Telecom New Zealand drops WiMax spectrum bid

Telecom New Zealand Ltd. has decided to drop its application with the Commerce Commission to acquire half of two radio spectrum Management Rights (MRs) from south Auckland lines company Counties Power.

However, Telecom jumped the gun and went ahead with the acquisition without the Commission’s clearance. This is, the Commission says, a possible breach of section 47 of the Commerce Act. The section states that a person must not acquire assets of a business or shares if doing so has the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.

Counties Power was originally intending to use the two radio spectrum management rights, each with two 7MHz frequency bands, for its ISP Wired Country. Instead it sold Wired Country this year to Auckland ISP Compass Net, which retained half of each management right to continue the service.

Telecom purchased the other two halves, but according to an earlier statement by the telecommunication company’s spokesman, Phil Love, it had no specific plans for the frequencies.

The management rights are in the 3.5GHz spectrum, which can be used for the upcoming WiMAX standard, a technology tipped to replace wired last mile links. Currently, Telecom has no spectrum in that frequency range.

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