Cautious start to auction

The auction of radio spectrum began yesterday on schedule, with two rounds of low bids, valuing each of the third-generation spectrum bands at between $1.78 million and $3.5 million as at last night.

The auction of radio spectrum began yesterday on schedule, with two rounds of low bids, valuing each of the third-generation spectrum bands at between $1.780 million and $3.5 million, as at last night.

Vodafone and Telstra Saturn are making the early running.

But telecommunications observers point out that in the very early rounds of the auction bids would not be expected to reach a realistic level.

“It’ll take at least a few days, or even a week, to get to that stage, says one.

The Ministry of Economic Development, running the auction, labels the first four rounds (two today and two tomorrow) as "allow[ing] for system familiarisation and result data manipulation and analysis."

Two of the 3G bands, represented by lots MR 24 and MR 25 and their logical pairs MR37 and MR38, are recorded as not yet having reached the reserve price.

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