Vodafone NZ begins rural 4G trial

Vodafone NZ begins rural 4G trial

Vodafone New Zealand has today announced its first rural trial of 4G services in Lake Brunner, located in the country’s South Island.

The trial will run until the end of July using 700Mhz technology and is expected to provide valuable data to support the eventual roll-out of 4G across rural New Zealand.

4G services have been available for Vodafone customers in Auckland since February 28, and the company hopes to roll out services to Christchurch, Wellington and 15 other cities across the country by the end of the year.

“4G technology has huge potential for rural New Zealand as it will drive productivity gains for this essential part of our economy,” said Tony Baird, head of networks at Vodafone.

“We are working in partnership with the government to bring broadband to rural communities through the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), and we have committed to making all the RBI sites upgradeable to LTE.”

Lake Brunner was selected as a test location thanks to its varying characteristics meaning several elements can be tested at a time, such as topography, geography and cell tower types, Baird explains.

“The area has had a massive growth in tourism, as well as being home to many dairy farms that will all benefit from the services available on a 4G network,” said Tony Kokshoorn, Mayor of the Grey District.

Vodafone New Zealand is expected to take part in the country’s 4G spectrum auction later this year.

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