The first allocation of 5G spectrum will be the 3.5 GHz band, with national rights to this portion of the spectrum expected to be auctioned early in 2020, Minister of broadcasting, communications and digital media Kris Faafoi has reported.
“We are on track and keeping pace with other countries: with the spectrum being progressively allocated, companies can start rolling out 5G from 2020,” says Faafoi, in a statement.
“While spectrum allocations occur, we will concurrently be working with Māori to address the radio spectrum-related Treaty of Waitangi issues.
“Until this work has been completed, we will not be able to provide details of the 3.5 GHz spectrum that will be available for auction.”
National spectrum rights in the 3.5 GHz band will be available to use from November 2022 when the existing rights in this band expire.
With the agreement of the existing rights holder, an operator may be able to use the rights earlier.
Interested parties will be able to have their say on the auction process for the 3.5 GHz band through consultation, expected in the second half of this year.
“Spectrum in this band will also be available to regional wireless broadband service providers,” says Faafoi.
“In the future, national spectrum rights will open the door to higher connection speeds and greater network capacity, while regional providers will be key to helping rural communities access higher quality wireless broadband.”
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