Telecom New Zealand, in association with French equipment vendor Alcatel-Lucent, has confirmed that it has staged the country’s first demonstration of Long Term Evolution (LTE)-related technology. The ‘LTE Showcase’, which is being held at Telecom Place in Auckland, runs until the end of October, and will be open to telecoms professionals, members of the media and key telco shareholders. The showcase reportedly features nine devices and applications which demonstrate the potential of LTE. Although most of the featured devices were developed overseas, the showcase does include the personalised ‘myreplay’ app, designed for use at sports events, which was developed in New Zealand, by local development company Solta.
Alan Gourdie, CEO of Telecom Retail, commented: ‘We are closely following the evolution of mobile technology internationally, and looking at the many opportunities these new technologies bring. So we are excited to be working with Alcatel-Lucent to deliver this showcase to demonstrate to New Zealanders what some of the applications over these technologies may look like … We are committed to giving our customers the best possible mobile experience and will ensure XT [the telco’s W-CDMA 3G network] maintains its market-leading performance, and continues to be New Zealand’s smartphone network in the short-, medium- and long-term’.
Last month Telecom New Zealand CEO Paul Reynolds indicated that the operator was prepared to wait until 2012 before rolling out an LTE mobile network. At the time Reynolds said that Steven Joyce, the minister of communications and information technology, had confirmed that 112MHz of spectrum in the 700MHz frequency band will be auctioned off in 2012, following the completion of the country’s digital TV rollout. TeleGeography notes that whilst the 700MHz spectrum band is not widely used for the deployment of LTE, it has been utilised by numerous operators in the US with a degree of success.