Vodafone New Zealand, the largest operator in the country and the first to launch LTE services in New Zealand, has selected Nokia Networks to enable the launch of its commercial 700MHz LTE network, one of the first Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT) 700 MHz networks in the world.
To support the launch, Vodafone will augment Nokia Networks’ compact and scalable single RAN-Advanced Flexi Multiradio 10 base stations with the latest 6-pipe RF module for APT 700MHz to deliver multiple input and multiple output (MIMO) on up to 3 sectors using a single unit.
This compact solution shares processing hardware with the existing network equipment to deliver an efficient, cost-effective platform that is ready to support LTE-A carrier aggregation on the 700MHz band.
Additionally, network planning and optimisation services will ensure the best performance of the new spectrum and seamless interworking of mobile broadband services across the various radio technologies (2G/3G/LTE) and frequency bands in Vodafone New Zealand’s network.
The two companies recently joined forces to introduce small cells in the country and continue to work together to transform New Zealand’s telecommunications landscape.
With speeds up to 10 times faster than standard 3G services, Vodafone customers in Papakura, in the southern most part of Auckland, will be able to take advantage of advanced mobile broadband services with superior network quality, speed and coverage, Nokia Networks said.
Working with Nokia Networks, Vodafone New Zealand will deploy LTE coverage on the APT 700MHz digital dividend spectrum band harmonised across several countries in the Asia Pacific region.
The 700MHz band provides an excellent basis for high-quality indoor and extended rural area coverage for 4G-enabled devices, as it has a longer range and is better at penetrating buildings than other LTE bands higher up the spectrum.
Vodafone New Zealand director of technology, Sandra Pickering said kicking off the commercial 4G rollout to rural New Zealand is a major milestone. “There’s no question that 4G – particularly in rural areas – will deliver economic benefit and have strong impacts for productivity.
“Our focus this year is about expanding our 4G network to rural New Zealand with 700MHz, and Nokia Networks will play an important part in implementing this initiative. We’ll be activating 4G wherever possible on new Rural Broadband Initiative sites this year.”
“After supporting Vodafone’s launch of the country’s first 4G network, we have further strengthened our collaboration by becoming a part of this important project,” said Stephen McFeeley, head of Australia and New Zealand at Nokia Networks.