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CIO (6th January 2010)

NZ's digital dividend: 112 MHz cleared for 4G use

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The date for New Zealand's digital switchover has not yet been set but is anticipated to occur between 2013 to 2015, according to the Ministry of Economic Development (MED).
..Submissions and international trends have confirmed that future mobile use should be between 694 MHz and 806 MHz, and 694 MHz is therefore the most appropriate boundary between the television and non-television uses in the UHF band," MED has determined.
..The ministry says once detailed design work and engagement with industry and Māori interests have taken place, there will be further Cabinet decisions required at the end of 2011 to confirm the band plan and the allocation process.
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COMPUTERWORLD

COMPUTERWORLD June 4, 2013

Spectrum uncertainty frustrates wireless users group

"Wireless Users NZ critical of discussion paper about future use of UHF radio microphones when 700-800MHz frequency freed up later this year
Wireless Users NZ is critical of a discussion paper from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on opportunities for future use of UHF radio microphones when the 700-800MHz frequency is freed up later this year."

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COMPUTERWORLD 21th February 2013

4G spectrum auction to take place this year
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The government will auction 700MHz spectrum in the third quarter of this year, ICT Minister Amy Adams has announced today.
The spectrum becomes available following analogue switch off at the end of the year..

..Cabinet has agreed that the spectrum will be allocated through an auction, and that the spectrum will be organised in blocks according to the Asia Pacific Telecommunity band plan.
"

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COMPUTERWORLD 5th November 2012

Spectrum as a property right questioned

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Telcos have stated their positions, Maori groups have staked a claim, but should radio spectrum made available after the switch to digital TV become a property right?
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For a sum of money enough to block smaller competitors, some companies have locked up radio spectrum for years that would have a far greater impact on New Zealand’s economy if in use than the price they paid at auction..
..As a result of locking up the spectrum, these companies have been able to create an artificial scarcity. They have been able to use a limited amount of spectrum and equipment to provide service, while guaranteeing they were the only game in town. Resulting services and pricing, when compared to Australia or other OECD peers, has been poor for New Zealand.
"

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COMPUTERWORLD 18th May 2012

In Pictures: The physical cloud

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Computerworld journalist Sim Ahmed took a tour of Datacom’s Orbit datacentre in Albany to find out what is physically required to host a cloud service. Datacom hosts major companies like TelstraClear at its Albany centre. It is also a part of the government’s infrastructure-as-a-service panel, and hosts several government cloud services.
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COMPUTERWORLD 14th May 2012

T. announces 4G trial

"..T. will be conducting live trials of Long Term Evolution (LTE) or 4G technology later this year.

A spokesperson.. has confirmed the trials will be run in Auckland and Wellington, with other locations yet to be confirmed.
..the trial will be the starting point for the company’s adoption of 4G network technology, which will be finalised once the government has auctioned the 700 MHz spectrum.
"

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Read also the comments below:

"
US vs NZNZ won't use the same 700MHz frequencies as the US/Canada. They are both stuck with an inefficent bandplan due to existing usage.
The APAC 700MHz bandplan than NZ are using has been adopted by the entire APAC region and South America.
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COMPUTERWORLD 2nd December 2011

MED told to revise spectrum timetable

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User groups and some mobile operators want the Ministry of Economic Development to reconsider its timetable on the allocation of valuable 700MHz spectrum — but.. is urging the government to press on.
The spectrum, which becomes available with the switchover to digital television in 2013, is important for the widespread rollout of LTE technology. The MED’s current timetable would see Cabinet making initial allocation decisions in April, in order to enable successful bidders to begin rolling out services as soon as the spectrum becomes available.
"

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COMPUTERWORLD 14th November 2011

Forum: Fixed internet vs mobile internet

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According to the numbers cited by a H. executive at the company’s Auckland conference recently, by 2020 there will be 5.5 billion mobile broadband users and 1.5 billion fixed broadband users.
If those figures are correct, by the end of the decade it will be three times more likely that the internet will be accessed using a mobile device than using a PC or television.

This makes sense when you consider that a home will have one fixed line connection, but every member of its household is likely to own his or her own mobile device. Then there are the developing countries in which copper wire fixed-line connectivity is not ubiquitous and it is only through mobile devices that large numbers of people are able to afford a phone connection for their families.

So is the internet the same via a mobile connection as it is via a fixed line connection? Or is there developing a ‘mobile internet’ and a ‘fixed internet’?

Judging from the rhetoric, and their behaviour, the telcos and the ‘over-the-top’ players.. intend to operate differently in a mobile world..

..As the H. executive put it to his prospective customers “there is value beyond price”. LTE technology – the next step beyond 3G services enabled by the acquisition of 700MHz spectrum - will help telcos provide customised billing. When they introduce these services the telcos will probably claim they are innovative. But are they really just a new way for a telco to clip the ticket?
"

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Note: See also the comments below the article.

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COMPUTERWORLD 10th August 2011

Telecom ambivalent on 700MHz spectrum auction

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The spectrum, which is available after the termination of analogue television transmission in 2013, is highly valued by telcos wanting to upgrade their mobile networks to Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology that will enable 4G services. The Ministry of Economic Development is expected to hold a spectrum auction next year, however the rules of that auction are likely to be made this year.

The 700MHz band has 45MHz (paired) available and while there has been some suggestion it could be allocated three ways – effectively giving 15MHz to each carrier – neither Vodafone nor 2degrees agree with this idea.
"

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COMPUTERWORLD 9th August 2011

Christchurch aftermath and the pathway to LTE

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Christchurch has been a huge challenge for us. I’ve been down there a number of times. I went down there immediately after the February earthquake and spent time with my team figuring out how we were going to recover and what we needed to do there.

The challenge with Christchurch is that until we know where the CBD, where business is going to land, it’s very difficult for us to plan the network - where we’re going to rebuild. We have been extensively rebuilding where we’ve lost coverage and putting new coverage in to accomodate business moving aruond to new areas.

We’ve been putting up new towers and adding additional capacity to the existing network. So we are doing a period of rebuilding but we won’t be able to finalise that until there is more certainty, hopefully the shaking stops.
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Note: A interview with Vodafone technology director Sandra Pickering

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COMPUTERWORLD 28th April 2011

ICT Minister speech notes: KANZ Broadband Summit 2011

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The Rural Broadband Initiative, or RBI, will ensure that the remaining 25% of New Zealanders also have enhanced access to broadband by 2016. On 7 February, after an intensive evaluation process, the government commenced negotiations with Telecom New Zealand and Vodafone for the RBI, and just last week on 20 April those negotiations were successfully concluded.
Currently, 20 percent of customers in rural New Zealand can access peak speeds of at least 5 Mbps. This will rise to 86 percent of rural households and businesses..

..the most exciting benefit from the switchover is the opportunity to allocate the 700 MHz radio spectrum band to new services. This spectrum would be particularly useful for fourth generation mobile services.
Over the coming year, we will continue preparing for the allocation of this band, to ensure that the spectrum is allocated in an efficient manner providing the best outcome for New Zealand as a whole.
"

Note: The speech notes were provided by officials to ICT Minister Steven Joyce.

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COMPUTERWORLD 25th September 2010

FCC takes 'free love' approach to white spaces spectrum

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The Federal Communications Commission's new approach to dealing with white spaces spectrum has gone from "proceed with utmost caution" to "if a channel looks open, use it."..

..Instead of requiring white-space devices to have sensing technology, the FCC now says that giving devices geo-location capability and access to a spectrum database will be sufficient to protect broadcasters' spectrum from interference. Geo-location databases are designed to track mobile devices by locating them through their specific IP address, media-access-control address, radio-frequency identification or other location-based information. Once the database has a fix on the device's location, it then selects the optimal white-space spectrum for the device and can even switch the device to a different spectrum once it moves to a different location..

..the National Association of Broadcasters has argued that mobile Internet devices cannot operate on unlicensed spectrum without clashing with broadcasts on nearby frequencies.
"

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COMPUTERWORLD 12th August 2010

'WiMAX 2' set to be finalized in November

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While LTE starts rolling out from major US carriers in 2011, the WiMAX Forum is hoping to have the so-called "WiMAX 2" standard up and ready to go by the start of 2012.
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COMPUTERWORLD 23rd July 2010

LTE – when will it arrive in New Zealand?

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..With the switchoff of analogue television as the world moves to digital television a ‘digital dividend’ is being delivered in the form of substantial blocks of spectrum. This potentially offers suitable spectrum for LTE without the need for disruptive ‘refarming’ of existing holdings..

..The arrival of the more spectrally efficient 4G technology in the form of LTE, bodes well for more attractive and affordable offerings for the mobile customer. So the future is looking good for mobile data services. But do we really need them? Current trends indicate that demand is out there..
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COMPUTERWORLD 10th June 2010

LTE for New Zealand in go-slow mode

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When will we see LTE here then? That is hard to say as LTE everywhere is in something of a holding pattern currently. The next-generation cellular broadband technology needs a good chunk of radio frequency spectrum to provide the big bandwidth and most of the desirable bands are already allocated to other uses.

What is more, radio frequency spectrum doesn’t come cheap anymore, so providers in saturated markets with limited growth potential are cautious to commit more capital to purchase it. As a result, despite ongoing technology demos since 2006, LTE remains mainly at trial stage.

Currently, local providers say they are waiting for the analogue TV signal to be switched off in 2012 to 2013, freeing up spectrum in relatively low frequency ranges so as to enable greater reach and building penetration for cost-effective deployment of LTE..

..Unfortunately, the government does not seem to be in a hurry on allocating frequencies for LTE, so 4G is likely to take a long time to hit our shores unless there is a change of mind here.
"

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COMPUTERWORLD 16th March 2010

Government outlines rural telecommunications plan

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Cabinet has signed off on proposals for the roll out of high speed broadband in rural areas and the reform of the Telecommunications Service Obligations (TSO).
Joyce confrims that 97 percent of rural households will have access to broadband services of at least 5Mbit/s; with the remainder reaching at least 1Mbit/s. A big part of the plan will be connecting fibre directly to rural schools, one of the most concentrated areas of broadband demand, Joyce says..

The rural broadband initiative will be developed separately but alongside the government’s ultra-fast broadband initiative in urban areas.
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