Telecom targets August launch for 4G on 700MHz spectrum

The company accepts that there only be a limited number of devices in August that will be able to use the services.

Telecom has announced its intention to launch 4G services in the 700 MHz band in late August.

According to the company, at launch there will be 11 cell sites across the Waikato region including central Hamilton, Morrisonville and surrounding areas. The rollout will then extend by Christmas to other initial target areas of high rural demand for mobile broadband services, including some RBI sites.

“Telecom now owns the largest block of 700 MHz spectrum. This has given us the confidence to accelerate our plans to roll out 4G services on 700 MHz,” COO David Havercroft said.

“From late August, our 700 MHz network will be launched and open for commercial traffic in the Waikato region, where we have already been trialling the technology since May. The trial has gone extremely well, with the services performing above expectation.”

The company accepts that there only be a limited number of devices in August that will be able to use the services. However, Telecom states that it is working with mobile manufacturers and intends to have a mobile device portfolio of approximately 10 devices that are 700 MHz compatible by the end of the year.

“The more of this 700MHz spectrum an operator has, the faster the speeds it will be capable of offering and the more data it can carry.

“We have paid a premium to acquire our spectrum at the lower end of the band, which means Telecom devices will be more compatible when roaming in Australia,” said Havercroft.

Telecom acquired management rights for 20MHz of radio spectrum in the 700MHz range by way of the government auction process. It was granted clearance to acquire the final block of 5MHz by the Commerce Commission (ComCom) in May this year.

The company launched 4G services utilising existing spectrum in the 1800 MHz range in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in November last year.

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