and development activities in New Zealand with this allocation or local skills development.

Reply
Share

Our market needs more players to encourage further competition - the result of which will be of benefit to all New Zealanders. Not just to the governments coffers short term.
There is always too much focus on short term benefit with our government. How about some smart strategic thinking for once?
MP's need to stop being influenced by big (profit focused)business and start making the best decisions for all New Zealanders.

Reply
Share

Post New comment or question

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

NZ Market Snapshot

Forex

Sym Price Change
USD 0.7850 0.0000 0.00%
AUD 0.8924 0.0000 0.00%
EUR 0.6196 0.0000 0.00%
GBP 0.4880 0.0000 0.00%
HKD 6.0917 0.0000 0.00%
JPY 84.8970 0.0000 0.00%

Commods

Commodity Price Change Time
Gold Index 1231.3 2.700 2014-10-24T00:
Oil Brent 86.1 -0.700 2014-10-24T00:
Oil Nymex 81.0 -1.020 2014-10-24T00:
Silver Index 17.1 0.020 2014-10-24T00:

Indices

Symbol Open High Last %
NZX 50 5292.8 5344.4 5292.8 0.77%
NASDAQ 4459.5 4486.3 4452.8 0.69%
DAX 9008.6 9044.9 9047.3 -0.66%
DJI 16677.0 16811.7 16677.9 0.76%
FTSE 6419.1 6419.1 6419.1 -0.47%
HKSE 23311.9 23352.6 23333.2 -0.13%
NI225 15354.4 15377.0 15139.0 1.01%