Current expressions of interest

We are inviting expressions of interest for a proposed short-term allocation of spectrum in the upper portion of the 3.5 GHz band (3590 MHz – 3800 MHz). RSM wishes to directly engage with parties that have capability to deploy 5G services in the timeframe mid-2020 to October 2022. Applicants will need to demonstrate that they have the technical and financial capacity to deliver a service within this time period.

Short-term allocation of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band

We are seeking expressions of interest for a proposed short-term allocation of spectrum in the upper portion of the 3.5 GHz band (3590 MHz – 3800 MHz). Please note that:

  • the short-term allocation process would be separate to the allocation of long-term rights commencing in November 2022
  • short-term rights would not guarantee placement in the 3.5 GHz band from November 2022
  • there are encumbrances in and adjacent to the frequencies to be made available, and short-term rights-holders would need to ensure they cause no harmful interference
  • short-term rights would only be issued for 5G services.

How to make an expression of interest

Interested parties are invited to submit completed expression of interest forms [DOCX, 133 KB] by no later than 5pm on Friday 4 October 2019 to:

By email: Radio.Spectrum@mbie.govt.nz

Subject line: “Expressions of Interest – Short-term Allocation of Spectrum in the Upper Portion of the 3.5 GHz Band”

After you apply

RSM will assess the expressions of interest received. Once suitable parties have been identified, RSM will engage with those parties directly on specific matters, including those of a technical and commercial nature.

Questions about expressions of interest

If I don’t submit an expression of interest or I am unsuccessful, will I still be able to participate in an allocation process for short-term rights in the 3.5 GHz band?

The expression of interest process does not prevent parties from participating in an allocation for short-term rights in the 3.5 GHz band. However, other conditions may be imposed on any allocation at a later date.

How and when will short-term management rights be allocated?

No detailed decision has been made on the proposed short-term spectrum allocation, though we anticipate any management rights will commence by mid-2020 expiring on 31 October 2022. The expressions of interest, and subsequent industry consultation, will support the allocation design process.

How will a short-term allocation impact existing rights and licence holders in the 3.5 GHz band?

There will be no impact on existing users in the band. New rights-holders will be obligated to prevent harmful interference with incumbents, unless the two parties come to an agreement independently.

How will the short-term allocation impact my organisation’s chance to obtain long-term rights for spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band, commencing in November 2022?

A short-term allocation would not be tied to the long-term spectrum allocation process. If you do not obtain a short-term management right, you will still be able to participate in the long-term allocation.

Why will a short-term allocation focus only on 5G services?

The 3.5 GHz band has been identified as the ‘frontier’ 5G frequency band. Any short-term allocation will not cater to services that could be deployed in another frequency range.

How much spectrum will be available for each interested party to purchase?

Details of any short-term allocation have not been decided. The expression of interest process will help RSM identify what the potential demand for spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band is.

Will I receive government compensation for any costs involved in re-stacking equipment to the tuning range of my long-term rights (if I obtain them)?

No. Interested buyers of short-term rights will participate in the allocation at their own risk of incurring transition costs after the long-term allocation.