Vodafone isn't commenting on newspaper advertisements placed by Nokia calling for staff to work on the rollout of a new network.
The ads state that "Nokia is preparing itself to create the 'new wave' network in New Zealand [and] to do this it needs a team of people prepared to own the process of rolling out and caring for the technology".
The positions Nokia is seeking to fill include project manager, rollout manager and project engineer.
Nokia is a bidder for Vodafone's new 3G network, in competition with Ericsson, Nortel Networks and a Siemens-NEC joint bid.
Vodafone spokeswoman Sarah Williams says she can't comment on why Nokia is looking for staff.
"We're in the final stages of selection [of a network vendor] and there are four very strong contenders. We don't know yet who our partner will be."
Nokia NZ spokesman Lane Stephens says no one at Nokia NZ is willing to comment on the ads while the bids are still in progress.
Its bid is being headed by former New Zealand managing director Phil Kemp. He is now based in the UK as Nokia's director of business development and strategy for the network side of the company, working on the Vodafone account.
Nokia built Vodafone's present network and is also a bidder for TelstraClear's proposed 3G network, along with Ericsson and Siemens, Nortel having been dropped last year.
A Vodafone statement last year said "hundreds of millions" of dollars would be spent on its 3G network, but Australian telecomms analyst Paul Budde has questioned the business case for having two competing 3G networks in New Zealand.