Vodafone New Zealand has contracted Nokia Networks to deploy its 700MHz Long Term Evolution (LTE) network. The initial switch-on will take place in the Auckland suburb of Papakura, though a launch date has not yet been announced. Vodafone will augment its existing Nokia Networks’ Single RAN-Advanced Flexi Multiradio 10 base stations with the latest six-pipe RF module for 700MHz LTE to deliver Multiple Input and Multiple Output (MIMO) on up to three sectors using a single unit. Nokia is also providing network planning and optimisation services.
Vodafone New Zealand’s director of technology, Sandra Pickering, described the beginning of the commercial 4G rollout to rural New Zealand as a ‘major milestone’; she said: ‘There’s no question that 4G – particularly in rural areas – will deliver economic benefit and have strong impacts for productivity.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Vodafone launched 1800MHz LTE services in February 2013, and by end-June 2014 had coverage of 46 markets, including Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.