Telecom Mobile has invited a small number of customers in Wellington and Auckland to participate in trials of its in-deployment Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, parent company Telecom New Zealand has revealed. Telecom plans to launch commercial 4G services before the end of 2013, and hopes to roll out the technology gradually, ‘as demand warrants’. The cellco announced in December that it had deployed LTE technology in four locations – Lower Hutt, the North Shore of Auckland, Waipukurau in the southern Hawke’s Bay and in a small area of Rotorua – and would begin preliminary testing of the equipment over the festive period with help from vendors Huawei (Auckland and Rotorua) and Alcatel-Lucent (Wellington and Waipukurau). Each consumer and SME trialist has been supplied with a device capable of receiving an LTE signal over Telecom’s network, and they will be invited to report back to the telco after a period of six weeks. In addition, a number of prominent clients of ICT solutions provider Gen-i will participate in the trial, including Westpac, Mitre10 and TVNZ.