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Preparing for 5G in New Zealand

5G is the next generation of mobile communication technology. It is anticipated to significantly improve data speed and capacity for conventional mobile and fixed wireless broadband networks as well as providing opportunities for new emerging markets. The possible use cases for 5G systems can be grouped into:

  • Enhanced mobile broadband
  • Massive machine type communications (the internet of things), and
  • Ultra-reliable and low latency communications.

The deployment of these networks is expected to begin internationally in 2020.

Radio Spectrum Management is preparing for the arrival of 5G in New Zealand.

Industry workshops were held in October 2017 to better understand how 5G is expected to be deployed and used in New Zealand.

In March 2018, Radio Spectrum Management asked for feedback on the possible 5G spectrum bands, their future allocation and on any other barriers to the roll out of 5G in New Zealand.


In February 2019, the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media announced that the 3.5 GHz band will be allocated for national 5G networks. Spectrum rights will be allocated by auction in 2020 and ready for use from November 2022. Spectrum will also be available to regional wireless broadband service providers in the band. Allocation details of these regional spectrum rights are expected to be announced later this year.

View the Minister for Communications’ announcement on 5G spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band - February 2019.

Cabinet paper - Allocation of Radio Spectrum for 5G mobile [903KB PDF]


Last updated 28 February 2019