Mobile operator Econet Wireless New Zealand (EWNZ) has selected Huawei Technologies as its strategic partner for the rollout of a 3G network based on wideband code division multiple access (W-CDMA) technology. As the sole supplier, Huawei will begin deployment in the Auckland area, the largest city in the country, and hopes to complete the construction of a nationwide network within three years.
EWNZ is a subsidiary of Econet Wireless International. It secured GSM and 3G spectrum in early 2001 and immediately announced plans to roll out a GSM network later that year. This did not happen, however, and the cellco said it had been restricted by the regulatory environment. Following the implementation of the new Telecommunications Law in December 2001, EWNZ took advantage of the decision to include cellsite co-location and mandatory roaming, and revealed new plans to launch in the first half of 2003. This too failed to transpire, and by the end of October 2005 it had still to start work on its New Zealand mobile network. It has, however, re-opened roaming negotiations with Vodafone with a view to piggy-backing on its rival’s GSM system in the interim period.