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12 Dec 2017 4:21
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  •   Home > News > Technology

    Spark, Vodafone scorn Chorus 5G proposal

    New Zealand's two largest telcos have poured scorn on a proposal by Chorus that the next generation of mobile technology should be built on a shared network.


    New Zealand's two largest mobile telecommunications providers have poured scorn on a proposal by fixed broadband network owner Chorus that the next generation of mobile technology should be built on a shared, regulated, government-backed basis.

    That proposal was "self-serving and misleading", a statement from Vodafone said.

    Spark CEO Simon Moutter said in a statement "a monopoly is and always should be the last resort option for a market, not the first as Chorus is proposing".

    The suggestion that 5G technology should be built using the same government-backed model used for the national rollout of ultra-fast broadband came in comments from Chorus chief executive Kate McKenzie and coincides with the publication of submissions to a Commerce Commission examination of how the mobile market is likely to develop.

    "The conditions that led to the UFB model - a vertically integrated incumbent and a lack of high-speed broadband - simply do not exist in New Zealand's mobile market," Vodafone said.

    The suggestion taxpayers should fund the 5G network was "ludicrous", Mr Moutter said.

    Ms McKenzie said the capital expenditure required to expand into 5G would be an "insane" and "unsustainable" expense leading to major duplication of installations that would be required every 200 to 300 metres to support the "Internet of Things".

    Many of her claims were "simply not true", Vodafone said.

    "5G is an evolution of 4G and will involve a straightforward technology upgrade for the vast majority of cell sites," it said.

    "We are confident the competitive market will deliver this upgrade without resorting to government intervention, as was the case when 3G evolved to 4G technology.

    "The new government should be very wary of any proposal put forward by Chorus that seeks to leverage its existing monopoly in UFB to create an unwarranted monopoly in the mobile market."

    Mr Moutter said "sensible infrastructure sharing where that can speed up deployment or address visual pollution issues" may be justified "but to jump straight to a conclusion that we need a monopoly network would be crazy".


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