New Zealand highlights 4G speed gap - Mobile World Live

New Zealand highlights 4G speed gap

02 MAY 2023
A lone sheep stands in a field in rural New Zealand, with rolling countryside behind leading downhill to a large body of water

New Zealand’s Commerce Commission highlighted low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite internet services as an option to close a gap in download data rates it identified between urban and rural areas in the latest in a regular series of reports on the market.

In its latest Measuring Broadband New Zealand (MBNZ) report, the Commission identified satellite as an option for 13 per cent of residents with no access to fibre.

Telecommunications Commissioner Tristan Gilbertson stated the research confirmed satellite technology “is a step-change in performance” for consumers without access to fibre-to-the-home or their business.

Tests for Starlink, the LEO provider with the largest customer base, showed data rates of more than 120Mb/s during peak hours, compared with an average 9Mb/s for ADSL, 25Mb/s for 4G and 33Mb/s for VDSL in rural areas.

Gilbertson described the results as giving “a clearer picture of how the technologies available to consumers in rural areas are performing”.

The Commission stated the latest report aims to cover more service providers and technologies than in the past, expanding analysis into rural and remote areas lacking fibre networks.

It found 4G is more likely to be slower in rural areas at 25Mb/s on average compared with 33Mb/s in cities.

“We can also see that rural consumers are more likely to experience speeds below this average, with 59 per cent of rural tests showing speeds slower than 25Mb/s, compared with 44 per cent in urban areas,” Gilbertson said.

He encouraged other providers to join the MBNZ monitoring programme, and predicted more direct comparisons with other technologies and providers in future reports as more volunteers are added.



Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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