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4G LTE for you and me this October

09 Apr 2013

Telecom New Zealand will have 4G LTE live on a large part of its Smartphone Network in Auckland by October this year.

Making an official announcement today, the telco says it will then extend 4G LTE coverage to Wellington and Christchurch by Christmas, and expects to have 4G LTE live on close to half of its nationwide Smartphone Network during 2014.

After revealing the formation of a new Digital Ventures team yesterday, PR folk at Telecom Towers have been in overdrive this week - desperate to scribble down Telecom Retail CEO Chris Quin's thoughts on the matter:

“This is another way we are helping Kiwis get better connected," he said this morning.

"We are very pleased with the current network’s performance across both voice and data and the feedback from our customers has been very positive.

"4G LTE will build on our steady programme of investment – taking our customers’ experience of the Smartphone Network to the next level.”

Refusing to be rushed, the telco is finally catching up to industry rival Vodafone, who launched 4G in February earlier this year.

Turning the focus back on Telecom however, Quin says the company has increased the speed, coverage and capacity offered by the Smartphone Network over time.

Its programme of investment has included installing dual carrier HSPA+ on more than half of mobile sites, having fast backhaul to 90% of mobile sites, and - from mid 2013 – rolling out state-of-the-art Optical Transport Network (OTN) technology to the network core or ‘backbone’.

“Telecom is also continuously extending our network coverage," Quin said.

"We’re co-locating on all of the Government’s rural broadband initiative (RBI) sites where we don’t already have coverage, and we’ve completed a trial over summer of free public wifi, which involved more than 140 ‘hotspots’ rolled out to holiday destinations across the country.

"We have had a very positive response, and are looking at how we can make this service available to customers more widely.

“If we are successful in the 700MHz spectrum auction, 4G LTE will also allow us to significantly improve coverage in rural areas.

"We intend to install 4G LTE on RBI sites that we build from early 2014.”

Gen-i CEO Tim Miles weighed in, believing the investment will build on our existing network capabilities.

“Together with Gen-i mobility services and the flexibility to deliver applications and services across our Smartphone Network, the rollout of 4G LTE will support our clients in doing business anytime, anywhere in the coverage areas and via a range of devices," he said.

Are you excited for 4G LTE? Not bothered? Tell us your thoughts below