No decision yet on sought-after spectrum

Last updated 10:48 22/11/2012

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The Government has denied it has decided to postpone a decision on how to allocate the "digital dividend" radio spectrum freed up by the closure of analogue television until it hears back from the Waitangi Tribunal.

Maori claimants announced this month that they planned to reactivate a 2009 tribunal claim for a "fair share" of the radio spectrum and would seek an "urgent hearing" from the tribunal.

The spectrum, likely to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, is wanted by telecommunications firms to launch 4G networks.

A source said the Government intended to postpone the decision on how it would dispose of the spectrum until the claim had been heard and the tribunal had reported back to the Government.

But a spokesman for Communications Minister Amy Adams said a paper on the allocation process was still before the Cabinet "so no decisions have been made".

Vodafone chief executive Russell Stanners warned last month that the roll-out of 4G technology could be delayed if the spectrum was not allocated by April, even though it will not be available for use until November next year.

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