NZ Government enables early access to 5G spectrum

In Newsby

The New Zealand Government has recently given the go-ahead to enable further development of 5G networks by making appropriate spectrum available.

The 3.5GHz spectrum is the first band to be allocated for high speed 5G data services. Short-term rights will run from mid-2020 to October 2022.

“Early access to this spectrum will allow the telecommunications industry to move forward in their development and deployment of 5G services now, rather than waiting until long-term rights are switched on in November 2022,” Kris Faafoi, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister said. “5G offers significantly improved data speed and capacity for conventional mobile and fixed-wireless broadband networks, and will enable the next wave of productivity and innovation across multiple sectors.”

The decision also provides an opportunity for Māori interests in radio spectrum. These interests include digital enterprise and jobs, healthcare, rural economy and connectivity, education, broadcasting, and revitalisation of Te Reo.

Short-term allocation of spectrum will also be made to Māori, and a support program to build Māori capability in spectrum-related industries will be developed to maximise the benefits of this opportunity.

“The short-term allocation of spectrum to Māori will act as a stepping-stone for Māori and the Crown to reach an enduring agreement which recognises Māori interests in radio spectrum,” Minister Faafoi added.

Long-term rights to 3.5 GHz spectrum are scheduled to begin November 2022.