Vodafone NZ has become the first operator in Aotearoa to enable 5G roaming, to Australia and three other countries, in a bid to prepare in advance for when international travel resumes.
"While travel is obviously extremely limited currently, we want to continue to invest in and develop our 5G network because we want to offer the best possible mobile experience to our customers," explains Tony Baird, wholesale and infrastructure director, Vodafone NZ.
“Some might call us incredibly optimistic to launch 5G roaming with international travel off the table, but much of our work is about investing ahead of time to be ready for future demand," he says.
"We like to know that our customers will be able to use the latest mobile network technology overseas where available, when the time comes and borders reopen - and roam like they're at home.
“We already have the largest 5G network in Aotearoa, with more than triple the 5G mobile population coverage of any other provider - meaning we offer 5G mobile services in more places, and covering more people, in parts of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown. We're now extending that reach internationally.
Vodafone NZ customers with a 5G enabled plan and 5G device, purchased from Vodafone NZ or selected NZ retailers, have the ability to connect to a 5G mobile network in parts of Australia, Taiwan, Latvia and Finland - with many more destinations expected in the coming months.
“Australia is usually the most popular destination for Vodafone customers, and we want to ensure 5G roaming is in place for when international travel across the Tasman resumes, as part of our efforts to future-proof our network," says Baird.
“While we obviously don't expect hundreds of Kiwis to flock to Latvia or Finland anytime soon, setting up international roaming deals is very complex and time-consuming," he says.
"So instead of sitting still while travel is suspended we will continue to look forward and prepare, working with international operators who have also already launched 5G mobile, because international roaming and the ability to use your mobile devices while travelling is incredibly important to business and leisure travellers alike.
Vodafone NZ offers customers the ability to connect to an overseas mobile network for an additional $7 a day for daily roaming.
Vodafone NZ customers who have a 5G device and 5G enabled plan, can currently experience 5G at no extra cost until 30 June 2021, and after that the company will charge $10 per connection, per month (or the equivalent Prepay term).