Telecom to roll out $574 million 3G network by June

New services, boosted revenues and increased efficiency promised

Telecom aims to deliver a new 3G mobile network using wideband CDMA technology nationwide by June next year.

The company says WCDMA at 850MHz is "the smartest technology choice for New Zealand's unique geography and conditions".

The investment, it says, will mean customers have superior network performance, handsets and devices and new content services.

“Telecom’s new mobile network will be superior on every level: the best nationwide coverage, the fastest internet on your mobile, a wide range of world-leading handsets, as well as better content, music and business applications," CEO Paul Reynolds says.

The choice of wideband CDMA, he says, will alow Telecom to roll out its 3G network ahead of rival Vodafone. Telecom has also committed to deploying HSPA+ (Evolved High Speed Packet Access), a technology offering even higher broadband speeds, helping to future-proof its services.

Telecom also claims its network will provide superior global roaming, claiming its handsets will work on over 430 networks in 170 destinations for voice and texting, and over 110 destinations for data.

Telecom says the business case for the investment is compelling as it will protect traditional product and service revenues, increase customer numbers and reduce customer churn.

The investment aims to increase Telecom's mobile revenues from voice, roaming and mobile data use and also by creating bundling options. It will also create the opportunity of building mobile content revenue.

Telecom says the network will also boost efficiency, as one mobile network reduces cost and complexity. The investment will also reduce in the complexity of existing mobile products, plans and systems, it says.

Technically, Telecom by choosing WCDMA avoids additional migration steps from its existing network to GSM to 3G.

Telecom will spend $379 million on its network in the 2009 financial year and a further $195 million in 2010, totalling $574 million.

The company has revised its capital expenditure guidance upwards as a result of the announcement.

Telecom’s network will have a phased launch from November with the launch of inbound roaming services.

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