New Zealand’s Telecom trials LTE

New Zealand operator Telecom has begun trialling its LTE network in parts of Wellington and Auckland. The firm said it is aiming to launch the new network late in 2013 or early in 2014.

Alcatel-Lucent will run the trial in the Lower Hutt area of Wellington using the 2600MHz spectrum. The Auckland trial will take place in parts of the North Shore, also on the 2600MHz spectrum, and will be conducted by Huawei.

Both trial areas include residential and light industrial property, a section of motorway and small–to–medium enterprises. Telecom said that this allows it to test the technology and customer experience in a variety of contexts.

The firm is also planning two smaller trials of 4G LTE outside of the main centres. Alcatel-Lucent will conduct a trial on behalf of Telecom in a rural part of southern Hawke’s Bay on the 700MHz spectrum, which will become available after the switch over to digital television, and Huawei will trial LTE at 1800MHz and 2600MHz frequencies in a small area of Rotorua.

“Telecom’s 100 per cent 3G smartphone network, which is built specifically for smartphones, already provides a very good quality experience for our customers. We have made this even better with the rollout of dual carrier HSPA+ technology to almost 30 per cent of the network, and we plan to extend this to nearly 50 per cent of the network early in the New Year,” said Telecom general manager for mobile products, Ed Hyde.

“With such a solid network available to Telecom customers already, moving to a 4G LTE network is all about building for the future. The communications and technology services a 4G LTE network will deliver can, and will, change lives. Whether it is by giving health professionals enhanced access to real-time, high quality video communication with patients in their homes, or dramatically increasing the productivity of businesses with a mobile workforce, Telecom believes this network will be crucial for New Zealand’s future.”

The first phase of the trial will run until mid-February.

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