Vodafone New Zealand switched on 5G in parts of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown, offering existing customers the faster service at no additional cost.
Jason Paris, CEO, hailed the “beginning of a new technology era for New Zealand”, noting four out of five consumers “say mobile connectivity is important to the economy”. Vodafone’s network provides the “next platform for New Zealand innovators to create awesome new applications or businesses”.
The operator said it plans to expand the network from an initial 100 sites to more than 1,500 across the country “over the coming few years”, by upgrading them using Nokia kit.
Customers can upgrade to a 5G plan for free until 30 June 2020, after which an add-on will be available for NZD10 ($6.53) per connection, per month.
Tony Baird, technology director, said it is using 3.5GHz spectrum to launch 5G and, with its current spectrum holdings customers will see an increase of up to ten-times the data rate over 4G.
He added to reach 1Gb/s it will need approximately 100MHz of 3.5GHz spectrum, so it will continue to work with the government on the early allocation and auction processes.
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