2degrees network set for $100m upgrade

Mobile operator to open 30 retail stores this year

2degrees has signed a $100 million deal with technology partner Huawei to upgrade its mobile network over the next two years.

CEO Eric Hertz says the upgrade will see a "significant increase" in the size, capacity and capability of the 2degrees network, as the company prepares for the onset of 4G mobile technologies.

“We’re very conscious that we need to build networks that deliver on tomorrow’s speed and capacity demands, so being able to upgrade to 4G via a software activation rather than a network rebuild is especially important as new spectrum becomes available and consumer demands for data continue to grow.”

Huawei, which will undertake a ‘turn key’ project solution, won the deal following a competitive process.

Hertz says this will bring total investment in 2degress to more than $400 million. 2degrees will also open another 30 retails stores in 2011, a new call centre in Christchurch will employ 80 staff.

2degrees has its own network infrastructure in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown and their customers roam on Vodafone's network in other centres.