New Zealand operators Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees have launched rural broadband and mobile services in 20 new locations. The new sites, which will provide high speed wireless broadband and quality mobile coverage to around 1,600 homes and businesses, across 70km of state highways and to 13 tourist sites, are the result of a collaboration between the three mobile network operators and Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) to provide connectivity in rural New Zealand. Once the Rural Connectivity Group (RCG) project is completed it will deliver new mobile and wireless broadband coverage to more than 38,000 rural homes and businesses, mobile coverage to a further 1,200km of state highways and provide connectivity to at least 152 New Zealand tourist destinations by December 2022.
The RCG network uses Nokia 4G Multi Operator Core Network (MOCN) which has been deployed successfully with three mobile network operators. This new technology allows RCG to deploy one Radio Access Network (RAN) to connect to the three differently architectured core networks of Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees, enabling them to provide services to these rural communities from just one cell site that requires only three antennas to operate.