Managed Spectrum Park (MSP) application process

Application process flowchart

MSP application process flowchart [PDF, 51 KB]

Check eligibility for MSP licence (Step 1)

Applicants are only eligible to apply for a Managed Spectrum Park (MSP) licence if:

  • the services proposed by the applicant have a local or regional focus
  • neither the applicant nor any associates[1] of the applicant hold nationwide management rights or controlling interests in nationwide management rights in the 2.3 GHz or 2.5 GHz spectrum bands
  • the applicant and the associates of the applicant are only submitting one application between them, and
  • if the application is successful, the applicant, and its associates (if any), will not exceed the acquisition limit (see definition below).

Applications for MSP licences must be accompanied by a statutory declaration confirming that the applicant is eligible.

Note [1] A definition of associates can be found in Section 12.2 of the MSP agreement, and also in Section 11.2 of the MSP Allocation Rules.

Acquisition limit

There are limits to the extent of coverage that is allowed in the MSP — this is known as the Acquisition Limit. This ensures that the applicant and their associates (if any) has a controlling interest by means of licencing within Territorial Local Authority (TLA) areas of:

  • no more than 15 TLAs, and
  • no more than one of the following main centres:
    • Auckland cities (made up of the Auckland, Manukau, North Shore and Waitakere City Council TLA areas)
    • Hamilton (being Hamilton City Council TLA area)
    • Wellington cities (being the Wellington, Hutt and Porirua City Council TLA areas), and
    • Christchurch (being the Christchurch City Council TLA area).

Seek a planned licence from an ARE (Step 2)

Only suitably experienced Approved Radio Engineers (AREs) should be used to certify planned MSP licences. A planned licence is only valid if it was engineered and certified by an approved radio engineer who has significant experience in the engineering of similar licences.

List of AREs

MSP licences must:

All proposed MSP licences must be consistent with the general engineering principles documented in:

Relevant ITU-R Recommendations and Reports may also be utilised by engineers for guidance in certifying MSP licences.

Issuing a planned MSP licence (Step 3)

An Approved Radio Engineer (ARE)-certified planned licence (Form 7) defines the technical characteristics of the proposed MSP licence — including the protection areas.

As the planned licence must be capable of being registered as a spectrum licence under the Radiocommunications Act 1989(external link), it must be certified as not causing any harmful interference to an existing licensee, or to planned licences in other TLA areas.

All proposed MSP licences must be consistent with the:

  • rules of PIB 39, and
  • the 5 MHz guard band from 2575 - 2580 MHz at the lower boundary of the MSP.

Spectrum Licence Certification Rules for Crown Management Rights (PIB 39) [PDF, 1.3 MB]

Interference risk notices (Step 4)

If there's a risk of interference between the applicant’s planned MSP licence and an existing MSP licence, the applicant must send the existing licensee an interference risk notice.

This notice will state:

  • The name and contact details of the applicant, and full details of the application.
  • The nature of the risk of interference between the applicant’s planned licence and the licensee’s existing MSP licence(s).
  • How the applicant wishes the licensee to modify or amend its existing MSP licence(s) to remedy the potential interference.

Applicants may refer matter to arbitration

If an existing licensee who receives an interference risk notice doesn't agree to modify or amend its Managed Spectrum Park licence(s) as requested within 30 working days of receiving the notice, the new applicant may refer the matter to arbitration.

The provisions of the Arbitration Act 1996(external link) will apply as though the new applicant and the existing licensee had agreed to refer the matter to arbitration.

Arbitration process (Step 5)

Arbitration is a process for the settlement of disputes, in which an independent and impartial arbitrator makes a decision to settle a dispute after considering the representations of the parties. The arbitrator's decision is final and binding on the parties.

The Arbitration Act 1996(external link) contains the provisions that govern the arbitration process.

Arbitration tribunal to balance rights

The arbitration tribunal's decision seeks to balance the reasonable expectations of the applicant and the licensee, having regard to:

  • the desirability of achieving the most efficient use of the Managed Spectrum Park
  • whether the licensee is making sufficient use (or has viable plans to make sufficient use) of the licences, taking into consideration:
    • the use of the licences in light of their terms, conditions and restrictions (for example, the actual power of transmissions compared with the maximum power specified in the licences)
    • the amount and pattern of the use of the licences compared to licences that authorise similar types of transmissions, or the use of similar types of transmitting equipment
    • whether the licensee is able to provide the same or equivalent service as the services that are being provided under the licence using another radio licence or spectrum licence held by the licensee or an associate of the licensee, or a telecommunications network available to the licensee or an associate of the licensee
    • any other relevant considerations or any other special circumstances justifying the continuation or cancellation of the licences
  • the likelihood of the applicant making sufficient use of the proposed licence in the near future
  • the costs and effects of possible alternative solutions
  • the desirability of the applicant meeting any direct technical costs or expenses incurred by the licensee to accommodate the radiocommunications services being proposed by the applicant
  • the potential use of interference mitigation techniques such as (without limit) antenna discrimination, polarisation, frequency offset, shielding, site selection, and power control, and
  • the principle of not materially adversely affecting the technical provision of radiocommunications services being provided by a licensee within the terms of its licence.

Arbitration Act 1996(external link)

Applying for an MSP licence (Step 6)

Apply for a MSP licence by submitting the following to the Crown Spectrum Asset Manager:

  • An ARE-certified planned licence (Form 7). This is done online in the Register of Radio Frequencies (RRF).
  • Coverage maps showing:
    • Base Station transmission sites
    • receive protection areas
    • TLA boundaries, and
    • Third party adjacent licence protection areas.
  • A statutory declaration stating that you are an eligible applicant. This can be posted to the address below, or scanned and emailed to the Crown Spectrum Asset Manager's email address (also below).
  • A deposit towards the application fee.

The Crown Spectrum Asset Manager
PO Box 2847
Wellington 6140
New Zealand
+64 4 474 2952

Application fee

An application fee may be charged determined by the costs we incur in processing your application. Any excess deposit will be credited towards future licence fees.

If the application is successful, any excess:

  • fee will need to be paid, or
  • deposit will be refunded.

Publication of applications (Step 7)

Applications will be published on our website, and advertised in our monthly Radio Spectrum Business Update.

Details of any individual applications received, including the name of the applicant, are submitted within 20 working days of receiving a complete application.

Any interested parties are allowed to submit a competing application within 30 working days of the application being advertised.

Coordinating with competing applications (Step 8)

Competing applicants must make reasonable efforts to agree on how they will coordinate, revise or modify the specifications of their proposed MSP licences to accommodate each other’s services on a non-interfering basis.

Solutions may include (but are not limited to):

  • licence amendments
  • interference mitigation techniques, including antenna discrimination, polarisation, frequency offset, shielding, site selection, and power control.

Applicants should submit agreed solutions to us with the licence certificate.

Elimination of competing applications (Step 9)

If we don't receive an acceptable agreed solution within 1 month, then a ballot will be held to eliminate one of the competing applications. An additional competing applicant will be eliminated via ballot every month until either a solution is agreed, or only 1 applicant remains.

In a situation where there are more than 5 competing applicants, we may choose to eliminate multiple applicants through a single ballot. Elimination via ballot is final.

Unsuccessful applications (Step 10)

For unsuccessful MSP applications we will:

  • calculate the costs we've incurred processing applications
  • subtract the aggregate of Application Fees payable by successful applicants, and
  • apportion the remainder among unsuccessful applicants as their final Application Fee (plus GST, if any) payable, on a per application basis.

Excess deposits, if any, will be refunded, and unsuccessful applicants must pay any shortfall.

Provisionally successful applications (Step 11)

If we're satisfied that a provisionally successful applicant is eligible to hold a Managed Spectrum Park (MSP) licence, and has provided all the necessary information, this will be confirmed in writing via email and on our website.

Application fee for unsuccessful applicants

To determine the final application fee (plus GST, if any) payable by unsuccessful applicants (on a per application basis), we:

  • calculate the costs that we've incurred under the MSP allocation rules
  • subtract the aggregate of any application fees payable by successful applicants, and
  • apportion the remainder of the costs among unsuccessful applicants.