RFUANZ report: updates from Radio Spectrum Management

Radio Frequency Users Association of New Zealand (RFUANZ)

By John Laughton, Chairman
Thursday, 10 November, 2022

RFUANZ report: updates from Radio Spectrum Management

I am pleased to announce that on 1 August 2022, Radio Spectrum Management’s (RSM) business update announced that the 60 GHz General User Radio Licence for Short Range Devices (GURL) will be extended from 57–66 GHz band to 57–71 GHz. This allows for more non-overlapping channels, room for higher bandwidth modulations and access to the part of the band with the lowest free space path loss for longer distance communications.

The mass use of 60 GHz is a very recent phenomenon and only really happened due to the lowering cost of high-speed chip technology and the introduction of IEEE WiGig standards in 2009. This enabled manufacturers to mass-produce radio equipment that makes use of the band. Mass market adoption of 60 GHz hardware was then seen from around early 2013.

In 2018 we saw the FCC, ACMA and OFCOM start the conversations to expand the general use of the 60 GHz band, while at the same time pressure was being put on them by private operators to have the additional bands assigned to them for commercial use. At this time RFUANZ also decided that it needed to bring this topic up with RSM to ensure the additional valuable band between 66 and 71 GHz would be used for the benefit of all New Zealanders. RFUANZ continued with this position right up to the time of the announcement.

mmWave bands above 30 GHz are becoming a very important part of the radio communications landscape because of their characteristics. They enable wide channel widths, multigigabit data transmission, very high channel/frequency reuse with low interference and small-form-factor, high-gain, narrow-beam-width antennas. The very small wavelengths of 60 GHz have also led to low-cost system-on-chip beamforming antenna arrays, to enhance signal and reduce interference further.

RFUANZ is very happy with this announcement. We can see a future where this band is used by multiple technologies including 5G and delivers extraordinary amounts of bandwidth to New Zealand individuals and businesses, through fixed and mobile wireless technology. We would also like to remind you that if you work with manufacturers or vendors of 60 GHz equipment, that you advise their compliance engineers of the changes to the New Zealand regulations so they can take advantage of the new spectrum available.

On another note, RSM has for several years been actively requesting for licence holders to update site coordinates. This is primarily due to the ability to capture locations using GPS technology and to provide a more accurate representation of antenna locations. Recently, RSM has been issuing infringement warning notices to users “not operating a radio transmitter not in accordance with its radio licence. Reg 37(1)(f)”.

Oftentimes a Site ID used for licensing is used by multiple licence holders, and in such circumstances, with approval of all licence holders, RSM should update the coordinates of the Site ID for all affected users. RSM has been requesting this permission through the issuance of the infringement warning notice.

If the Site ID is being used solely for an individual licence, then it will be the licence holder’s responsibility to update the licence for the corrected coordinates. It is recommended to use GPS devices providing WGS84 coordinates for site coordinates, if not already provided by RSM, at the location of the licensed antennas.

The use of accurate coordinates dramatically aids the use of computerised software for use of planning, licensing and ensuring services are unaffected by other services. The requirements for licence coordinates are provided in the Radio Spectrum Management Public Information Brochure (PIB 58), Issue 6 (March 2021), 2.7 Geographic Coordinates.

Within PIB 58 it articulates that the mapping system used by the RSM in New Zealand is Topo50 (NZTopo50) and New Zealand Transverse Mercator 2000 (NZTM2000). These are based on the geodetic datum NZDG2000, which is based on the international standard reference WGS84 used by systems such as GPS.

Note: You do not need to use either TOPO50 or NZTM2000 as stated in the PIB for use in registering a site. RSM have been contacted in regard to this wording and have indicated that this should be made to use GPS Lat/Long.

The use of these mapping systems is reinforced by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) adopting NZGD2000 in 1998 as the official national three-dimensional geodetic datum for New Zealand. This is captured in the LINZ standard LINZS25002, Version 2 (24 July 2008).

That’s all from me this issue; more on my trip to the Melbourne Comms Connect conference next time.

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