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700 MHz Auction Email List

If you would like to receive emails about the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction as new information becomes available, please email radiospectrum@med.govt.nz with “700 MHz auction email list” in the subject line.

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Air waves are affecting the Airways

A recent investigation of interference to communications between pilots and the control tower for aircraft approaching Auckland airport highlights the risk of unintended signals being generated as an unwanted side effect of radio broadcasting. This investigation took several weeks because of the low level of signal and intermittent observations of the interference. It involved considerable RSM staff resource as well as requiring the hire of an aircraft to trace the source. While not causing a safety risk, because of the availability of alternative radio channels, the interference did present a significant annoyance and distraction to pilots.

When located, the problem proved to be an unwanted spurious emission from an FM broadcast station transmitter in a community north of Auckland and was quickly addressed by the broadcaster concerned. A recent study by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, checking broadcast stations in Australia, suggests that this sort of problem is relatively common. Around 28% of the transmitters they checked showed the production of unwanted emissions. Many of the emissions were radiated in the aeronautical radiocommunication band of 108MHz to 136MHz, presenting a potential risk to safe operation of aircraft.

RSM supports the use of external filters as an effective means of limiting the radiation of spurious signals, and recommends that all broadcasters should note the tips given in the CBAA news item for monitoring the health of their transmissions.

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Interference from US DECT 6.0 devices

In recent times there have been instances of interference to the 3G cellular network caused by imported DECT 6.0 devices. The devices have ranged from wireless baby monitors, cordless headsets and wireless conferencing equipment.

All of the interfering devices had been purchased in the United States where their DECT (Digital European Cordless Telecommunications) standard uses a slightly different frequency range to the rest of the world. This difference results in the devices transmitting on the 3G mobile receive frequencies greatly reducing the range of a cellular site.

In all instances the owners of the devices were unaware that they were causing an issue and agreed to turn the device off immediately. In two cases the devices had been sent to them by their US based parent company.

It is good practice to check before using a wireless device, especially those that have been sourced from outside of New Zealand. If you have any doubts then you should call our Freephone 0508 RSM INFO or alternatively consult our website for information on product compliance.

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Managed spectrum park applications received

Applications have been received for access to radio spectrum in the 2.5 GHz managed spectrum park band.  Potential uses for this spectrum include wireless broadband services.

Since November 2010, parties interested in utilising this spectrum have been able to apply for access on a first-come, first-served basis, but with sharing processes then needing to be undertaken by applicants.

Applications have been received by the Crown Spectrum Asset Manager from:

• KiwiMAX Ltd for additional licences with coverage in the Auckland Council TLA area.
• Wizwireless Ltd for additional licences with coverage in the Masterton, Carterton and South Wairarapa District Council TLA areas.

Read more information relating to these applications in Notice 27 on the managed spectrum park section of our website.

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3.5 GHz local area spectrum licences allocation - Round 4

The Ministry is pleased to announce that Round 4 of the allocation process for 3.5 GHz local area spectrum licences is open.

These licences are for the provision of FDD fixed wireless broadband services.  The licences provide for coverage of territorial local authority areas.  80 licences, spanning 45 territorial local authority areas, are available in this round. 

Full details on the application process, conditions and licences that are available for allocation will be viewable later this week on the Radio Spectrum Management website.

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