Spark New Zealand, Vodafone New Zealand and 2degrees warned a series of arson attacks on mobile infrastructure could impact connectivity and urged people to report any suspicious activity.

Over the past six weeks, the companies suffered ten suspected arson attacks across Auckland, out of a total 14 incidents across the country.

In a joint statement, Spark said the vandalism caused considerable damage and can impact mobile connectivity, which could put New Zealanders at risk by cutting off access to emergency services.

Tony Baird, director of wholesale and infrastructure at Vodafone, said: “These attacks are infuriating and can have real connectivity impacts for New Zealanders, meaning people could have reduced mobile phone and internet coverage in an area with a damaged cell site.”

“While we’ve been able to keep customers connected so far, each attack has a cumulative negative impact.”

Telecommunications Forum CEO Geoff Thorn said it is concerned telecoms infrastructure is becoming the target of criminal damage: “Not only is this highly dangerous, it also has the potential to cause huge disruption to local people, schools and businesses.”