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(ARCHIVED) Intelligent transport systems in the 5.9 GHz band

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) are a group of new technologies designed to improve road safety and support the more efficient use of transport infrastructure. Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC) is an emerging wireless ITS technology developed to transmit safety and traffic information over short distances. DSRC enables data communications between vehicles. It can also be used for communications between vehicles and roadside infrastructure to support traffic coordination and broadcast of safety information.

Some of the features provided by DSRC include:

  • Intersection collision avoidance
  • Road condition warnings
  • Traffic emergency notifications

The United States, Europe and Canada have allocated spectrum in the 5.9 GHz band range to DSRC, while Japan and Korea have allocated spectrum in the 5.8 GHz band. The US and European bands align in frequency but there are significant differences in some technical parameters. Discussions are underway between these two administrations in an attempt to completely harmonise the bands.


New Zealand proposal

Radio Spectrum Management is keeping a watching brief on ITS development, in particular the 5.9 GHz band. Although 5.9 GHz band might, be suitable for ITS applications at some stage, coordination with satellite uplink stations, and possibly adjacent fixed links, would be required. Current New Zealand allocations and the major international DSRC proposals are shown below.

Current NZ allocations and the major international DSRC proposals

There is on-going uncertainty on the work to harmonise the US and EU standards. If compatible with other uses, New Zealand would be likely to favour a joint US/EU standard for its own use. However, until the details of this standard are clear it may be difficult for users of adjacent bands to judge possible impacts on them.


Note about used vehicle imports

It is clear that Japanese and Korean 5.8 GHz equipment will not be compatible for use in New Zealand due to possible interference from existing equipment allowed to operate in this band in accordance with the general user radio licence for short range devices (GURL-SRD).

Purchasers of second-hand imported vehicles with such equipment installed should be aware that it does not align with the proposed New Zealand standard and is therefore unlikely to work in New Zealand.

Last updated 26 August 2015