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Vodafone launches massive broadband plans ahead of 5G launch

Vodafone New Zealand has announced it is launching massive data packages for wireless broadband customers across the country, with 300GB and 600GB commercial packages on sale now with selected customers invited to participate in a trial of 1 terabyte (1TB) worth of data a month.

The 300GB plans are available for $73/month and 600GB plans for $83/month – while thousands of existing Vodafone wireless broadband customers will be offered the ability to trial a 1TB plan while paying the same as a lower data cap.

“We know Kiwis are consuming more and more data and it’s only set to increase further with the advent of 5G. Data usage over Christmas and New Year’s 2019 peaked at more than 35% higher than the same period last year – and we know from international experience that high data limits are what many consumers are wanting, offering them even more bang for their buck," says Carolyn Luey, Vodafone consumer director.

“We’re offering these ginormous data plans for wireless broadband customers around New Zealand to access via 4G now – with a view to building out our 5G fixed wireless plans, which will launch later in 2020 as more 5G broadband devices become available," she says.

“We’re inviting thousands of current Vodafone customers the option now to trial much higher limits, so we can continue to understand how data usage is evolving and how their data needs can be met. And 1TB is a lot of data – you’d need to send 7.14 billion tweets a month to use that much data," Luey explains.

“Ultimately, as the world goes increasingly wireless and as 5G becomes more prevalent we believe up to a quarter of our broadband customers could be using fixed-wireless connections in the next 3-5 years – so we’re looking to ensure our products and offering meets that demand.”

The 300GB and 600GB wireless broadband plans are available to new and existing Vodafone customers in the three main cities (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch) as well as most parts of urban regional centres – including Hamilton, Tauranga, Dunedin, Queenstown, Palmerston North, Napier, New Plymouth and Rotorua.

Vodafone finished five 5G site upgrades in Auckland in August last year,

“We’re going to have at least 100 cellsites upgraded by December when we switch on our 5G network for customers to access," Vodafone New Zealand technology director Tony Baird said at the time. 

"We’re working hard to upgrade existing cellsites in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown, which includes extensive testing by our engineers to ensure we’re offering optimum connectivity for our customers at time of launch," he said. 

“We want as many Kiwis as possible to access our 5G network when we switch it on, so we’re focusing our initial rollout on high-density urban areas in town centres,” said Baird.

Meanwhile, in November 2019 Spark committed to delivering New Zealand’s first 5G commercial service into the five heartland communities of Westport, Clyde, Twizel, Tekapo and Hokitika. 

At the time, Spark technology director Mark Beder said that the focus was on getting New Zealand ready for 5G.

“Wireless broadband is one of the first use cases for 5G, and we've chosen to deliver it to several towns in heartland New Zealand who are all high users of our current wireless broadband product as we think these customers will get the most benefit,” said Beder.