Facebook icon Twitter icon Forward icon

$30,000 fine for radio transmitter offences

A Nelson man has been fined $30,000 for offences relating to use and supply of unlicensed radiocommunications equipment. The dog tracking transmitters involved, often used for pig hunting, are known to cause interference to licensed radiotelephone services. As those services commonly provide operational and safety communications for industries such as forestry, any interference presents significant risks for worker safety.

The judge’s sentencing remarks noted the potential harm which could result from interference and suggested that a significant deterrent sentence was required.  Disregard of the licensing framework which separates radio services by frequency or location has the potential to cause serious harm to radiocommunications. Interference from unlicensed equipment can pollute and prevent effective use of the radio spectrum resource, to the detriment of all New Zealanders. RSM is keen to ensure that licensed radio services can operate to their full potential for everyone’s benefit and safety.

Read the full news article on the RSM website.

Back to top

VHF Radio Microphones: Authorised until 30 September 2019

RSM advises that the General User Licence allowing radio microphones to operate in the 174 – 230 MHz frequency range will be extended until 30 September 2019.

We will be consulting on future uses for this frequency range before 2019 but anticipate that radio microphone usage will not be permitted in this band beyond 30 September 2019.

There is a very limited range of new professional equipment that uses these frequencies and radio microphones may not be able to co-exist with new uses without causing interference.

It is recommended that users do not make new investments in equipment that uses only these frequencies. The UHF 502 – 606 and 622 – 698 MHz frequency ranges are available for long term radio microphone use.

A new edition of the General User Radio licence for Short Range Devices covering VHF radio microphones will be published shortly on the RSM website.

Back to top

60 GHz: Multi-Gigabit WiFi

Multi-Gigabit WiFi is a new technology that operates in the 57 – 66 GHz frequency range and can deliver speeds of up 7 Gbit per second over some tens of meters. A popular Multi-Gigabit WiFi technology uses the IEEE standard 802.11ad.

RSM is modifying the General User Radio Licence for Short Range Devices (GURL-SRD) to ensure that Multi-Gigabit WiFi and standards such as 802.11ad are permitted. The modified GURL-SRD will be set to align with USA and European Standards.

RSM will also modify the General User Radio Licence for Fixed Radio Link Devices (GURL-FRLD) to add the frequency range 57 – 64 GHz for point to point fixed links, enabling new backhaul options for users. The new provisions are similar to those in the USA.

New editions of both the GURL-SRD and GURL-FRLD will be published shortly on the RSM website.

Users of both the GURL-SRD or the GURL-FRLD should read the new editions carefully to ensure that they comply with the new licence conditions.

Back to top

Inductive systems at 7.4 – 8.8 MHz

The 7.4 – 8.8 MHz frequency range is permitted in Europe for inductive applications and is typically used for Radio Frequency Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) systems. EAS is a technology used for the identification of items most commonly used for security purposes preventing theft in retail stores.

A new edition of the General User Radio Licence for Short Range Devices will be published shortly on the RSM website and include the 7.4 – 8.8 MHz band

Back to top

Auction of AM and FM Licences – Update to Auction Catalogue

In September the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) announced that the auction will take place online from 27 November to 3 December.

A tentative auction catalogue was published on the RSM website when the announcement was made. This contained a number of licences that needed to be checked for technical compatibility with existing licences.

All licences have now been checked and a finalised auction catalogue is available. Interested parties should familiarise themselves with the catalogue before participating in the auction.

Interested parties should also note that successful bidders will be required to meet a service requirement, set out in the contracts. This will require them to implement a broadcasting service on the licence(s) purchased no later than two years following licence transfer. Further details about the service requirement are provided in the auction catalogue.

Back to top

Review of the Radiocommunications Act 1989 - Submission deadline extended to 15 October

Workshops on the review of the Radiocommunications Act 1989 were held last month by RSM.  At these workshops we were asked whether the deadline for submissions could be extended. Feedback must now be submitted by Wednesday 15 October 2014.

Back to top

Mobile phone boosters – buyer beware!

It is a general expectation these days that your mobile phone will work satisfactorily almost everywhere. However if your home or workplace is not covered well, you may decide to search online for solutions and find yourself at a website offering mobile boosters or repeaters to cure the problem.

What you need to know is that many of these devices can cause interference and dropped calls across the wider cellular network. This is why approval by the network provider is essential for the installation and operation of such equipment. If approval is not given, the equipment is then not authorised by the required licence. The user of the equipment is then subject to infringement offence penalties and possible prosecution.

While some sites such as mobilephonesignalbooster.co.nz give the impression that their products are approved for use in New Zealand and are authorised by Telecom (now Spark), Vodafone and 2degrees, this is not the case. When reading the “Conditions” on these websites, a disclaimer states, “Using this equipment may require a licence, it’s your own responsibility to check with the governmental authority having jurisdiction prior to use… “ etc.

If you are having coverage problems with your mobile service, always check first for solutions with the cellular service provider.
More information is available about licence compliance on the RSM website.

Back to top

Fishy business

Recently the Christchurch radio inspectors were involved with a commercial interference case affecting a major microwave link in the upper South Island. The microwave operator was able to identify that the link was only being affected when the same fishing vessel crossed its path in the Cook Strait. This led the inspectors to a number of conclusions however the only possible way to determine the interference was to position themselves on a hilltop overlooking the Strait. Using a microwave dish and sufficient gain they were able to see the interfering signals radiating from the fishing boat. By utilising the AIS vessel tracking website their position was verified.

It was obvious that the fishing boat was the cause of the interference, however what was not known was why it was emitting these transient signals. The radio frequency signature of the noise looked to be very similar to the S Band radar aboard the vessel. The fishing company was called and the S Band radar was turned off. Immediately the noise ceased and it was obvious that this was the cause of the interference. A subsequent letter was sent to the fishing company and the S Band radar’s magnetron was replaced.

Back to top

Compliance matters

Business.govt.nz has recently launched an online tool that makes it easy for small business owners and operators to find, understand and manage their compliance requirements. Compliance Matters takes the information you need to know from across government agencies and puts it into a simple to use and easy to navigate database. It’s about saving business owners time, and helping them feel confident that they’re doing what they need to when it comes to government.

The tool can be accessed through Business.govt.nz - the government’s website for small businesses.

Back to top