Review of options for 174-230 MHz

The spectrum between 174–230 MHz (known as ‘Band III’) has been vacant since the switch from analogue to digital television broadcasting in 2013.

On this page

Consultation

In 2013, the spectrum between 174–230 MHz became available for new use. We consulted with industry on options of use for this band in 2016. Twenty submissions were received and considered before we decided on new uses for this band.

To view the consultation discussion document and submissions received, see Review of options for 174-230 MHz consultation.

New uses for spectrum between 174–230 MHz

As a result of this consultation, 3 new uses were decided:

  • land mobile
  • the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • the New Zealand Defence Force.

Land mobile and IoT were both allocated 10 MHz, and the New Zealand Defence Force 5 MHz. Spectrum was also set aside to allow for a Digital Audio Broadcasting network, should a decision be made to implement this in future.

A band plan showing the allocation of services between 174 and 230 MHz is shown below:

Image shows the bands available for allocation of services

Land mobile

In 2017, we consulted on detailed options for land mobile services between 174 and 184 MHz. The new spectrum for land mobile radio (the G band) was introduced in mid-2018.

To view the consultation discussion document and submissions received, see 174-184 MHz — Land Mobile Radio technical consultation.

Internet of Things (IoT)

In 2018 we consulted with industry on the rules for deploying IoT devices between 210–220 MHz.

To view the consultation discussion document and submissions received, see IoT testbed consultation.

Following this consultation, we have set up a 3-year IoT test bed. Spectrum from 210–220 MHz is available up until February 2022.

The rules for the test bed can be viewed in the IoT test bed rules Feb 2019 document below.

IoT test bed rules Feb 2019 [PDF, 343 KB]

Applying for an IoT licence

You can apply for an IoT licence in the VHF band by contacting an approved radio engineer or certifier.

List of approved radio engineers and certifiers

New Zealand Defence Force

After the initial consultation in 2016, we returned 225–230 MHz to NZDF for defence purposes.