New Zealand Spectrum Outlook 2023 to 2027: A forward looking view of radio spectrum management

Our Spectrum Outlook provides an overview of our recent activities, discusses emerging developments in wireless communications, and highlights international spectrum trends to New Zealand. It also provides an indicative work programme for 2023 to 2027.

On this page

This is the web version of the New Zealand Spectrum Outlook 2023 to 2027. 

You can download the PDF version at: 


Radio spectrum is a vital resource that enables wireless digital connectivity. It underlies and supports a vast array of economic activities, contributing to our economic growth, innovation and global competitiveness.

New Zealanders aspire to stay ahead of the technology curve, increasing productivity and sustainability while supporting market development and protecting consumer interests. Creating an enabling environment for digital transformation using radiocommunications technologies and radio spectrum resources is a high priority.

The speed of technological development in telecommunications requires us to monitor emerging wireless technologies, their use of radio spectrum and to anticipate the areas of growth and development in spectrum management.

Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and is responsible for the regulation, administration and investigation of radio spectrum in Aotearoa New Zealand. Our 3 teams (Policy and Planning, Licensing and Investigations) work closely with local industry, other government agencies, foreign governments and international bodies.

Our policy function is funded through taxpayers and our administrative functions through cost recovery on licensing fees and charges. Revenue from spectrum sales goes into the Crown account and is not used directly for administration. It is therefore important that we make opportunities to provide feedback on our approach to the stewardship of spectrum resources.

This is our third Spectrum Outlook. Publishing an ‘Outlook’ helps us to communicate our strategic direction in terms of responding to trends that affect access to and use of radio spectrum — and how we will prioritise activities in our day-to-day work.

About the Spectrum Outlook 2023 to 2027

To give you an idea of the scope of spectrum management in New Zealand, Section 1 provides a summary of the legal and operational framework that guides our work and illustrates some of the projects and programmes that we have been involved in since the previous Outlook.

The rest of this Outlook takes a closer look at the direction that digital transformation might take, noting the international context and implications for New Zealand. It also highlights our potential work programme and the extent to which we might need to adapt our regulatory frameworks to fully enable new technologies.

Please note that, while this Outlook sets out a potential work plan for 2023 to 2027, based on trends in technology and spectrum management radio spectrum policy decisions are made by the Government and are subject to change based on Government priorities.

In this section

  1. Our spectrum management framework
  2. Looking forward – Technologies driving change
  3. Looking forward – Trends in spectrum management
  4. Upcoming projects 2023 to 2027