New Zealand cancels 3.5 GHz 5G auction

Thursday, 04 June, 2020

New Zealand cancels 3.5 GHz 5G auction

An auction for short-term, early access rights in the 3.5 GHz band for 5G services (known as Auction 20) in New Zealand, has been cancelled.

According to an announcement from Radio Spectrum Management, the cancellation was “due to the constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic”.

“Instead, a direct allocation process will be undertaken. Offers of spectrum will be made to Dense Air (40 MHz), Spark (60 MHz) and 2degrees (60 MHz),” the announcement said.

In December 2019, the New Zealand Government kick-started the further development of 5G networks by making appropriate spectrum available when Cabinet approved the allocation of short-term rights to an unused portion of 3.5 GHz spectrum.

Those short-term rights were scheduled to run from mid-2020 to 31 October 2022.

Long-term rights to 3.5 GHz spectrum are on track to begin in November 2022, with details of that allocation still to be determined.

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