Vodafone New Zealand has announced a ‘turbocharged’ digital infrastructure investment programme to further improve mobile phone and internet coverage across the country. The accelerated network investment programme for 2021 will see Vodafone upgrade or build more than 250 mobile cell sites around Aotearoa and bring Vodafone 5G to more cities, with Tauranga and Palmerston North next to receive the latest generation mobile technology.
Tony Baird, Wholesale & Infrastructure Director at Vodafone NZ, explained the operator is stepping up its investments in response to a 56% increase in data use during the coronavirus pandemic: ‘COVID-19 has accelerated the use of digital services and data consumption, particularly in regional parts of the country, and we want to invest ahead of the curve for our customers. This means expanding our phone and internet connectivity over the coming few years, from Northland to Southland. We want to offer 5G to more New Zealanders as well as expand and strengthen our 4G coverage footprint both geographically as well as within buildings where mobile signals can sometimes be weaker. These investments will be great for our fixed wireless access products, meaning Kiwis can access fast and easy broadband internet connections via our mobile network without the need to wait for specialist technicians or lay fibre cabling.’
Nokia will be supplying the radio equipment for the regional investment programme, continuing the long-standing relationship between the two companies. Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, commented: ‘We are delighted to extend our strategic relationship with Vodafone New Zealand, as we embark together on building New Zealand’s largest and best-performing 5G network. This is an important win for Nokia, and a vote of confidence in our technology by an established player with a leadership position to defend.’