Vodafone New Zealand’s new owners officially took control at the start of the month, and it looks like they have big plans. The new owners promised a more nimble operation while still having access to Vodafone’s technology and global roaming.
But, the change we are most excited about CEO Jason Paris’ announcement of a 5G network launch in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown in December.
The 5G network launch looks like it will give Vodafone a head start on rivals 2degrees and Spark.
More than 100 cell sites will be upgraded to 5G by Decembers, along with another 20 cell sites on wheels (COWS) which are typically used at large events like sporting events or concerts.
Approximately 400 more cellsites will be upgraded to 4.9G – a souped up version of 4G. Other areas will be 5G “over the next few years”.
If you want to take advantage of the new 5G network you will need to ensure that you have a smartphone that supports the technology
Vodafone has announced that their customers won’t pay an extra charge for its 5G network when it launches, but the company does intend to impose a premium down the track.
As the 5G network rolls out, customers with devices that are 5G enables will be able to move seamlessly between 4G and 5G where it is available.
5G offers fibre-like internet speeds, with almost none of the lags associated with earlier mobile networks like 3G or 2G. The network could be able to connect up to 1 million devices per square km, potentially enough bandwidth to make unlimited data plans the norm.
A 5G network offers customers benefits from using 5G for gaming and in conjunction with wearable devices, and will dramatically improve the performance of smartphones.
This could have a great impact for people who rely on wireless broadband plans at home.