The government is to sell off the radio spectrum necessary for introducing third-generation mobile technologies, collectively known as personal communications services, in March or April.
Thirty-two management rights and about 1600 licences in the 2GHz band (the frequencies 1710MHz to 2300MHz) of radio spectrum will be auctioned off by the Ministry of Commerce.
One technology which operates in the spectrum to be auctioned and is expected to be implemented in New Zealand is the "IMT2000" system (derived from the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 standard being developed). It is suitable for the implementation of global digital cellular telephones and mobile data applications.
The International Telecommunications Union has the task of developing the IMT2000 standard. IMT is an initiative aimed at assisting the convergence of these essentially competing wireless access technologies.
Meanwhile, the radio spectrum rights to be auctioned are also suitable for supporting various fixed-service applications used for microwave distribution systems.
The Ministry of Commerce believes there is potential for the necessary infrastructure using these frequencies to be in place in time to provide enhanced global communications services for APEC and the America's Cup, which take place late this year.