NZ's Kordia may upgrade rural network to LTE

Dylan Bushell-Embling
10 May 2011
Daily News

After losing its bid to partner with the New Zealand government on the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) project, Kordia is now considering upgrading its rural network on its own.

Kordia, a state-owned but independent broadcast and telecom company, expressed disdain in February over the government's choice of the Telecom NZ/Vodafone NZ joint bid for the RBI.

The RBI aims to bring high-speed broadband services to the 25% of homes not covered by the concurrent Ultrafast Broadband fiber project. Kordia had proposed meeting the coverage targets with an LTE network.

Chairman David Clarke toldThe Dominion Post the company had put the loss of the tender behind it and is now considering upgrading its rural wireless broadband service to LTE technology using its spectrum on the 2.3GHz band.

But the company is being careful because LTE is still rather “new and unproven,” he said.

Kordia first built its NZ$25 million ($19.8m) rural wireless broadband network, Extend, in 2003 with the backing of Telecom NZ and farming lobby group Federated Farmers.

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