Vodafone has today announced it has completed its nationwide $14 million 4G upgrade.
The upgrade sees the completion of 121 cell site upgrades and 22 new cell site builds since January this year, the company explains in a statement.
“Vodafone’s $14 million investment delivers on its promise to extend the benefits of 4G to more of New Zealand by bringing superfast network speeds to Kiwis living in New Zealand’s provincial areas – in some cases for the first time.,” the company says.
The programme has seen 4G coverage across the country increase to over 85% from approximately 74% in February this year.
Vodafone says it is ‘so confident’ in its mobile network and in the investments it has made that from Monday the company will provide a money-back mobile network guarantee. If any new customer on a monthly plan is not completely happy within the first 30 days, they can cancel their plan and get their money back.
“We’re putting our money where our mouth is,” Tony Baird, technology director at Vodafone, says. “Kiwis love to stay connected and it’s always been our priority to provide our customers with the network they can rely on to do that.
“We’re giving new customers the opportunity to experience New Zealand’s leading mobile network – with no obligation,” he says.
“We’ve been relentless with our upgrade schedule this year,” Baird says. “These 4G upgrades ensure rural New Zealanders experience the same speed and benefits as those living and working in more urban areas.
“As evidence of this, 80 of the cell site upgrades offer Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) Services and 15 new cell-sites are built under the RBI Initiative - helping bring faster internet speeds to more and more rural New Zealanders every day.”
Vodafone says speeds on its 4G network are up to 10 times faster than 3G. The company’s 4G network carries around 350 terabytes of data each month; a 100% year-on-year increase.
Data streaming now makes up more than 35% of traffic on the mobile network and areas like Southland, West Coast, Canterbury, Tasman and Northland have fully embraced the speed of 4G, Baird says. Over the past year, data use in Southland has increased by more than 170% since the arrival of 4G.
The 4G network is now available to approximately 3.56 million people (over 85% of the total population, increasing from approximately 74% in February 2015) across New Zealand.
The network covers 36,680 square kilometres of the country. To implement the sites, Vodafone deployed 18 field teams to 63 cities and towns across the country from KeriKeri in the North, to Riverton in the South.
Baird says more than 1 million devices on Vodafone’s network are now accessing 4G.