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The Telecom Smartphone Network reaches Kumara

MEDIA RELEASE

5 February 2013

The Telecom Smartphone Network reaches Kumara

Kumara locals, as well as those athletes and supporters taking part in this weekend’s Speights Coast-to-Coast, will now have a choice of mobile provider after Telecom installed equipment onto a local site. The town on the west coast of the South Island, is where the annual race begins on Friday, and where athletes and supporters alike will be congregating from mid-week.

Telecom has invested more than $150k to install equipment in Kumara so those in the area can access voice, mobile broadband and text services. This is all over Telecom’s Smartphone Network - the New Zealand mobile network built specifically for smart phones.

The new mobile equipment is part of Telecom's continued commitment to rural communities to make a world-class mobile network accessible to more New Zealanders. This installation will provide coverage to the township of Kumara and for 9km of SH73.

Telecom employee, Greg Taylor, says, “Having competed in the Coast to Coast seven times over the last 20 years, I know it’s incredibly important for support crews to be able to keep in touch with each other and organise last minute things before the race kicks off. This also gives us competitors peace of mind that everything is organised behind the scenes so we can just get on with it.”

Greg says, for competitors, one of the biggest unknowns is what the Southern Alps will throw at you during the race in terms of weather and river levels, so being able to surf the net from Kumara is invaluable.

“And, not forgetting how great it is to get those last minute messages of support and encouragement from family and friends who couldn’t make the trip,” he says.

Emma Blackmore Telecom Community Relations Manager says, “It’s important New Zealand communities are able to access mobile services and this investment will ensure those who live, work and travel through this area will be able to make the most of what the Telecom Smartphone Network can offer.

Emma says the role of telecommunications in rural New Zealand has become an increasingly important service, with people becoming more reliant on their mobile phones as their primary form of connectivity.

“Fast broadband and mobile services are vitally important for the success of rural businesses, education, health providers, and in bringing rural communities together,” she says.

To find out more about the Telecom Smartphone Network and the coverage in your area, please visit www.telecom.co.nz/coverage, or visit your local store which you can find at http://www.telecom.co.nz/helpandsupport/helpandsupport/other/storefinder/

ENDS

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