FutureFive NZ - Texas hold’em telcos refuse to budge in high-stakes 4G battle

Warning: This story was published more than a year ago.

Texas hold’em telcos refuse to budge in high-stakes 4G battle

Telecom has refused to react to Vodafone's recent 4G rollout, while 2degrees remains tight-lipped on its plans, turning the telco industry into a Texas Hold'em style poker battle.

With the blinds raised and stakes high, Vodafone made the first move yesterday, announcing it's foray into the world of 4G.

The service is now live in parts of Auckland and is expected to reach Christchurch in May, and parts of Wellington in August/September.

So with Vodafone placing it's two Aces on the table, it's Telecom's turn to play.

Casting back to December and it appeared the company would steal a march on industry rivals, after trialling it's 4G LTE technology in parts of Auckland Wellington.

The trial took place in parts of the North Shore on the 2600MHz spectrum and Lower Hutt area of Wellington, also on the 2600MHz spectrum.

Both appeared a success as Telecom announced a second phase spanning mid-February to the end of March.

Yet with a restless dealer and a table full of players, it seems the company has folded, refusing to budge on it's original 4G plans.

Planning to release a 4G service to the public by the end of the year, a Telecom spokesperson said the company does not have funds put aside for a commercial rollout.

"We’re planning to launch a commercial 4G LTE product before the end of the year and will roll this out progressively as demand warrants."

Telecom folds. Now onto 2degrees.

With Vodafone sitting in an enviable position among other telcos, 2degrees also refused to be drawn on the matter, insisting a move into the 4G arena would happen, without revealing when.

"2degrees will be moving to 4G – although we won’t be revealing details or timing of our plans at this stage."

The company has recently invested $15m for an additional 1800MHz spectrum from Telstra which is a good start but in terms of timing….who knows?

At this stage of the game Vodafone could have been sat with a two and a seven and still would have won - but while it remains top of the pile at present, when it's rivals eventually catch up it will need a pair of fours to compete, that's a 4G for me, and a 4G for you.

Should Telecom and 2degrees be trying to catch up to Vodafone quicker? Tell us your thoughts below

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