Vodafone Australia to launch LTE in June
LTE activity is ramping up down under, with Vodafone Australia and Telecom New Zealand this week both announcing launch dates for their LTE networks.
Vodafone Australia revealed it will launch commercial LTE services in June.
The operator will be conducting a staged rollout, starting in the metropolitan areas of Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Wollongong, Newcastle and the Gold Coast
To accompany the rollout, Vodafone will add around 2,000 additional cell sites to its network by the end of the year.
Vodafone Australia has been struggling to repair its image in the eyes of consumers since a string of high-profile network performance issues led to thousands of consumer complaints, regulators the prospect of a class-action lawsuit – which has recently been re-opened – and a subscriber exodus to rivals Telstra and Optus.
The operator has since initiated a series of measures – including a network overhaul – to win back consumers.
Vodafone CEO Bill Morrow said the LTE launch represents the latest transformation initiative.
“We’re not done yet, but our journey is well underway and we have our sights firmly on earning back the trust of our customers and restoring Vodafone to its place as one of Australia’s most admired brands,” he said.
Separately, Telecom NZ announced it will launch its own LTE network in New Zealand's largest city – Auckland – in October.
The operator will then extend coverage to Wellington and Christchurch by Christmas, and aims to have activated LTE on nearly half of its nationwide smartphone network by 2014.
Telecom NZ has awarded the mobile site portion of the rollout contract to Huawei. The operator has been trialling Huawei's LTE gear in two cities over the past three months.
Cicso will meanwhile be providing the enhanced packet core, while Ericsson will build the HSS and replacement HLR for the network.