2degrees is about to begin its journey into fourth generation mobile with the start of its 4G trial in Auckland next week.
The three-month closed trial will involve 10 4G sites in central Auckland using 2degrees’ 1800MHz spectrum.
Announced this morning, the telco expects to launch 4G commercially in Auckland in July, followed by the wider Auckland region and other main centres - Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch - by the end of the year.
The rollout in to provincial areas will continue in to 2015. 2degrees CEO Stewart Sherriff says the company is now at a point where it is ready for the move to 4G.
“As the newest player in the market, we have taken a very systematic approach to the rollout of our network to ensure we get it right for our customers,” he says.
“We started with 2G, then added 3G which has been the absolute focus of our efforts over the past three years.
“With our customer’s ever-increasing appetite for data coupled with more LTE-capable handsets available, we feel it is now the right time to extend our capabilities to the next generation of mobile.”
Sherriff says the company’s 4G network will be complemented by a significantly stronger 3G network.
“As part of our 4G readiness program, we have invested heavily in extending our 3G coverage over the past year,” he adds.
“This has included the installation of 3G at 900MHz across all of our sites which, in effect, is providing a ‘boosted’ 3G service.
“It has meant that in areas where customers previously could only get 2G service, many now get 3G as we have more overlap between our sites and great in-building penetration.
“This, coupled with our existing HSPA+ network and recently launched HD voice, has already made a significant difference to the quality and speed our customers are experiencing on our network.”
Sherriff says the company is looking forward to taking the next step in to the future.
“Digital connectivity will be made ubiquitous by 4G. While the full potential of 4G is still yet to be explored, what we can be sure of is that it will allow for a whole new world of opportunity that our network is now ready for,” he says.
“Our customers are using more than triple the amount of data they were two years ago and it has become an integral part of our work and personal lives.
“There is no doubt that 4G will transform our lives further, and we are looking forward to the exciting possibilities it will provide to our customers.”
Kickstarting the 4G craze in the country was Vodafone, who got the ball rolling in February of last year, before being followed into the market by Telecom in November.