Tū Ātea, the Maori Spectrum and Telecommunications Service, has announced the full acquisition of The Broadtech Group, a leading telecommunications and broadcasting services provider known for operating a nationwide network of radio transmission sites.
As part of the acquisition, Broadtech's 50-person team will be retained, including its network specialist unit, JDA. Broadtech's personnel offers expertise in an array of sectors, including healthcare, utility, media, and enterprise.
This significant move by Tū Ātea, earlier referred to as the Interim Maori Spectrum Commission, comes in the wake of the telecommunications radio spectrum allocation to the Maoris in a historic agreement signed with the Crown in February 2022.
Antony Royal, the Chief Executive of Tū Ātea, stated that Broadtech's network infrastructure and skilful team of engineers would enable Tū Ātea to deliver mobile services across the country, particularly serving rural communities. He added, "The team is working very closely with the existing mobile network operators and key equipment vendors to find innovative ways to share spectrum and infrastructure to extend mobile coverage to remote and underserved areas."
An essential aspect of this acquisition involves enabling residents to use their current mobile accounts to access services in regions that earlier had no or poor coverage. Broadtech's network assets also offer opportunities to deliver high-capacity voice, data, and broadcast services to multiple communities across Aotearoa, reducing the digital divide and fortifying the nation's digital economy.
"That's the mission we were set up to pursue", conveyed Piripi Walker, the Chair of Tū Ātea. He further commented, "With the expertise and infrastructure we have gained from Broadtech, we can begin to put this incredibly valuable resource to good use for all New Zealanders."
The Broadtech Group, led by Managing Director Merv Taylor, would continue supporting its wide spectrum of commercial operations. Expressing his enthusiasm, Taylor said, "This is an incredibly exciting new chapter for Broadtech, where we have the opportunity to apply our expertise and resources to innovative new uses and enable Maori social and economic development in the process."
Tū Ātea is also focuses on developing its Spectrum Innovation Platform, offering research, development, testing, and training for Maori in wireless technologies. Joining forces with Broadtech allows Tū Ātea to significantly scale up its Maori skills and workforce development efforts. "We have a real shortage of Maori radio engineers and technicians. With Broadtech, we now have a company to help us build skills for Maori in cutting-edge technologies and develop careers in a wide range of digital sectors, including telecommunications and broadcasting.", Royal explained.
This strategic acquisition, financed through the 2022 spectrum accord with the Government, has been broadly appreciated by the telecommunications and broadcasting industries and user groups.