Telecom Mobile has been confirmed as the successful bidder in the New Zealand government’s auction of the remaining 2×5MHz block of 700MHz radio spectrum. Telecom bid NZD83 million (USD69 million) for this final lot, after paying NZD66 million for frequencies in the initial round of bidding late last year. In the first round of the auction, announced on 30 October 2013, Telecom and Vodafone each successfully bid for 2×15MHz blocks, while 2degrees successfully bid for 2×10MHz blocks, leaving a single 2×5MHz block unsold.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Telecom inaugurated its 1800MHz LTE network in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in November 2013, before extending coverage to a number of popular holiday destinations the following month. The 700MHz spectrum is expected to be put to use as Telecom extends its 4G network to rural areas.