Wireless Internet provider NZ Wireless revealed it has earmarked tens of millions of dollars to develop a WiMax network with spectrum that the New Zealand government plans to auction next year. According to NZ Wireless managing director Chris Aspros, the company, which recently rolled out its first WiMax networks in Wellington, obtained funding from a local financial backer. NZ Wireless joins the list of prospective bidders that include CallPlus and Woosh. CallPlus disclosed that it received $450 million from a Japanese investor so it can deliver WiMax coverage nationwide.
Though boasting to have enough money for their ventures, both NZ Wireless and CallPlus face an uncertain road ahead. Woosh, Telecom and state-owned transmission company Kordia hold rights to the 2.3GHz spectrum through 2010 or 2011 and are not required to free them up earlier than that to winning bidders in next year’s auction. Woosh chairman Rod Inglis claimed that the company owns rights to some of the spectrum in five of the eight 10MHz blocks that the government will put up for sale. Telecom is likely to challenge the auction.