New Zealand wireless operator Telecom Mobile has confirmed that its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network will launch on 12 November in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, and will be available to both pre-paid and pay-monthly customers at no additional cost. The move effectively throws down the gauntlet to rival Vodafone New Zealand, whose equivalent 4G service – launched earlier this year – instilled a NZD10 (USD8.3) surcharge on users.
Telecom’s chief operating officer David Havercroft clarified that the network will utilise spectrum in the 1800MHz frequency band, and commented: ‘The network build has progressed extremely well, with promising results from testing and excellent collaboration between vendors Huawei, Cisco and Ericsson, in conjunction with existing 3G network technology provider Alcatel-Lucent’.
In related news, Telecom chief executive Simon Moutter has confirmed that the company will participate in the auction of LTE-suitable 700MHz frequencies which is expected to commence on 29 October. He said: ‘We hope to use 700MHz spectrum as the backbone of our 4G network. If we are successful in the auction, we will begin deploying it and bringing 4G speeds to the rest of New Zealand as soon as we can source the handsets that can support it’.