Vodafone to switch on 5G in December
By Rebecca Howard
Aug. 1 (BusinessDesk) - Vodafone New Zealand, owned by Infratil and Brookfield Asset Management as of today, plans to switch on a 5G network in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown in December.
“5G is so much more than the successor to 4G. It’s our most powerful tool yet, representing a transformational shift that will drive a digital revolution and make New Zealanders’ lives and businesses better, smarter and more productive," said Vodafone NZ chief executive Jason Paris.
At full capability, 5G will enable more than 10 times faster speeds on 5G smartphones than typical 4G today, Vodafone NZ said.
The company's first four partners will be the Police, BNZ, Auckland’s Rescue Helicopter and Waste Management, he said. "They have agreed to work with us and our partners Nokia, Microsoft, and IBM, to begin to scope their 5G future.”
It will also be communicating with its mobile customers about how to access 5G enabled plans for no additional charge but "in the future we plan to charge a premium for 5G."
According to Paris, to be eligible for 5G customers will need a 5G capable device, a 5G enabled plan and be in a 5G connected area.
"The experience of Vodafone in launching 5G in other countries has shown that consumer applications such as gaming, wearables, and smart home technologies definitely benefit from 5G’s higher-speed and lower latency. However, it is innovative businesses and public organisations who are the real early adopters," he added.
The announcement demonstrates Infratil and Brookfield’s commitment to invest in New Zealand’s future, and is the first of many initiatives, Paris said. Infratil and Brookfield bought Vodafone NZ for $3.4 billion. The sale settled yesterday after all regulatory approvals were obtained.