4G technology now in Dunedin

More than two-thirds of Dunedin now has access to the world's fastest mobile network technology.

Vodafone launched 4G network technology in the city last Thursday and Telecom has announced it plans to follow suit later this year.

The network can provide speeds up to 10 times faster than standard 3G services.

Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie said although it was ''all early days'', the technology could change the way Dunedin did business.

''It means people can have a choice of where they live and do business from,'' he said.

''It allows us to be competitive. One of the issues we have always had is the tyranny of distance and this does allow us to break down that distance.''

It also benefited tourism and education in the city, as visitors to Dunedin had come to expect these kinds of services to be available, he said.

''We absolutely have to have the latest versions of these technologies available for our businesses and for personal use.''

Vodafone technology director Sandra Pickering said 4G coverage was available to almost 70% of Dunedin and nationally to 1.54 million people in 38 locations, including Arrowtown and Queenstown.

Dunedin South MP and Labour's ICT spokeswoman Clare Curran said the arrival of 4G was a ''major milestone'' for Dunedin.

''4G is incredibly enabling technology with huge benefits for the people who visit, live, study and do business in Dunedin,'' she said.

''Being able to offer 4G ... adds an extra dimension of access to content and information.''

Telecom communications manager Julie Wagener said Telecom planned to launch 4G capability in Dunedin ''within the next five months''.

Christchurch was the sole location where Telecom 4G capability could be accessed at present but Dunedin would be among sites where it would be available by the end of this year, she said.

''We will be looking at multiple other sites within a similar timeframe,'' she said.

She could not discuss other sites in the South Island, as they were not yet finalised.

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