Mobile operators get to keep 3G and 4G spectrum, for 20 years

2Degrees, Spark and Vodafone given option to renew spectrum

2Degrees, Spark and Vodafone have been given the option to renew the bulk of their mobile spectrum in the 1800MHz band and their entire allocation in the 2100MHz band.

Each currently has 50MHz in the 1800MHz band and this will reduce to 40MHz from 2021. Spark’s 30MHz and Vodafone’s 50MHz in the 2100MHz band will be renewed, as will the Hautaki Trust’s 30MHz in the this band.  Telstra had 10MHz in the 2100MHz band which it was not using and it will not be given the option to renew.

The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the 40Hz of 1800MHz band spectrum freed up by the decision might be used for new technologies or for the new emergency services network currently under consideration.

Faafoi said the renewal offers to the incumbent holders would be for 20 years.

“This ensures they have maximum certainty about access to spectrum as they continue to provide 3G and 4G phone services,” he said.

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