Telecom NZ offers to split

Telecom New Zealand has offered to structurally separate if the government accepts its bid to participate in the NZ$3 billion (€1.6 billion) ultrafast broadband (UFB) project.
 
But in return, the government must agree to relax regulations.
 
The company proposes demerging its wholesale and infrastructure units giving rise to the creation of Chorus2 as a standalone company.
 
Telecom NZ CEO Paul Reynolds said that any move on separation would require the acceptance of investors owning at least 75% of the company's shares.
 
He said the move “would be a significant event for our company and would radically transform the telecommunications sector in New Zealand.”
 
But as part of the proposal, the New Zealand government would have to agree to release Telecom of some of the regulatory requirements fostered onto it after its privatization in 1990, Reynolds told BusinessDesk.
 
The company was willing to be flexible, but the government would have to bring some form of regulatory change to the table, he said.
 
Telecom analyst Chris O'Connell told TV One that shareholders may vote down any separation, as it may be seen to weaken Telecom NZ's core retail arm.
 
The New Zealand government intends to roll out a fiber network covering 75% of the population by 2019.
 
Currently only retail operators are allowed to participate in the project in exchange for a minority stake in Crown Fibre Holdings.
 
The specific terms of Telecom New Zealand's bid are confidential.

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