Tuesday, 10 June 2014 16:22

Farmers get glimpse of 4G future

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VODAFONE WILL demonstrate the future of rural mobile technology at the National Fieldays, with visitors to its site able to experience rural 4G using 700MHz spectrum.

 

The 700MHz spectrum – freed up from the Government's Digital Dividend auction – delivers greater reach than other frequencies, making it ideal for deployment to rural areas.

Vodafone was the first telecommunications company to roll out 4G in New Zealand and last year was the first to successfully trial rural 4G using 700MHz spectrum at Lake Brunner on the West Coast of the South Island.

Vodafone will upgrade at least 300 of its existing rural cell towers to 4G within the next five years, and build five new towers each year, for five years, in areas where its network does not currently reach.

Vodafone's head of networks, Tony Baird says 4G technology has huge potential for rural New Zealand.

"There's no question that the widest possible deployment of 4G, particularly in rural areas, will deliver the maximum economic benefit with strong impacts for productivity.

"Kiwis in 46 locations around New Zealand already use our 4G service. Now we're preparing to deliver the benefits of superfast mobile to rural New Zealand."

Federated Farmers National Board member, Anders Crofoot, says the auctioned Digital Dividend will soon bring benefits to rural communities.

"I'm pleased to see Vodafone making demonstrations of superfast mobile available to the masses, and I hope the potential of 4G captures farmers' imaginations like it already has for consumers and businesses in urban areas."

Crofoot adds: "Rural TV will upload content directly on site over our 4G network at Fieldays this year, which will show farmers and agribusiness the potential of superfast mobile data."

Kiwis wanting to experience the speed of 4G will need a 4G-capable device with the latest software, a qualifying plan and be in a 4G coverage area. The device seamlessly switches to Vodafone's next fastest 3G speeds when customers leave the 4G coverage area.

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