5G Spectrum to Be Directly Allocated in New Zealand

New Zealanders will have access to the speed, capacity, and dependability of 5G services as a result of a new arrangement. Local carriers had previously purchased access to spectrum through an auction process, but that this deal will omit that step in favour of a direct allocation scheme.

Highlights

  • New Zealand's three major mobile network operators, Spark, 2degrees, and Vodafone, will have to speed up the deployment of 5G in rural areas.
  • The short-term 3.5 GHz licences are no longer usable.
  • Spark claimed to have completed the first end-to-end 5G Standalone network experiment in the nation in August.

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As per a statement from the Minister for the Digital Economy and Communications, David Clark, the New Zealand government and the majority of the nation's telecom network providers have agreed to speed up the rollout of 5G services nationwide and enhance rural connectivity. Many more New Zealanders will have access to the speed, capacity, and dependability of 5G services as a result of a new arrangement, according to Clark.

The Speed of the 5G Roll-Out Will Be Accelerated by Vodafone, Spark, and 2degrees

The minister explained that local carriers had previously purchased access to spectrum through an auction process but that this deal would omit that step in favour of a direct allocation scheme. The first frequency band designated exclusively for fast 5G services, the 3.5 GHz band, has been used by telecom companies to roll out 5G during the past two years. In 2020, the government granted short-term early access to this spectrum so that the nation may start its 5G roll-out. Long-term rights must be distributed because short-term rights are soon to expire, as per Clark.

In accordance with the new agreement, New Zealand's three major mobile network operators, Spark, 2degrees, and Vodafone, will have to speed up the deployment of 5G in rural areas. The source continued efforts to enhance rural connectivity are also expected to continue. In accordance with the conditions of the agreement, Dense Air, a provider of shared network infrastructure, will also have access to the 3.5 GHz frequency band in order to aid network operators in providing service to particular regions of the nation.

At the end of October 2022, the short-term 3.5 GHz licences are no longer usable. To facilitate this process and provide network operators more time to roll out 5G and maintain regional services, these rights will be extended from November 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023.

Local carrier Spark claimed to have completed the first end-to-end 5G Standalone network experiment in the nation in August. Spark claimed that it has developed and run two proofs-of-concept in association with Mavenir, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Nokia, and Oppo to establish the framework for the introduction of 5G Standalone in New Zealand.

Spark chose Nokia in September of last year to support its 5G deployment, which will cover almost 90% of the population by the end of 2023, according to a statement from Nokia. As per the agreement, Spark will upgrade 4G at these locations while also deploying Nokia's most recent 5G RAN technology throughout a significant portion of the rollout. The most populated city on New Zealand's South Island, Christchurch, had 5G infrastructure deployed in March 2021 by Spark and the Korean company Samsung Electronics. Since 2019, the two businesses have collaborated on 5G experiments.

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