Bids worth more than $600 million were lodged Thursday morning in the first round of the federal government's mobile phone spectrum auctions.
According to AAP reports, Hutchison Telecommunications was leading the bids with $196 million, followed by Vodafone Pacific with $193.75 million and Cable & Wireless Optus with $185.5 million.
Telecom New Zealand withdrew from the third generation (3G) spectrum auctions.
The licences being auctioned are in the 2GHz band and are expected to be used for 3G mobile telecommunications enabling mobile access to voice, data and multimedia based services.
Licences are for 15 years from October 2002 and the auction is expected to last for several weeks.