Radio Frequency in NZ, March 2016

The Conference and RFUANZ Gala Dinner are now just 2 weeks away

On April 14 and 15, Te Papa will once again host our yearly conference. Don’t miss out on our opening keynote speakers, Minister Amy Adams and Senior Sergeant Greg O’Connor and the international keynote speakers on day 2, Peter Clemons and Inspector (Ret) Lance Valcour.

For the remainder of the 2 days there is a full program with national as well as international speakers.

And to catch up with friends and colleagues, join us at the RFUANZ Gala Dinner and Awards Night on Thursday 14 April 2016 at Te Wharewaka Function Centre in Wellington. There is still a limited number of seats available.

Register for the conference and exhibition at the Comms Connect NZ website: Comms Connect Wellington 2016

Register for the dinner.

Invoicing and Payment of License Fees

We have raised the challenges with payment of license fees with RSM and are pleased to confirm that it is now easier to obtain an invoice and there are better payment options available for you.

Receive an invoice with your renewal reminder

In the Client details of your SMART login you can define that you like to receive an invoice with your Renewal E-mail. To make this selection:

  1.  login in to Smart (https://www.rsm.govt.nz/smart-web/smart/page/-smart/LogonPage.wdk)
  2. Select Logon Details > Change your Client Details

  1. Tick the box “Include Invoice with Renewal Email?”

  1. Enter the e-mail address for the renewal notice and invoice (this can be a different address to the Client generic e-mail address.

The invoice you will receive with the renewal reminder will be for the full amount and includes all licenses that are due for renewal. The invoice will also include an attachment with the license details so it is clear what you are paying for.

If you cancel a license after the invoice is generated you will automatically receive a credit invoice.

Payment of the invoice

The invoice can be paid via Smart with all the options offered by Smart, however there are 2 other payment options as well.

  1. Payment by credit card via the link provided on the invoice. This does not require you to login into Smart.
  2. Payment via electronic banking where you include the invoice number as payment reference

Utilising either of these 2 payment options combined with paying in time, entitles you to the online payment discount as mentioned on the invoice. Simply pay the invoice amount minus the discount.

 

While further improvements will be made when Smart is replaced, we believe this will assist many of you who currently find it difficult to pay for the licenses.

Compliance number on radio equipment

From the 1st of March 2016, the labelling of radio equipment has been simplified. For products that are harmonised between Australia and New Zealand, the old C-tick for NZ and A-tick for Australia has been replaced by one mark, the Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM).

All products that are on the shelves of suppliers with the old labels can be sold with it, but all new stock arriving must be supplied with the RCM label. The RCM indicates a device is compliant with RSM and ACMA regulatory requirements.

The radio apparatus product labelling requirements prescribed in the Radiocommunications (Compliance) Notice 2013 No. 2 are  based on the level of conformity specified for the product in the Radiocommunications Regulations (Radio Standards) Notice 2015.

Where Australian and New Zealand licensing and performance requirements for a class of product are sufficiently similar, levels of conformity specified in the Notice for the class are levels 1,2 or 3. Products meeting a performance standard for which level 1, 2 or 3 is specified, and properly documented (eg supplier declaration of conformity and reasonable documented evidence of meeting the standard and product labelling with the RCM) for Australia will be accepted without further requirement for supply in New Zealand. A New Zealand supplier should check that the Australian requirements have all been satisfied before they market the product in New Zealand. Information on the Australian requirements can be found on the ACMA website.

Where Australian and New Zealand licensing and performance requirements for a class of radio product are different, levels of conformity specified in the Notice for the class are levels A1,A2 or A3. Products meeting a performance standard for which level A1, A2 or A3 is specified, and properly documented for New Zealand (eg supplier declaration of conformity and reasonable documented evidence of meeting the standard and product labelling with the R-NZ mark) can be supplied in New Zealand, but may not be supplied into Australia unless all Australian requirements are also met.

Please note, while the labelling has changed on the 1st of March, there are no changes to compliance and test regimes and there is no requirements for any retest of products.

Submissions released for License Fee Review

Earlier this month RSM published on their website the submissions received on the License Fee Review. A total of 36 submissions were received and those that can be released are published on the RSM website.

Based on the feedback, RSM has provided a recommendation to Minister Steven Joyce which is now under consideration.

The future of car-to-car communication

While self-driving cars have captured the imagination of the media and motorists alike, it will be car-to-car communication and the ability to access real-time road and environment data that will significantly improve the next generation of cars in terms of both road efficiency and safety.

Self-driving cars are said to have the potential to be better drivers than humans. They can maintain optimum following distances while monitoring all sides of the vehicle, do not get distracted, and can react almost instantaneously. On top of that, they can reduce fuel consumption and general wear and tear. Cars with vehicle-to-infrastructure technologies can access data about local road conditions, speed limits, hazards, and congestion, and take suitable action.

One study claims that a highway reserved for self-driving cars can carry 43 percent more cars than a human-driven highway. Car-to-car communication that enable cars in the same vicinity to exchange data about each other’s location, bearing and speed, will increase the capacity by 273 percent.

This sounds far-fetched, but law-makers in the US are considering the possibilities.  In 2012, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the University of Michigan equipped three thousand cars in Ann Arbor in Michigan with test communication equipment. In 2014, their researchers concluded that this technology can prevent half a million accidents and save a thousand lives every year. As a result, the U.S. Department of Transportation started drafting legislation that may eventually mandate the use of car-to-car communication in new cars.

This does not necessarily mean that human drivers will be outlawed, but rather that manufacturers may be required to equip cars with systems that will warn drivers when they get into dangerous situations.

Laws that mandate car-to-car communication will have to take appropriate radio spectrum into account. Self-driving cars use satellite communication, radar (70 GHz) and laser (24 GHz) to determine where they are and what is happening around them. The IEEE 802.11p standard (5.9 GHz) is being tested for car-to-car communication, although commercial cellular networks are being considered in Europe.

Here in New Zealand, we are left with two questions:

Will car-to-car communication be mandated in New Zealand?

It may happen, and not only because of New Zealand’s reputation as an early adopter of new technologies. A more compelling reason is the incredibly high social cost of the injuries and deaths caused by motorcar accidents. The social cost of accidents in 2014, for instance, is estimated to be $3.47 billion.

What will car-to-car communication mean to the radio industry?

In a word: opportunity. To get it right, the government of the day will need to consult and partner with industry to make appropriate laws (which will include the radio spectrum) and do a significant amount of planning, before rolling it out.

It will be good for business – but in the end, it will be our industry’s responsibility to make sure that cars can communicate flawlessly, at high speed, and in unfavourable conditions. When New Zealanders start to trust their car’s warning systems, car-to-car communication will become mission-critical.