Planning for WLAN use in the 6 GHz band

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Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) is considering the use of radio spectrum from 5925 MHz - 7125 MHz to support the ever growing need wireless broadband traffic. This consultation document outlines the preliminary views and proposals of RSM on the future use of this frequency range in New Zealand and seeks your feedback.

WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) use in New Zealand is continuing to increase. The technology is important for providing internet connectivity and delivering broadband to end users. This is creating a growing demand for more spectrum. The COVID-19 pandemic has also increased the reliance on WLAN networks as more and more people work and learn from home.

Internationally there have been a number of regions and countries making the 6 GHz band available for WLAN, especially the bottom 500 MHz (5925 - 6425 MHz). There is growing interest in harmonising further spectrum bands for generally authorised (also known as unlicensed and licence exempt) bands. This is partly due to the view that current spectrum available for WLAN devices will soon be insufficient.

Given the growing spectrum demand for WLAN and international developments in this band, RSM is proposing to make the lower 6 GHz band (5925 - 6425 MHz) available for WLAN use. To co-exist with the incumbent Fixed, Fixed Satellite, and Ultra Wide Band systems, we have proposed two power limits for WLAN devices operating indoors and outdoors respectively.

For the upper 6 GHz band (6425 - 7125 MHz), some countries have already made the band available for unlicensed WLAN use; some countries indicated the band might be used for licensed International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) systems. In addition, the ITU-R is studying the 6425 - 7125 MHz under WRC agenda item 1.2 for a possible IMT identification. Therefore, we propose to keep monitoring the international allocation and studies of this frequency band before making decisions.

Discussion document

Consultation on the WLAN use on 6 GHz [PDF, 1.3 MB]

Submissions

Submissions close at 5pm on Wednesday, 30th June 2021.