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Allocation of spectrum at 3.5 GHz for broadband wireless access - round 4


In December 2001, the government agreed to create and retain rights to two 3.5 GHz blocks of radio spectrum suitable for fixed (broadband) wireless access use. Licences were to be made available for specific geographic areas, typically for high speed internet connections in rural/provincial areas.

In March 2004, Cabinet agreed to release these blocks for commercial allocation. The then Ministry of Economic Development released a discussion document outlining draft allocation proposals for public feedback and comment. A summary of submissions on the draft allocation proposals was released in July 2004.

In September 2004, an allocation plan was announced. The plan provided for the commercial assignment of area spectrum licences defined by the boundaries of territorial local authorities. The government has created two lots of Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) licences in the 3.5 GHz spectrum band for each of the 74 territorial local authority areas, i.e. a total of 148 lots. Each lot comprises a pair of 7.5 MHz licences for operation in FDD mode.

A first round assignment of 71 lots was completed in 2006 and between November 2007 and March 2013, the government carried out two additional allocation rounds. The licences allocated via all rounds are recorded in the Register of Radio Frequencies (the Register) and can be found by searching for licences in the frequency ranges 3. 41 GHz to 3.487 GHz and 3.51 GHz to 3.587 GHz.


Allocation round four

Allocation round four has been suspended pending the outcome of a band planning process. If further allocations are permitted in future this will be communicated via the Radio Spectrum Management monthly business update newsletter and via this webpage. This suspension does not impact on allocation processes which have already been notified prior to 5 July 2016.


Further information

Map of New Zealand – Territorial local authorities’ boundaries and information

Allocation round four: 3.5 GHz licences call for applications

A description of the application process, and call for applications, for round 4 of the allocation of 3.5GHz local area licences. These are granted for use for local and regional fixed wireless broadband services operating in an FDD mode, and have implementation requirements per a contractual licence agreement between the Crown and the licensee.

Read more about Allocation round four: 3.5 GHz licences call for applications

Notification of 3.5GHz application

Public notification of applications received and advice for submitting competing applications for 3.5GHz licences.

Read more about Notification of 3.5GHz application

Last updated 5 July 2016