Vodafone has switched on 5G in parts of Tauranga, meaning some locals and businesses can now access the next generation mobile network from their smartphone or via 5G Broadband.
"We already offer Vodafone customers the largest 5G network in Aotearoa," says Thaigan Govender, head of Vodafone NZ's Mobile Access Network.
"We are pleased locals in Mount Maunganui can now also enjoy the power of 5G and get even faster connectivity to their smartphones or via 5G Broadband as a high-capacity internet solution, with 5G coverage across Tauranga set to expand soon," he says.
"Were investing hundreds of millions of dollars into our digital infrastructure in 2021, including upgrading and building cellular sites in the Bay of Plenty-Waiariki to add 5G and more 4G coverage," adds Govender.
"New Zealanders rely on their phones and the internet to connect with family, colleagues and friends, with COVID-19 accelerating this digital adoption."
Govender says having access to the latest technology is especially important for businesses who are competing nationally and internationally, and want to enable more flexible and free-range working options for their staff.
"Tauranga is growing as a business hub and so we prioritised the Bay for 5G expansion," he says.
"We expect wireless broadband will be keenly adopted by locals in the Bay of Plenty.
"Newly launched 5G Broadband delivers fast and fuss-free internet over the mobile network and is proving incredibly popular in other main centres, particularly among businesses and households who need high-speed internet without waiting for fibre to be installed or connected."
Govender says Vodafone's Gold Plan, which delivers phone and internet via a 4G Broadband connection, is already "piquing the interest of cost-conscious Kiwis in the Bay who are keen on the $40 monthly price tag".
The fifth generation (5G) mobile network enables faster speeds, lower latency (lag) and expands the potential of connected devices. Vodafone first launched 5G in December 2019 to parts of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown, making New Zealand the 22nd country globally to have a 5G mobile network.
Vodafone customers with a 5G-enabled smartphone can automatically access its 5G network for no extra charge.
"It takes time to roll out any mobile technology nationwide, but we are working as fast as we can to ensure our customers have access to remarkable technology," says Govender.
"While the 5G footprint in Tauranga is relatively small at launch, it will quickly expand over the coming year as new cell site upgrades and builds are completed in the Bay."