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Telecom launches free 4G across big 3 cities

07 Oct 2013

Telecom New Zealand has today revealed that its 4G network will launch on 12 November in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch – and will be available to both prepaid and pay- monthly customers at no additional cost on Telecom’s current plans.

Speaking in Auckland this morning, Telecom Retail CEO Chris Quin said “offering a free upgrade to 4G is yet another way that Telecom is transforming how people use their smartphones.

"Whether they are shopping online, streaming music, or making stutter-free video calls to family and friends, 4G will allow our customers to do a whole lot more, a whole lot faster on their mobile devices.

"It will also allow businesses to stimulate more efficient ways of working remotely with teams on the road able to make reliable video calls, download pictures and documents in seconds and use cloud services on their mobiles. 4G is part of our vision to help Kiwis have experiences that once seemed impossible.”

Quin added that Telecom has listened to customer concerns about using up their mobile data on the faster 4G network.

“We want to encourage our customers to use their data freely on 4G, to truly explore and experience what the network has to offer them, so to give them more peace of mind we’ve launched our new Ultra Mobile ‘4G-ready’ plans, which include higher data caps," he said.

"Telecom’s rapidly-expanding WiFi network – which we recently announced will be a free add-on for our pay-monthly and prepaid pack mobile customers - will also allow them to stay connected while saving their precious data for when they really need it.”

To access 4G, customers will need to be in a coverage area, to own a 4G-capable phone that has been enabled to work on the Telecom mobile network, and to upgrade to a 4G SIM card. Most higher-end mobile devices introduced over the past year or so are 4G-capable and more devices will be launched in coming weeks.

Telecom’s COO David Havercroft said 4G services will use LTE technology over the 1800MHz spectrum band.

“The network build has progressed extremely well, with promising results from testing and excellent collaboration between vendors Huawei, Cisco and Ericsson, in conjunction with existing 3G network technology provider Alcatel-Lucent," he said.

“Telecom’s decision to make its 4G network freely available to all of its customers is another significant step towards providing an integrated network of fibre, 3G, 4G and WiFi that will deliver the rich, relevant, real-time experiences and instant access to information today’s consumers and businesses increasingly expect."

FAQ

Which parts of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch will be getting 4G?

At this point we can say that in Auckland it will be live across the CBD, central Auckland suburbs and selected eastern, western, northern and southern suburbs.

In Wellington it will cover the northern CBD and fringe suburbs, and parts of Lower Hutt, and in Christchurch it will cover parts of the CBD.

We will confirm further details on the extent of coverage on launch day.

What about your plans for other parts of New Zealand?

Our initial focus is on rolling out 4G in the main population centres, as this is the quickest and most efficient way to give the most people access to 4G.

We are still committed to extending our 4G footprint across more of our national network, and we will announce our plans in due course.

One of the factors we need to consider is the impact of the upcoming auction by the Government of 700MHz spectrum. The 700MHz spectrum range is particularly appealing for this rollout, as it enables better economics of coverage in less populous areas than the 1800MHz range currently being used for LTE.

What do I need to do to access Telecom’s 4G Network?

Over the next couple of weeks we will be contacting those customers who own 4G-capable phones and who use those phones in our 4G coverage areas, to give them simple and easy instructions for how to get ready for 4G.

To access Telecom 4G, you will need to check off three things:

1. You need to be in a 4G coverage zone

2. You need to own a 4G-enabled device

3. You need to upgrade to a Telecom 4G SIM card.

What devices can I get 4G on?

Telecom has a number of 4G-capable devices currently on our network. These include the iPhone5, the Nokia Lumia 920, Nokia Lumia 625, Nokia Lumia 1020, the HTC One, the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung S4 Mini, the Sony Xperia Z, and the Blackberry Z10. We will announce the launch of more 4G-capable devices in the coming weeks.

We are working with each of the manufacturers to ensure that devices are updated with the software required for them to work on the Telecom 4G network.

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