WLAN use in the 6 GHz Band: Outcomes and Other Updates (August 2022)
The 5925 – 6425 MHz band is now available for WLAN use under the prescribed technical conditions. In addition, RSM has made updates for WLAN in 5150 -5350 MHz and for MGWS in 57 -71 GHz.
RSM has now made the 5925 – 6425 MHz frequency band available for Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) under the Low Power Indoor (LPI) use and the Very Low Power (VLP) Indoor and Outdoor use regimes through the Radiocommunications Regulations (General User Radio License for Short Range Devices) Notice 2022. By adopting comparable conditions, this aligns with the approaches adopted in Australia, United Kingdom and Europe. We will also update our Radiocommunications Regulations (Radio Standards) Notice 2020 with the applicable standard shortly.
This decision follows our June 2021 consultation, where we invited interested parties to make submissions to our consultation paper WLAN Use in the 6 GHz Band on the future use of the 5925 – 7125 MHz frequency band. We received twenty-two responses to this consultation.
The wider 6 GHz band (5925 - 7125 MHz) remains under discussion internationally. A number of countries have opened up access to the band for use by WLAN systems, particularly in the lower 5925 - 6425 MHz portion of the frequency band.
We received a range of responses in relation to the upper 6425 – 7125 MHz portion of the frequency band. At this time, we have decided not to open the upper 6425 - 7125 MHz portion for WLAN. This approach aligns New Zealand with that taken in Australia, United Kingdom and Europe. As this portion of the frequency band remains under international discussion, we will continue to keep a watching brief on developments, and will consider further changes at a later stage, as appropriate.
Use of higher power relies on an Automatic Frequency Coordination (AFC) system in order to avoid interference with existing licenced fixed links, which are used throughout New Zealand. While many respondents were in favour of implementing an AFC it is unclear when industry will provide an AFC for New Zealand. We also received mixed responses on individual case-by-case licensing approaches and we consider that licensing is not appropriate at this time. We will continue to keep a watching brief on developments in this area.
In addition, we have made corrections to the conditions applying to the 5150 -5350 MHz band to resolve an ambiguity on the applicability of Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) and of Transmit Power Control (TPC), as well as to when the EIRP vertical radiation angle mask applies. We have updated the conditions to clarify that Dynamic Frequency Selection and Transmit Power Control only applies to the 5250 - 5350 MHz frequency band and that the EIRP vertical radiation angle mask only applies to devices above -7 dBW EIRP (200 mW). Definitive information can be found in our Radiocommunications Regulations (General User Radio License for Short Range Devices) Notice.
We have also extended the 57 – 66 GHz band to now cover the 57 – 71 GHz band. This is to support a range of technologies including Multi Gigabit Wireless Systems (MGWS) and International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) on a shared technology neutral basis. This brings our provisions into line with a large number of countries including Australia, Europe and North America. Definitive information can be found in both our Radiocommunications Regulations (General User Radio License for Short Range Devices) Notice and the Radiocommunications Regulations (General User Radio License for Fixed Radio Link Devices)
Indicative Summary of the Outcomes for 6 GHz WLAN
The following gives an indicative summary of the conditions for 6 GHz WLAN. The definitive information is in the Radiocommunications Regulations (General User Radio License for Short Range Devices) Notice, and in the Radiocommunications Regulations (Radio Standards) Notice 2020 which will be updated shortly.
Table 1: Summary of technical conditions for 6 GHz WLAN
|Permitted frequency band||Category||Maximum Power (EIRP)||Max. Power Density (EIRP)||Conditions|
|5925 – 6425 MHz||Low Power Indoor (LPI)||24 dBm (250 mW)||11 dBm / MHz (12.6 mW /MHz)||Indoor use only within a building or within an enclosed space having attenuation characteristics at least equivalent to those of a building|
|Very Low Power (VLP)||14 dBm (25.11 mW)||1 dBm / MHz (1.26 mW / MHz)||No indoor restriction (i.e. Outdoor is permitted)|
|Applicable Standard: ETSI EN 303 687 “6 GHz WAS/RLAN”|
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