Business update - March 2013

In this issue
Digital dividend auction announced
The compliance labelling change is underway
Managed spectrum park applications
International award for MBIE – Radio Spectrum Management
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Welcome to the monthly Radio Spectrum Business Update, where you can read the latest news about licensing, compliance, policy, engineering and other spectrum issues.

Digital dividend auction announced

The government has announced plans to auction the ‘digital dividend’ 700 MHz radio spectrum later this year. The 700 MHz band is the spectrum freed up by the switchover to digital television.


The government has announced that:

  • The 700 MHz band will be allocated by competitive auction, as management rights commencing 1 January 2014 and expiring 28 November 2031;
  • New Zealand will adopt the ‘APT Band Plan’ for the 700 MHz band, consisting of 45 MHz paired. This will be subdivided into 9 blocks for allocation, each consisting of 5 MHz paired;
  • The auction will be subject to acquisition limits (or ‘spectrum caps’) of 2x15 MHz, which may be relaxed to 2x20 MHz during the auction depending on demand;
  • Successful bidders will be subject to both implementation requirements for spectrum purchased and a broader obligation to extend mobile cellular coverage; and
  • The detailed auction format, rules, and implementation requirements will be the subject of a further consultation round.

Consultation on the detailed auction design and implementation requirements is expected to commence in April. Details will be communicated via Business Update.


The auction is currently expected to be held in the third quarter of 2013.


See more information on the RSM Website

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The compliance labelling change is underway

Friday 1 March 2013 marked the beginning of the three year transition to sole use of the RCM mark to indicate compliance with electromagnetic compatibility and electrical safety requirements.

From 1 March, no new products are to be marked with the previous alternative, the C-tick, though existing products from authorised suppliers may continue to be labelled with the C-tick until 29 February 2016. This change is intended to simplify labelling requirements and provide a more consistent indication of product compliance. From 1 March 2016 the RCM is the required compliance mark.


More information on the change is available on the RSM website.


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Managed spectrum park applications

Notice is given via Notice 24 on the managed spectrum park section of our website that the deadline for MSP Form 7 licence applications to be received in relation to all TLA areas under Notice 21 is extended to 5.00pm on Wednesday 10 April 2013. The extension is to take into account the clarification of the boundaries of the Auckland Council and the desire of the initial applicant to lodge additional applications in that TLA area. (These have subsequently been lodged in the Auckland Council TLA area).

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International award for MBIE – Radio Spectrum Management

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's (MBIE) success in managing our radio spectrum so it meets the needs of rapidly evolving technologies was recognised this week with an international award.


The 2013 Spectrum for Mobile Broadband Award was announced as part of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.  The judging panel commended MBIE for demonstrating the “highest achieving strategy in ensuring the transparent and stable long term ability” to meet increasing spectrum demand.


The award reflects the future-focussed approach that has been taken by the Radio Spectrum teams.   Policy and Planning Manager Len Starling said the award reflected the efforts of current and past staff.  In particular, Sanjai Raj, Wayne Wedderspoon, Jim Stevenson and Ian Hutchings were instrumental in establishing the successful frameworks which paved the way for this award.


The award was given by the GSMA (Groupe Speciale Mobile Association), an industry group representing over 800 mobile operators from more than 220 countries, as well as equipment vendors, handset manufacturers, software developers, and internet companies.


Entries for the Spectrum for Mobile Broadband Award were judged on the following criteria:

  • development of regulatory and policy framework that balances government and investor needs
  • demonstrated vision in the management of spectrum resources
  • demonstrated good practice in government transparency and public consultation
  • development and/or implementation of stable long-term spectrum policy
  • demonstrated cross departmental or organisational collaboration to address challenges.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams has publicly congratulated the team.

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