Vodafone New Zealand has delayed plans to introduce a NZD10 (USD6.13) monthly add-on charge for 5G services until July 2021. The move comes as the cellco gears up to further strengthen its 5G network as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions continue to ease. Vodafone consumer director Carolyn Luey said: ‘To thank early adopters and existing customers for their loyalty, at a time when the discretionary spend of many New Zealanders is impacted, we have decided to delay the NZD10 monthly add-on charge for 5G for one year. We also believe there will be a greater number of 5G-connected devices and handsets available by then.’
Vodafone NZ activated 5G in parts of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown in December 2019 and is currently the only cellco in the country to operate a 5G mobile network. Rival Spark’s ambition to launch its own services by July of this year were dealt a blow when the coronavirus crisis forced the postponement of the government’s 5G spectrum auction, which was due to begin on 30 March.