Telecom New Zealand is set to launch 700MHz Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology towards the end of next month, with an initial switch-on via eleven sites in the Waikato region, including central Hamilton, Morrisonville and surrounding areas. Services will then be extended to other regions, Computerworld reports, including areas covered under the government’s Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI), which aims to improve broadband connectivity away from the main towns and cities.
While Telecom admits that there will be a lack of compatible devices able to run on the network at launch, the firm says it is expecting to be offering around ten devices to customers by the end of the year. The operator won 15MHz of paired 700MHz spectrum in a government auction last October, adding a further 2×5MHz block in January. It has been offering 1800MHz LTE services since November 2013, with coverage of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, but the new networks in the lower band will enable it to expand coverage at a quicker rate.