Speculating on spectrum

Speculating on spectrum

Today Communications Minister Amy Adams announced the Government’s plans for allocating the 700MHz spectrum that has been freed up by the switchover to digital TV.

It’s a big deal for New Zealand and I’m urging that the Government engage and consult with Māori and the public over the opportunities. The public should get a say.

It is disappointing Adam’s has decided not to allocate any to Māori, as happened with the prior radio spectrum allocation.

I would urge the Government to investigate the following:

–       Putting ownership acquisition limits in place to prevent monopolies.

–       The possible use of ‘white space’ between bands as recommended by Google.

–       Using price incentives for companies to establish services in rural areas.

–       Adopting a ‘use it or lose it’ clause so that the resource is not wasted.”

Best Use

Economic studies internationally suggest the highest economic benefit in using digital dividend spectrum will come from allocating it in a form suited for mobile broadband, 4G. Other countries are generally following this course. Expected allocation of digital dividend spectrum to mobile broadband use has underpinned the development of most band plans internationally.

Analysis by Venture Consulting has suggested that allocating the 700 MHz band to mobile broadband would also provide the highest economic benefit to New Zealand, in the range of $1.1 to $2.4 billion over twenty years, largely from the reduced costs of deploying mobile broadband networks in this band compared to deployment in higher frequency bands. The Ministry has not identified alternative uses which would offer comparable economic benefits.

I think it is correct they have gone for the auction model to raise funds but would have preferred to have seen a percentage ring-fenced for iwi and other uses. Different estimates have put full auction at $100 million, $200-350 million and $500 million revenue for the Crown

However when considering the best use of the digital dividend in New Zealand it is critical to take the Treaty partnership into consideration. While supporting Iwi radio may not provide as high economic benefits as mobile broadband, it has immense cultural and social benefits for the entire community, in particular for urban Māori, Iwi and the Te Reo Māori revitalisation community. Now there is a big chance this issue will be taken to court slowing down an already tight timeframe to get it resolved before the end of the year.

Today’s announcement raises a number of questions that are important to the future of our economy, Internet and to Māori and I urge the Government to open up and consult the public.

32 thoughts on “Speculating on spectrum

  1. 700Mhz should logically be used for LTE.

    Something a little more creative than a blind auction option should be used though. There is already massive duplication in the GSM mobile network market in NZ – it increases costs for no benefit to the end consumer.

    Better to treat the mobile access market as an opportunity to set up an SoE (or possibly JV) single network operator and lease MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) services to retail telcos.

    Single network + retail competition = capital efficiency + lower retail costs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3 (-2)

  2. ‘The public should get a say.’

    Good! The public are likely to say with an overwhelming majority that PMMP’s (part-Maori-mostly Pakeha) should get no special allocation or privileges.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1 (+11)

  3. “Adams”, not “Adam’s”
    A trailing quotation mark on the fourth bullet point.
    You could at least link to the real announcement (http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/next-generation-mobile-technology-step-closer) instead of another shockingly badly written Stuff story.

    Google. Are we seriously contemplating that what New Zealand does with its resources should be dictated by an American advertising company? Why not just let Philip Morris run the health system? Should we not be talking to New Zealanders about this stuff?

    That being said, from a spectrum allocation perspective 4G is no better than anything that has come before it – it positively stifles innovation and hands control over our resources to anyone able to spend a few hundred million on cell towers and backhaul. I.E. Telecom, Vodafone (majority owned overseas) or 2 degrees (also majority owned overseas). Contrast with the unbelievable benefits that have been generated by opening up a tiny sliver of spectrum at 2.4GHz (i.e. WiFi) – a very undesirable piece of real estate when compared to the basically ideal 700MHz.

    So for maximum benefit open the 700MHz spectrum to low power transmissions. Encourage the growth of genuinely innovative businesses using cognitive and mimo radio technologies and watch as a new export industry is born.

    Or not, as the case may be.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 (+4)

  4. SoE I know (or think I do)
    JV I guess is Joint Venture
    but what is LTE?

    Your TLAs are confusing me!

    Trevor.

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  5. What a load of hot air –
    “it has immense cultural and social benefits for the entire community, in particular for urban Māori, Iwi and the Te Reo Māori revitalisation community”
    All that will happen if they are given a handout – is they will on sell the rights.
    Let them bid with the already amassed millions that have been handed out so far, if they want to buy in.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1 (+10)

  6. Ring fencing spectrum for iwi would be a grotesque transfer from average New Zealanders to the new corporatist elite that need not work for resources, need not save for them, but get them gifted to them for nothing.

    It’s time New Zealand moved away from this ethno-nationalist vision whereby the state hands over property rights to a politically defined group, rather than those who value it the most.

    The most appropriate use of any sale of dividend would be to lower public debt, for the burden of that lies on Maori and non-Maori, rather than once again dishing out money to a tiny minority of Maori, maintaining their dependence on taxpayer largesse.

    The other alternative is to hand over the money to every citizen, man, woman and child, so they could decide how to spend the $25-$100 each. It would do a lot for those in poverty, and if people wanted to donate to Iwi radio, they could. That’s real empowerment, although it doesn’t ingratiate you with any single group.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 (+9)

  7. However when considering the best use of the digital dividend in New Zealand it is critical to take the Treaty partnership into consideration.

    “Critical”?

    Okay, the government considered it. They rightly determined that who your great great father was on your mothers side makes absolutely no difference when it comes to 700MHz broadcast spectrum.

    Glad we have some sanity in the house of representatives.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0 (+12)

  8. @Trevor29

    lol (laugh out loud ;))

    Apologies – LTE = “Long Term Evolution”.
    It’s the next generation (4G) of GSM/UMTS wireless technology.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 (+2)

  9. Funny, I never realised that Guglielmo Marconi was a Maori. Hey, I guess you live and learn. Yay New Zealand!

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  10. So so wrong do you have this issue Gareth. Sorry, but it needs to be said.

    1. We need to be clear – the 700MHz band is not essential for building 4G mobile networks anywhere. It is certainly desirable for 4G, but that is for reasons of economic self-interest by the mobile telcos.
    2. Both Telecom and Vodafone can build 4G networks now using the under-utilised spectrum they already have and are trialling it now.
    3. This decision will come to be a tragedy for rural New Zealand people and businesses. Mixing mobile broadband and rural fixed broadband on the same networks reduces the quality of service to those who will come to rely on wireless access. Already we are consigned to a CIR of 45Kbps, 100ms+ latency, low datacaps and extortionate overage charges because of government policy.
    4. It is right and proper that the government have not allocated any spectrum to Maori. Radio spectrum, like water, is as much a treasure to me, as it is a taonga to Maori.
    5. A more innovative approach to radio spectrum allocation would be to consider the spectrum to be part of the Commons, and in this case to manage it as a “Radio Spectrum Park”, open to anyone with the nous and a market.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1 (+8)

  11. It’s good that many commenters note that reserving an allocation for one section of the population is not just.

    Tariana Turia apparently said “the days of the Government continuing to take resources that clearly were in Aotearoa, before any Government was established, are fast coming to an end”, according to a Radio New Zealand report, and I heard her say something like that on a television news report. Quite remarkable. Whether radio wave spectrums can be considered a resource or not, surely she must be aware that all resources (as defined by humans) were around far longer than even Maori have been here. Why does the Green Party agree with unfair allocations? And, as Arana questioned, why is it “critical” to take the Treaty partnership into consideration in this matter?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0 (+5)

  12. ‘Why does the Green Party agree with unfair allocations? And, as Arana questioned, why is it “critical” to take the Treaty partnership into consideration in this matter?’

    Because they do not understand that everything in this physical world belongs (is the property of) Allah, the most Magnificent, the most Merciful. Inshallah (Allah willing) the Greens will change their ways once Sharia (Islamic Law) comes to Aotearoa.

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  13. Not sure I am happy with this notional ring-fencing. This isn’t a resource the Iwi or the treaty or indeed nations, get. Might as well try to ringfence air, or sunlight. Which isn’t to say that this is not right either… possibly a block of spectrum in exchange for a relaxation of some other claim elsewhere.

    However, I have it in my head that the Spectrum, coming after the treaty, is properly the “property” of New Zealanders as a whole, and not subject to treaty based division. Doesn’t mean it belongs to Pakeha either… it belongs to the nation of New Zealand if anyone and as such is properly only theirs or ours to the degree that we are part of the nation of New Zealand and there really ain’t no them and us in it.

    Their being a part of New Zealand and not a separate nation is an idea that wants encouragement of late. Not that it is generally encouraged by the part of the Nation that National seems to want them to be… but still… :-)

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  14. I think that one of the questions that should be answered is “what is it good for?”. The 700MHz spectrum is UHF and therefore tends to be line of sight. However path losses are lower than at higher frequencies. There is more spectrum at higher frequencies, permitting wider channel allocations and therefore higher data throughput. So does this make the 700MHz band best suited to 4G mobile use or perhaps fixed point rural broadband? I don’t have that answer. However simply auctioning off the spectrum may not be the best way of finding out.

    Trevor.

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  15. Trevor29 – mixed mobile / fixed point rural BB could be serviced by femtocell technology, though it’s not commercially offered in NZ yet (to my knowledge).

    LoS is always an issue in rural NZ, but saying that, ethernet digital micro radio (EDMR) is already being used for point to point data and backhaul services.

    The Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) while not by any means addressing all of the issues raised by the rural community, will at least lay the foundations of an effective network as longer fibre links are laid and more cost effective Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Networks (GPON) services are deployed.

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  16. Gregor W – I looked up femtocell to check that I had the right understanding:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Femtocell
    basically states that it provides mobile services through a short range cell which is connected via an existing broadband service such as ADSL. Although normally intended for homes or small enterprises with ranges of the order of 10m, I could see it being used on farms with a larger range. What I don’t see is how this could support fixed point rural broadband if it requires an existing broadband service?

    Could you explain what you had in mind?

    Trevor.

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  17. Trevor29 – I should have been clearer with my comment “mixed mobile / fixed point rural BB”. What I meant was that it offers a cheap and simple fixed-mobile convergence solution.

    Essentially the femto substitutes the existing network end termination point (ETP) – what would be the master jack in your house – and provides multi-mode access, and fills in the edge areas of mobile coverage. This is very handy for rural areas where mobile tends to suffer.

    The ‘fixed’ portion – that is between the customer’s network access point and the first aggregation switch (which could be a cabinet, rural exchange or mobile/EDMR repeater) – would generally already be served by an existing copper connection, or as RBI rolls out, either a GPON service over fibre or an EDMR radio connection. It all comes down to the ground conditions and economics to determine which path is the best to support any given access point.

    The current issue we have in rural NZ is the long loop of copper. Signal attenuation is a major issue over long lines (4km is about the maximum effective to support basic xDSL services, reducing if you want higher Committed Information Rate (CIR)). It’s even worse with spanlinks – 2 or more UCLL lines hooked up together). To top it off, maintenance of these long line is extremely expensive.

    In a nutshell, this is why clever solutions mixing fibre, radio and mobile goes much further in meeting the present and future needs of rural NZ. The difficulty is getting your head around the idea that ‘fixed’ doesn’t always really mean ‘fixed’ any more, except in the sense that the customer will still have a box on their wall that serves their phone and data needs.

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  18. I suspected that you were thinking along those lines – and fair enough too.

    The question I have is whether 700MHz has any significant advantages for these applications such that we should consider reserving some of the spectrum there for those applications. Given its greater range over higher frequencies, perhaps it should be reserved for mobile communication in fringe areas and some femtocells? Actually both of these applications work better if not tied to a specific network – food for thought?

    Trevor.

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  19. Trevor29 – There are some advantages – lower power consumption, better wave penetration and reach as opposed to high band – but these things actually play out better for LTE given its broader application.

    It’s better (in my estimation at least) to allocate 700MHz for for ‘big radio’ solutions – mobile, digital radio etc. – that generate the greatest impact as opposed to point solutions; this is not to say however that femto cannot be easily incorporated into a GSM/UMTS or LTE edge solution – it’s really just extending cell reach on the margins or infilling capacity after all.

    Not being tied to a specific retail network is the key component, hence my first post (cruelly downticked by those who hate SoEs I suspect!) that describes the need for a single mobile network provider construct to standardise deployment and reduce capital costs.

    Disclaimer: I do work for Chorus so I tend to be somewhat ‘sunny side up’ on the advantages on centralised, well planned telco infra co. supplying a well regulated consumer market :)

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  20. I guess a related question is “what off-the-shelf equipment can already make use of the 700MHz spectrum?”

    We don’t really want to have to develop equipment here to use this spectrum for a different purpose to that used overseas, and which would not be usable overseas if we did develop it.

    Trevor.

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  21. In terms of “off the shelf” for telco/network providers, pretty much all the major suppliers are in the game; Nokia-Siemens, A-Lu, Ericsson, Hauwei etc.

    From the consumer end, femto technology has been incorporated into some STB (read: sky box) technology by the likes of Thomson and Netgear.

    There are tons of femto device manufacturers out there. Check out Ubiquisys.

    A-Lu also ‘white label’ femto gear for network providers so that Voda for example could slap their label on it (I think Thomson do to).

    NB: There’s also a ton of LTE handset equipment out there.

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  22. On the issue of mobile/fixed rural broadband services provided over the same network, the discussion on femtocells (basically a mini cell site that sits on an end-user’s broadband connection) misses the point. The burgeoning demand for mobile broadband is outstripping the capability of wireless networks to supply sufficient capacity. That’s mobile. By itself. Without taking in to account fixed rural broadband demand.

    The consequence of having both services on the same network will be a reduction in the quality of service available to fixed rural broadband users.

    Further, current 4G technology operating over the 700MHz band, will only realise speeds somewhere about 15Mbps. That’s a peak speed. Urban 4G, operating over higher frequencies will achieve the peak speeds of around 100Gbps that everyone talks about in relation to 4G. This fibre-like speed is 6.7 times what rural people and businesses will get.

    The RBI contract stipulates a Committed Information Rate (CIR) of 45Kbps (ie dial-up speed) in any 15-minute period. The UFB CIR is 2.5 Mbps I think, that is around 55 times greater than rural’s CIR. At the 2.5Mbps speed, most users will not notice the reduction in the quality of their service. Not so for rural users with a CIR of dial-up speeds.

    The RBI CIR means that Vodafone can put as many people on the one connection, as will make the product of 45Kbps * number of users equal to the max connection speed (around 21Mbps). This is the contention ratio.

    One person downloading a video will get the max speed that the connection can deliver (somewhat less than 21Mbps because of overhead). Two people doing the same thing at the same time will halve the speed available to each. Four people will quarter the speed available to each. And so on… The actual speed that any one user gets at any time is a statistical function of many parameters that cannot be controlled or guaranteed. But what can be controlled is the network’s design contention ratio. This is one of the major RBI issues that people do not talk about.

    I am not having a go at Vodafone over this – their business imperative is to maximise bottom line profit, so they will seek to maximise the contention ratio. And they are very good at it.

    No, my issue lies with the government who signed a contract giving rural people such an inferior service at a much higher cost than what urban people get and pay for.

    The 700MHz band offers a solution for fixed rural broadband. But that solution will be negated if rural and mobile services are mixed on the same network. Hence my statement that Gareth has this issue so so wrong. The solution to this looming issue does not lie in the same thinking that has caused the problem in the first place. A new approach to spectrum provisioning is required. The Wireless Commons is that new approach.

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  23. Hi John – a couple of comments:

    The consequence of having both services on the same network will be a reduction in the quality of service available to fixed rural broadband users.

    It all depends on the network architecture. If we’re talking fixed rural broadband user in the ‘today’ state, then no, because it’s mainly long run copper.

    If we’re talking ‘future’ then it depends on a bunch of factors – whether the end user is serviced via a radio or cabinetised copper, access distance from the first cabinet, backhaul capacity etc.

    Basically the characteristics vary depending on the connection type given that the access is not as easy to standarise as urban – their are multiple use cases and complexities that simply don’t apply in an urban context. Mobile is only a segment of the RBI offer so the entire programme’s value can’t be fairly measured on it’s lowest bitrate offering.

    The contention issue is a big one though, I’ll grant you.

    The 700MHz band offers a solution for fixed rural broadband. But that solution will be negated if rural and mobile services are mixed on the same network.

    I don’t think this is necessarily the case simply because while the current tech renders between 12-15Mbps, that is what we get today. In no way would a well constructed LTE setup preclude taking advantage of advances in compression, switching, routing, band utilisation etc. which will inevitably occur in future as LTE becomes more pervasive, and other operators throughout the world make demands on their networks which stimulates innovation.

    Improvements are being made all the time to legacy copper and GSM/UMTS capacity and services (e.g. bonded pair copper capable delivering mid band ethernet up to 80Mbps within 400m of an exchange). Why could we not expect the same degree of advancement from LTE over the years?

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  24. Hi Gregor,
    Thanks for commenting on my blog comment, but…
    The blog is about the 700MHz band, the government’s expressed intention for which, is to auction it to the mobile telcos. Gareth supports that intention which will be disadvantageous to those rural people and businesses that rely on the mobile networks for their fixed broadband services. That will occur because the combination of mobile telcos maximising their revenue opportunities by maximising contention ratios plus the huge growth in broadband demand from mobile users. By definition, this is all happening on the same network. That has nothing to do with network architecture, a lot to do with network usage design (contention ratios). It is an absolute folly to rely on future technological developments to solve the problems of today. The radio spectrum is inherently a finite resource.

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  25. By the way, there is not a “ton of LTE equipment out there”. There is in the 2G bands. And there is in the 900M band. But not in the 700M band – a lack of well priced CPE is one of the reasons for the delay in making this announcement. However, there is a good supply of WiMax equipment for use in the 700M band. Further, the WiMax gear uses TDD (Time Division Duplex) and so requires half the bandwidth for any one connection than LTE using FDD (Frequency), so the 700M band would be used more efficiently if it were used exclusively for WiMax.

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  26. John – it does not necessarily follow that TDD can use half the bandwidth required by FDD. In order to send the same amount of data in one direction but in less time, the TDD signal needs to use more spectrum than either direction required by FDD. Remember that old engineering rule TANSTAAFL.

    The data rates available to rural users who use mobile services for fixed point access have very little to do with the actual technology and more to do with how much equipment is invested in the area. This is simply because the user density in rural areas is so low compared to urban areas where you may have 60,000 mobile users in one stadium.

    Trevor.

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  27. Hi John – some additional comments:

    The blog is about the 700MHz band, the government’s expressed intention for which, is to auction it to the mobile telcos.

    Indeed – read my first comment in which I expressed that I don’t personally agree with this proposition.

    By definition, this is all happening on the same network. That has nothing to do with network architecture, a lot to do with network usage design (contention ratios).

    This is a strange comment as network architecture is predicated on projections of usage.

    a lack of well priced CPE is one of the reasons for the delay in making this announcement.

    Quite possibly. But ‘well priced’ is a different criteria from ‘available’. Also, given the current lobbying in the states, the push to 700Mhz as GA for equipment manufacturers is not far off.

    However, there is a good supply of WiMax equipment for use in the 700M band.

    WiMAX is also an excellent alternative to LTE and should be considered but it is worth noting that it was designed for metro as opposed to rural application.

    It’s been demonstrated that edge cell birates – generally more applicable to rural conditions – are no higher than that achieved by LTE. As with all radio solutions, it’s about proximity to the transmitter.

    It’s also worth noting that WiMAX tends to be deployed around the world in the 2.5Ghz+ range but there is nothing specifically precluding a 700Mhz implementation. For my money, it’s pretty much an even toss up though between WiMAX and LTE.

    As Trevor has stated and I’m sure you understand, data rates are essentially a factor of investment – the higher the teledensity and therefore potential market, the more will be invested.

    In my mind it’s unreasonable to expect the govt to allocate 700MHz as the exclusive domain of rural NZ, bearing in mind that the numbers of users to be serviced by RBI on 3G versus traditional fixed is c. 58k households (23% of the c. 250k catchment) – a population roughly the size of Waitakere (157,000).

    Given that urban population growth currently an historically vastly outstrips rural population growth, there is no case for rural spectrum exclusivity.

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  28. typo above “WiMAX is also an excellent alternative to LTE and should be considered but it is worth noting that like LTE it was designed as is for metro as opposed to a specifically rural application.”

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  29. Hi Trevor29 and Gregor W,
    It seems that I am not getting my message across. By focusing on technical aspects, the message that rural people using 3G/4G mobile networks owned by the mobile telcos will be disadvantaged is lost.

    Consider that the government have defined rural users as 25% of the population. Somewhere around 500,000 households. Under one third of those (estimated) will be able to be served by Telecom’s wholesaled DSL service from the local fibre cabinet. Leaving around two thirds to be served by Vodafone’s RBI wholesale service using 3G networks. That’s around 300,000 households, not 58,000. That’s the people who create around 66% of our productive exports. That’s the people who would benefit the most from new tele-health and tele-education services because of their remoteness from town centres.

    The data rates available to rural users are absolutely a function of the technology deployed in rural areas. 4G will give peak speeds of around 15Mbps. A DSL connection will be a little less than this depending on how far a house is from the cabinet. Fibre-connected urban people will, today, get 30 or 100Mbps.

    I live in rural Pukekohe and when the V8s come to town in April, I fully expect my quality of service to drop to the design CIR – dial-up speeds. I too-frequently experience this now. By selling the 700MHz band to the mobile telcos for 4G use, there is absolutely no reason for Voda to change service levels. In fact, and as I said, because demand is increasing faster than the telcos ability to provide more capacity, my RBI service can only decline in quality and availability.

    Using the term teledensity (number of (telephone) connections per 100 people) is wrong and irrelevant in this context. Contention ratio is the correct term and because it is an element of network design, it does have a direct impact on data rates. But I do agree that investment will only be freely made where the telcos will get a business ROI.

    Today I have seen Russell Stanners’ claim (in a Stuff article on Voda’s new 4G service in Auckland) that Vodafone will be rolling out 4G services in the 700MHz band. Is this presumptive or does he know something we do not?

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  30. rural people using 3G/4G mobile networks owned by the mobile telcos will be disadvantaged is lost.

    Your message isn’t lost. As I’ve stated above, I agree that the spectrum should not go to retail providers.

    It should, IMHO be allocated to a network consortium under some degree of state control. Where we don’t agree is around the comparative disadvantage.

    I feel the potential disadvantage to urban customers would outweigh the advantage of allocating 700Mhz to rural interests only.

    Consider that the government have defined rural users as 25% of the population.

    From the MED “This initiative will deliver broadband to 252,000 rural households”

    It’s not about defining the whole rural catchment. It’s about the number of discrete premises serviced by that programme.

    Don’t forget that a lot of the population qualified as nominally ‘rural’ is already getting ADSL2+ services by FTTN (i.e. Kerikeri, Foxton, Winton) and/or is within the future UFB catchment.

    Under one third of those (estimated) will be able to be served by Telecom’s wholesaled DSL service from the local fibre cabinet.

    Not quite correct.

    The network is open access so it will be any RSPs xDSL service, though I would expect that the bulk of the wholesale layer 2 service would be Chorus’.

    The following soundbite is available from MED, Voda and Chorus:

    “[By year 5] About 57% of rural customers will be in reach of fixed-line broadband speeds of at least 5Mbps by the end of 2015″.

    If we assume the rural population is relatively evenly spread and that as per urban, 1 customer for fixed line services tends to equal 1 household or business, them we can infer that 57% of the 252k will have FTTN access.

    NOTE: Interestingly, MED note 104k lines representing 57% so obviously they’ve done some number juggling somewhere to reach that conclusion, probably based on multiple service access by premise or some-such.

    Further, 80% will have some form of fixed or fixed mobile access, inferring that 23% will have fixed mobile broadband access only at something better that dialup but less than 5Mbps.

    23% of the RBI catchment represents about 58k homes and businesses (as opposed to people) but thinking about it, could represent more or less that 150k people – I treated the 58k as a household only, averaging 2.7 people. It’s hard to know precisely.

    I further assume that the remaining 20% will be left stranded on dialup or they can get service via satellite.

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  31. I assume that it would be possible to add some form of ADSL repeater in the copper loop between the cabinet and a rural property to boost the range and speed achievable over the longer rural lines. Can anyone confirm this?

    Spectrum isn’t a limiting factor in rural areas, due to the much lower user density. There just needs to be bands allocated to appropriate services for these areas. The real crunch for spectrum is high density urban areas, such as the example of a football stadium, or even the Pukekohe Racetrack, although the latter case is more to do with a lack of investment in infrastructure rather than spectrum. The investment hasn’t occurred because the telco’s don’t have a strong business case and are not required to make this investment by regulation.

    Trevor.

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  32. I assume that it would be possible to add some form of ADSL repeater in the copper loop between the cabinet and a rural property to boost the range and speed achievable over the longer rural lines. Can anyone confirm this?

    Technically yes via loop extenders (up to 8km), but practically no.

    The whole point of the cabinet is that you are reducing the length of the ‘last mile’ by creating a cabinet based unbundled sub loop (SLU) from an exchange based unbundled local loop (UCLL)

    The intent is to keep the SLU @ <2km to support ADSL2+ (at between 10-20Mbps depending on the loop distance) but the major determinant of speed is actually in-home wiring.

    When I was on the EUBA180 trial I got may in-home daisy chain (circa 1990) rewired and had a CAT6 lead put in from my terminator to the master jack. That wiring change alone brought by speed up from a patchy 3Mbps to a near constant 14Mbps.

    ADSL2+ can still deliver @ 3.5-4km but the bitrate drops – as expected, the longer the loop and the older your home wiring, the more can go wrong.

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