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Telecom’s expanding mobile network connects locals in Omori

30 May 2014

Telecom’s expanding mobile network connects locals in Omori

From today locals and visitors to Omori and Kuratau will notice improvement in mobile coverage in the area, with Telecom announcing it has invested more than $175,000 on its infrastructure in the area.

Telecom’s investment in the Omori Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) site responds to the increasing demand for mobile coverage in the area. The site will give locals and visitors better quality voice, mobile broadband and text services over the Telecom mobile network, which has been built specifically for smart phones.

The improved mobile coverage is part of Telecom's commitment to open up access to mobile data and applications to rural communities. Telecom is co-locating on every one of the Government’s RBI sites where it doesn’t already have coverage, and has an ongoing programme of new mobile site builds and upgrades to improve coverage and capacity.

Conor Roberts, Head of Public Affairs for Telecom says, “It’s important New Zealand communities are able to access mobile services and this investment will ensure those who live and work in the area – or who visit for Omori’s recreational trout fishing and beautiful scenery- can make the most of what the Telecom mobile network has to offer.”

Mr Roberts says rural communities and businesses have become increasingly reliant on mobile phones as their primary form of connectivity.

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

Peter Britnell, who with his wife Carol owns the Omori Vineyard – a vibrant local business - has welcomed the announcement.

“We have many visitors wanting to instantly share their travel experiences and pictures of the area with friends and family in New Zealand and all over the world. Mobile coverage will provide a huge benefit for our business – and it will also benefit NZ tourism but allowing overseas visitors to rave about our beautiful region online.”

In this financial year alone Telecom is investing more than $10 million to co-locate on every one of the Government’s Rural Broadband Initiative sites where it doesn’t already have coverage. This is in addition to its ongoing programme of new mobile site builds and upgrades to improve coverage and capacity.

Mr Roberts says “To-date the network economics of bringing faster mobile services to heartland New Zealand have been challenging, but the reallocation of the 700MHz spectrum will speed up the roll-out of these essential services significantly.”

Telecom is currently trialling the 700MHz spectrum in the Waikato, which means it can hit the ground running once the spectrum auction process has concluded - speeding up the delivery of Telecom’s 4G mobile network beyond the major metropolitan centres. 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. The non-commercial trial, involving selected customers, will inform the future network build. Early trial results have shown impressive 4G performance.

In addition Telecom has a WiFi hotspot in Turangi. This can be found at the Visitor Information Centre, Ngawaka Place, Turangi.

Telecom mobile customers on a Pay Monthly or $19 and $29 Prepaid Value Pack can register their device and receive 1g of free Wi-Fi per day. If you’re not a Telecom customer you can still access the WiFi network for a small monthly fee. To find your nearest WiFi hotspot go to http://www.telecom.co.nz/whatsnew/freetelecomwifizone/

More information about the Telecom Mobile Network and mobile coverage, is at www.telecom.co.nz/coverage.

The Commerce Commission has announced today that Telecom has been cleared to proceed with the purchase of the final 2x5 MHz lot of 700 MHz radio spectrum.

Telecom is the only mobile network operator with four lots of this spectrum.

A final assignment round, during which each successful bidder will bid for a location within the spectrum band, is still to be held.

Telecom has already begun trialling its high speed 4G data network over APT700 MHz spectrum, alongside partner Huawei Technologies.

ENDS

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