Telecom New Zealand plans to launch 4G mobile broadband services using 700 MHz spectrum in late August. Telecom acquired 700 MHz spectrum in a recent government auction. Starting August, Telecom’s 700 MHz network will be launched and open for commercial traffic in the Waikato region, where the operator has been trialling the technology since May.
Telecom initially launched 4G services using 1800 MHz spectrum in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in November 2013 and has gradually extended its 4G footprint across New Zealand using this spectrum throughout 2014. Telecom will use the recently acquired 700 MHz spectrum to deliver 4G mobile broadband services in less densely populated areas.
At launch, Telecom will have 11 cell sites on 700 MHz across the Waikato region including central Hamilton, Morrisonville and surrounding areas. The rollout will be extended by Christmas to other areas of high rural demand for mobile broadband services, including some RBI sites.
Although there will be a limited range of devices available in August, by the end of the year Telecom expects to have a mobile device portfolio of approximately 10 devices that will be 700 MHz compatible.