NZ Tech CEO calls for speedy 5G spectrum allocation

New Zealand risks being left behind, Graeme Muller warns

The head of NZ Tech, Graeme Muller, has called for the government to speed up the allocation of 5G spectrum saying 5G is needed to support the burgeoning IoT ecosystem.

“Many other countries have already allocated spectrum for new 5G technologies which will be critical for driving economic growth and the launch of new technologies such as autonomous machines, so New Zealand must act faster or risk being left behind,” Muller said.

Muller was commenting on a new report from the NZ IoT Alliance’s (NZIoTA) spectrum working group that examines IoT technologies’ spectrum requirements and the potential future spectrum allocations, including that assigned to 5G, that could be used for IoT.

The report follows a 2017 paper from the alliance in which it estimated that rapid IoT uptake could deliver a net benefit of $2.2 billion to the New Zealand economy over 10 years.

Chair of the IoT Alliance’s spectrum working group Adam Tommy said the report aimed to help developers, suppliers, network operators and users of the IoT ecosystem, which may not have previous involvement in wireless products, find their way with IoT radio spectrum in New Zealand.

He said 5G networks would complement existing IoT networks and provide IoT services in parallel with the high-speed mobile broadband services more well known to consumers that will also be provided by 5G.

“For all of these networks, radio spectrum is a key part of providing the price, performance and coverage required for New Zealand’s current and future IoT opportunities,” he said.

The paper, which has drawn on a similar 2016 document produced by the IoT Alliance Australia, offers no conclusions or recommendations other than to call for “ideas and proposals to enhance and increase the spectrum available for  New Zealand’s IoT networks.”

Nor does the paper represent official NZIoTA policy: it says any opinions and analysis presented “are the opinion of the author of the paper,  not the opinion of the New Zealand IoT Alliance.”