3G licences going cheap in New Zealand

While European governments are raising big bucks by auctioning 3G mobile phone licences, their New Zealand counterpart is having a tough time getting more than the reserve prices it set.

In marked contrast to the frenetic bidding for third generation 3G mobile phone licences seen in Europe, the New Zealand government has so far attracted offers little in excess of the NZ$10 million $4.5 million reserve prices for the three blocks of suitable radio spectrum it is selling. Telecom Corporation of New Zealand, Vodafone New Zeland and Telstra Saturn have each tabled bids of around NZ$10.5 million.

In May, the New Zealand government said it expected to raise NZ$50 million to NZ$200 million from the auction, while local analysts were at the time talking about the auction bringing in as much as NZ$1 billion. Although such estimates may,...

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