New Zealand allocates C-band spectrum to three operators for faster 5G rollout

The New Zealand government has allocated the C-band spectrum to the country’s three operators with the objective of faster 5G deployment. Spark NZ, 2degrees, and One New Zealand have each received 800 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band frequency.

In exchange, the government will have the mobile network operators (MNOs) upgrade their networks in rural areas. The spectrum is central to the country’s ambition for a faster 5G rollout. The long-term management rights is taking effect from July 1, 2023, and the government remains firm on speeding up its cellular technology expansion and upgrades.

The spectrums will come for each company for $15.2m between 2023 and 2025 while the funds will go for the Rural Connectivity Group to expand mobile coverage into areas of rural New Zealand that would not have received the coverage at all.

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Likewise, New Zealand’s Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications, Ginny Andersen, announced that the Interim Maori Spectrum Commission will get 100MHz of frequencies, to be managed on behalf of the Maori community.

“The government is committed to ensuring that everyone in New Zealand can get access to good mobile wireless coverage –no matter where you are,” said Andersen, who said the agreement will see the operator’s roll out 5G services to around 55 rural and regional towns across the country.

“As part of this new agreement, our three major mobile network operators must increase the pace of the 5G roll-out to small towns across New Zealand and continue their efforts to further expand mobile wireless coverage in rural areas.”

Mark Callander, 2degrees CEO said, “The government has taken a progressive, measured and pragmatic approach, allocating spectrum in return for investment into rural connectivity and a clear infrastructure build program”, he expects to benefit rural communities and domestic and international travelers.

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