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Māori Spectrum shows potential of private 5G networks
Tue, 13th Sep 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

5G mobile technology is being used to broadcast a Mau Rākau traditional Māori martial arts class filmed in Ngāruawāhia on Māori TV.  

A team of engineers from the Interim Māori Spectrum Commission (IMSC) partnered with Whakaata Māori (Māori TV) for the broadcast recorded at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Bernard Fergusson.

The IMSC trial network allows video footage to be broadcasted immediately using a mix of 5G and satellite technology. 

Remote TV broadcasting uses 5G, given the high cost of mobile production facilities for live sports, news, entertainment and cultural events.

IMSC says a private 5G network allows broadcasters to deploy less equipment and fewer people to events while simultaneously gathering broadcast-quality video from multiple cameras over a large area. 

5G technology comes with video applications, which commercial 4G mobile and fixed wireless networks do not accommodate, particularly in rural areas.

“This successful trial showed how useful our private 5G network can be for the live broadcast industry,” says Antony Royal, Chief Executive Officer, Interim Māori Spectrum Commission.  

“It dramatically changes the economics of broadcasting events from remote locations meaning more sports, news and cultural events could be delivered live to viewers all over Aotearoa.”

IMSC engineers worked alongside UK technology partner Neutral Wireless, which works with connecting high-resolution cameras employing 5G networks.

The trial is part of a global accelerator programme designed for broadcasters such as Whakaata Māori, BBC, and Paramount Studios to experiment with 5G networks for remote broadcasting. 

“Like our ancestors from Hawaiki who used technologies in innovative ways, the next step for us is to enable the next generation of Māori, so they can use this 5G spectrum resource to serve their communities and all New Zealanders,” says Piripi Walker, Chair and Veteran Broadcaster, Interim Māori Spectrum Commission.

In addition, IMSC currently holds spectrum management rights for 50 MHz (megahertz) in the frequency band (3750 MHz to 3800 MHz) designated for 5G mobile services.

Since the announcement, IMSC uses 5G solutions to understand technology, employ radio engineers and telco industry experts to develop business use cases, including in agri-tech and robotics.

IMSC is developing a spectrum innovation lab to bring Māori technology to the next generation of Māori engineers and establish Māori spectrum entity.  

The IMSC visions include:

  • Assisting the MSWG in progressing its arrangements with the Crown.
  • Influencing on behalf of Māori in the telecommunications sector.
  • Growing skills and capability of Māori.
  • Contributing to the economic growth and well-being of Māori and the country.