New Zealand’s third national cellular licensee, NZ Communications, has reported a loss of NZD13.8 million (USD9.2 million) for the year to end-March 2008 as it continues work on its network prior to a commercial launch. The firm ended the financial year with net assets worth NZD126 million, including NZD75.2 million cash, local newspaper The Dominion Post reports. The cellco is likely to require significant additional funding from its private equity backers to enable it to deploy a full-scale wireless network. Last week NZ Communications finally signed a co-location agreement with cellular market leader Vodafone New Zealand which will allow the newcomer to place its own equipment on Vodafone cell towers. The first phase of its network rollout, which will last 18 months, will incorporate around 425 cell sites in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, with around 50 sites built so far. 400 more network locations will be added in the second phase to give coverage of 80% of New Zealand’s population.