New Zealand's Wireless Internet Service Providers Association - WISPA - has welcomed the government opening up unlicensed spectrum in the 6 GHz band, but says more needs to be done to provide high-speed broadband to rural and remote areas.
WISPA chairman Mike Smith spoke CRN NZ about the government's move, as announced through the Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) agency this month.
"The RSMs opening up of the lower 6 GHz band for indoor and very low power outdoor is a good step forward, enabling increased WiFi and device capacity," Smith said.
"It’s very much stage one of enabling use of this band," he added.
"Unfortunately at this stage, it doesn’t meet the needs or requirements for short or long range outdoor wireless Point-to-Point or Point-to-Multi-Points that WISPs and wireless operators require to provide increased wireless capacity to rural homes and businesses," Smith said.
Wireless equipment in the 6 GHz band has the potential to bring fibre-like gigabits per second speeds to customers, with vendors already releasing equipment for the frequency range.
"The potential that this band holds in providing a game changing wireless capacity that rural connectivity in particular needs in the coming years, is huge, but will require additional regulatory rules and more spectrum to be allocated in the band," Smith said.
"WISPA members are waiting for the go light to start deploying some of this new tech and unleashing it on their networks," he added.
Smith said that WISPA has positive engagement with the RSM on a variety of spectrum allocation matters and in particular, on the next stage of enabling the 6 GHz band for outdoor use and untapping it’s potential.