Achieving optimal outcomes from the digital dividend

Spectrum allocation options for achieving economic and social benefits in New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand – September 22, 2011

A new Network Strategies report highlights the economic and social benefits that can be achieved from the release of 'digital dividend' spectrum for mobile broadband services.

The report, Digital Dividend Spectrum: key issues for New Zealand, was commissioned by InternetNZ and explores options and issues for the anticipated digital dividend auction.

The spectrum, in the frequency range 694-806 MHz and currently used for television broadcasts, is being freed by the switchover to digital television.

“The digital dividend spectrum is well suited for cost-effective and widespread deployment of mobile broadband services, delivering better coverage in rural and urban areas with fewer sites than required with higher frequency spectrum,” says Dr Suella Hansen, Director of Network Strategies. “The availability of this new spectrum is timely as global demand for wireless broadband access will experience explosive growth over the period 2011-2015, driven by the rapid increase in devices such as smartphones and tablets.”

Our report states that Government must ensure that the spectrum allocation delivers optimal outcomes for consumers and society. This will depend heavily on how spectrum is packaged for auction and especially on the conditions attached to spectrum lots.

“Government should undertake a detailed analysis of potential options for allocation using a total welfare standard which captures the wider costs and benefits,” states Dr Hansen. “Where there are trade-offs between enabling efficient and rapid deployment of mobile broadband and improving market competition, decisions need to be made on our priorities. Only then can effective safeguards be implemented to ensure Government's key objectives will be achieved.”

About Network Strategies

Network Strategies works at the forefront of the telecommunications revolution, delivering advice and insight to operators, manufacturers and governments. From offices in Auckland, London, Melbourne and Wellington, Network Strategies staff provide strategic consultancy to clients throughout the Asia-Pacific region, Europe and North America, offering a complete global outlook on key issues affecting all players in the telecoms sector.

Media contacts

New Zealand:
Suella Hansen
Tel: +64 9 522 1702

Noelle Jones 
Tel: +61 3 9830 0152