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The grass is getting greener at Himatangi Beach

The grass is getting greener at Himatangi beach with Telecom rolling in a COW for summer

Holiday makers at Himatangi beach will have improved mobile phone coverage this Christmas thanks to Telecom rolling in a Cell site On Wheels (COW). Telecom has a small number of COWs which it uses as a temporary coverage solution for events such as the Rugby World Cup and Rhythm in the Vines in Gisborne.

In early 2013 a permanent mobile site will be built at Himatangi beach under the Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative which will enable Telecom to offer permanent mobile services to the community.

In August 2012 members of the Himatangi beach community petitioned all three mobile providers as well as central and local government citing their concerns about the lack of mobile coverage, particularly over the holiday period when large numbers of holidaymakers visit the beach.

Emma Blackmore, Telecom’s Community Relations Manager, received the petition from residents and looked into possible solutions to assist them.

Emma says Telecom was fortunate that a COW had become available at this time and the company was really pleased to offer this as a solution for the holiday period.

Emma visited Himatangi beach to meet with some of the petitioners, and discuss the proposed solution, and she says “the community was incredibly supportive and keen to learn more about this seven metre tall mobile site which will offer coverage to the Himatangi Township and along the main areas of the beach. They are really excited that they, and visitors to the area, will be able to stay connected with their friends and family over the summer.”

Himatangi Beach Community Committee member George Annear, a member of the group that petitioned for improved coverage, says the whole community is pleased to see that Telecom has listened.

“The installation of this temporary mobile tower is a great step forward. Not only does it improve communications for residents, but it will provide a longed-for service for holiday makers and day-trippers alike. It will also increase the ability of emergency communications in the area which is great news for the community.”

If visitors to Himatangi beach are not already a Telecom customer, they won’t need to go far to find a sim card – they will be on sale for $5 at the Himatangi beach store. They can also buy them online from www.telecom.co.nz. Handsets from other mobile providers are not necessarily compatible with the Telecom Smartphone Network, so people will need to make sure they check out http://www.telecom.co.nz/mobile/mobile/ournetwork/phonecompatibility/ to see if theirs is.


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