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Telecom Rapidly Expands 4G Network across New Zealand

21 May 2014

Telecom Rapidly Expands 4G Network across New Zealand

Telecom announced today it will continue to rapidly expand its 4G network across the country.

Telecom has announced that it will be bringing 4G technology to Dunedin, Rotorua, Blenheim and Nelson by September 2014. This follows on from the weekend launch of the fast mobile technology in Rangiora, Rolleston and Lincoln.

Telecom Retail CEO Chris Quin says more than a hundred additional 4G sites will go live before the end of the year.

“If you’re a Telecom customer living in Rangiora or Rolleston and you have a 4G-capable phone, you’re likely to see a boost in speed when you’re in one of our new 4G areas.

“As more people begin to use smart devices for things like watching video, downloading books, uploading photos and getting the most out of your music on Spotify, data speeds are going to become more and more important. 4G will allow you to do all these things in seconds, and we think these faster speeds will quickly become the “new normal” for New Zealanders, just as 3G speeds did when they were introduced a few years ago.”

Telecom recently revealed over 60% of its customer base owns a smartphone, and the average monthly data use for mobile customers on both 3G and 4G has grown by 52% over the past year.

“Once you arrive at that sort of tipping point you start to see a real change in behaviour. In particular, we’re seeing a lot more uploading of data – often driven by people posting photos or videos to social media to share their experiences with friends. This is a big change from the past when the pattern was very much customers downloading data, as you do when you open an image-rich website or access social media applications. During major events, such as the Bruce Springsteen concert in Auckland, we’ve seen uploads actually exceed downloads for the first time,” says Mr Quin.

“We want to unleash New Zealanders’ potential by giving them access to the technology they need to get on and do more. Our 4G rollout is a crucial part of this.”

Mr Quin says that so far Telecom customers who regular use the 4G network generally did not dramatically increase their data consumption. However, anyone concerned about going over their data allowance could track their usage over the MyTelecom portal or Telecom’s smartphone app. They can also use the smartphone app to top up their account or save their precious data by using Telecom’s WiFi network.

Telecom currently offer a wide range of 4G-capable devices including the recently launched Samsung GALAXY S5.

To access Telecom 4G, customers need to be in a 4G coverage area and have a 4G-capable phone. 4G devices will seamlessly switch to Telecom’s 3G mobile network when customers leave the 4G coverage area.

A map of Telecom 4G coverage can be found here:http://www.telecom.co.nz/mobile/4G

Telecom 4G coverage will initially use the 1800MHz spectrum, until the 700MHz spectrum becomes available later this year. To date, the economics of bringing fast mobile services to areas outside of the New Zealand main centres have been challenging, but the reallocation of the 700MHz spectrum will speed up the roll-out of these essential services significantly. The 700MHz spectrum delivers greater reach compared to other frequencies, making it more efficient to build and ideally suited for delivering 4G services in regional areas.

Telecom has over 900 Wifi hotspots nationwide giving Telecom customers 1GB of data per day.

ENDS

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