NZ Herald mistakes yet again

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 29-Jul-2006 07:17

Can somebody with some knowledge please offer to become an IT/Business writer for The herald or at least offer some editorial advice to their current journos? I realise not everybody understands the geek world and mistakes do happen but these are now occuring way too frequently.


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=3&ObjectID=10393515'


"Woosh - whose chief executive Bob Smith resigned yesterday - said it had secured rights for more than 2.3 gigahertz of spectrum owned by Sky, which would enable the provision of internet television on its wireless network throughout the country."


For the record the spectrum Woosh have secured is in the 2.3GHz band. I believe sky owned around 10 or 15MHz of 2.3GHz spectrum therefore the story should say "10MHz of 2.3GHz spectrum owned by Sky"

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Comment by juha, on 29-Jul-2006 09:59

SBIDDLE MAKES A MISTAKE AGAIN! :) Just kidding - MR7 is 8MHz only, between 2,332-2,340MHz. Interestingly enough, the MR is still with Sky TV. Telecom has 8 MRs, Woosh 2, Sky and BCL 1 each. That's 12*8 MHz, or 96MHz in total. Woosh apparently got access to 30MHz from Telecom, but that might be a misprint... maybe 40MHz (5 8MHz bands). With the two it has now, plus one from Sky, that's 64MHZ in total to play with. Seems a shame to let all that sit in the hands of organisations intent not on using it...


Author's note by sbiddle, on 29-Jul-2006 10:22

They certainly have enough bandwidth to deploy a great WiMAX network. I guess the big question now is whether the MED will try and shaft them or let them use it.


Comment by juha, on 29-Jul-2006 11:57

I'm actually behind the MED on this one. For starters, the 2.3GHz spectrum was allocated in 1990. That was over 16 years ago, and nobody's put it to use. The MRs expire in 3.5 years time anyway.

When the MRs were sold, it was with the understanding that they'd be used surely and at this rate... well, it's just waste really.

Second, the 2.3GHz spectrum is sub-optimally configured for WiMAX use now - the MED proposes to take back the spectrum, reconfigure it three 30MHz bands which suits WiMAX deployment better, and get two of the bands auctioned off by the end of the year. Woosh can bid for MRs then, and get better-configured spectrum.

The MED proposes to hang onto the third 30MHz band for "alternative allocation", which is probably similar to the 14MHz of 3.5GHz Crown managed spectrum that was allocated recently.


Author's note by sbiddle, on 29-Jul-2006 13:41

The whole issue of MR's expiring is going to be very interesting over the coming years. The MR's for Vodafone's 3 900Mhz bands and Telecom's 800MHz bands all expire around 2011/2012. In the past MR's have simply been reissued to the existing holder/manager with licence fees only increasing marginally over the years. The fact there is now spectrum available that is of great interest to a lot of parties is something that hasn't been encountered in the past. How are the MED going to deal with MR's for the 800/900 band when there could be other players interested in the spectrum?

I do support the MED as well for the reasons you have stated but the simple fact is the MR's do expire in 2010 so taking that spectrum away from existing MR holders could be setting a dangerous precident. On the other hand Woosh would have to be mad to go ahead and deploy a WiMAX network with their recently acquired spectrum when they face a scenario in just over 2 years where they could potentially lose access to that spectrum unless they can come up with the $$ to pay for it.


Comment by juha, on 29-Jul-2006 14:16

<blockquote>How are the MED going to deal with MR's for the 800/900 band when there could be other players interested in the spectrum?</blockquote>

Allocate it all to Tex and his bunch of merry Econetters? :)

I'm pretty sure that if the MRs are being recalled and then reissued later this year, they won't expire in 2010 - if that's what you mean. That's the other thing though... Woosh has only two MRs in that band, and even if it was allowed to keep them, and they were renewed in 2010, there would have to be a guarantee that the others managed by Telecom and Sky were too.

I reckon if Woosh had a trial network running now using equipment operating in that spectrum, the government might let it carry on. Now there's nothing, only a loss-making ISP without a good technology track record and whose CEO has just scarpered.


Author's note by sbiddle, on 29-Jul-2006 16:57

<I'm pretty sure that if the MRs are being recalled and then reissued later this year, they won't expire in 2010 - if that's what you mean. That's the other thing though... Woosh has only two MRs in that band, and even if it was allowed to keep them, and they were renewed in 2010, there would have to be a guarantee that the others managed by Telecom and Sky were too. >


If the spectrum was reallocated later this year then the MRs would be extended. Woosh are playing hardball with the MED and only stand to lose out bigtime. If the MED don't make changes to the MR's later this year then they will definately make changes in 2010. Building a network using other peoples spectrum is not a wise idea..


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Steve Biddle
Wellington
New Zealand


I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems.


I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

My interests and skillset include:

*VoIP (Voice over IP). I work with various brands of hardware and PBX's on a daily basis
  -Asterisk (incl PiaF, FreePBX, Elastix)
  -Polycom
  -Cisco
  -Linksys
  -Patton
  -Zyxel
  -Snom
  -Sangoma
  -Audiocodes

*Telecommunications/Broadband
  -xDSL deployments
  -WiMAX
  -GSM/WCDMA
  -WiFi

*Structured cabling
  -Home/office cabling
  -Phone & Data

*Computer networking
  -Mikrotik hardware
  -WAN/LAN solutions

*Wireless solutions
  -Motel/Hotel hotspot deployments
  -Outdoor wireless deployments, both small and large scale
  -Temporary wireless deployments
   
*CCTV solutions
  -Analogue and IP

I'm an #avgeek who loves to travel the world (preferably in seat 1A) and stay in nice hotels.


+My views do no represent my employer. I'm sure they'll be happy to give their own if you ask them.


You can contact me here or by email at stevenbiddle@gmail.com

twitter.com/stevebiddle