28 Nov 2008

Rollout of new cellphone network proceeding

7:27 am on 28 November 2008

The Maori spectrum trust is counting on the new Government to smooth the rollout of a new national mobile phone network.

Waatea News reports that Te Huarahi Tika Trust, with other Maori investors, has a 20% stake in New Zealand Communications, which will use frequencies reserved for Maori.

New Zealand Communications chair Bill Osborne says the company has so far invested $140 million into building its network.

He says the change of government won't stop that work, but it could affect the regulatory framework as new ministers and officials get to grips with what has been done so far in what is a highly-contested industry.

Mr Osborne says trustees from Te Huarahi Tika are helping New Zealand Communications consult with Maori and other communities as it seeks resource consents for cell sites around the country.