Vodafone NZ begins 5G tests ahead of December launch - Mobile World Live

Vodafone NZ begins 5G tests ahead of December launch

30 AUG 2019

Vodafone New Zealand is conducting 5G network tests on base stations in Auckland in preparation for a commercial launch in December focusing on high-density urban areas.

In a statement, the operator said it completed tests on five sites, located in and around Mangere in South Auckland, which were upgraded with 5G-enabled antennas from Nokia.

The start of the 5G tests follows the announcement its 5G network buildout passed the review from the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), as required under the telecommunications act. The GCSB said the proposed 5G deployment does not raise any network security risk.

Initial rollout
Tony Baird, Vodafone New Zealand technology director, said it plans to have at least 100 cell sites upgraded by December when it switches on its initial 5G network rollout. The pre-launch phase also involves the installation of mobile towers in popular and high-traffic locations, such as business districts, shopping malls, event centres and airports.

Baird added: “We’re working hard to upgrade existing cell sites 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.”

The market leader, with a 40 per cent market share by subscribers, will use 56MHz of spectrum on the 3.5GHz band, which it has owned for many years.

Rival Spark aims to launch its commercial 5G network at Auckland Harbour in July 2020. In March it partnered with autonomous vehicle technology provider Ohmio Automotion to test what it claimed is the first driverless vehicle in the country to be connected by 5G.

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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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