New Zealand's 2degrees launches LTE

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net

New Zealand's smallest mobile operator 2degrees yesterday switched on LTE services in Auckland, the nation's most populous city, as it seeks to catch up to its larger rivals in 4G.

The company's Cat 4 LTE network is now available at 72 sites in the city, the company announced.

2degrees has set a target of tripling its coverage in Auckland by the end of the year, while also rolling out the network to the cities of Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

CEO Stewart Sherrif noted that the launch has come slightly ahead of schedule - the operator had initially planned to launch the services sometime this month.

“In less than five years, we have built a national 2G, 3G, boosted 3G, HSPA+ network and now the next generation of connectivity has arrived at full throttle for our customers,” he said. “We know our customers have been waiting for 4G and now is the right time to deliver it to them.”

But the operator's older and larger rivals have had a significant head-start. Vodafone NZ launched LTE in March last year, while Telecom NZ went live in November.

New Zealand last month completed a 700-MHz “digital dividend” auction. All three operators paid for spectrum to augment their LTE networks.

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