Vodafone trials unlimited broadband in rural NZ - Mobile World Live

Vodafone trials unlimited broadband in rural NZ

16 JUN 2021

Vodafone New Zealand commenced a three-month trial of unlimited wireless broadband service for people living in areas covered by a rural coverage scheme, as it steps up investments to expand coverage in less populated areas.

The operator’s rural broadband unit Farmside is offering the unlimited service for for NZD79.99 ($57.12) a month to households within the scope of the second Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI2), along with ISPs through wholesale agreements.

RBI2 is part of the Rural Connectivity Group, a joint venture between the three mobile operators in New Zealand appointed by the government to expand wireless broadband coverage.

To date, the venture has deployed 250 sites.

Ralph Brayham, Vodafone’s acting consumer and SME director, said “increasing digital inclusion and closing the rural-urban digital divide” through “affordable data services” is “incredibly important”.

He added data useage on Vodafone’s network increase 56 per cent in 2020, as Covid-19 (coronavirus) made “the internet essential to work and learn remotely”.

Brayham said it is using spare network capacity in a number of recently built RBI2 sites for the trial and planned to contact “households in certain geographical areas” to inform them if they can connect to the network.

Vodafone plans to assess whether it can offer unlimited RBI2 data plans in the longer term.

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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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