4G first but data caps stay the same

Vodafone yesterday launched a 4G network, the first in New Zealand, but Institute of IT Professionals chief executive Paul Matthews said the company had missed a ''real opportunity'' by not lifting data caps.

Not doing so would mean users would chew through their data 10 times faster than they did now.

''It's like having a shower head ... but it only goes for four minutes. It's not going to give you the best shower.''

Mr Matthews said in an interview it was a positive move by Vodafone but without lifting the data caps, 4G could not be used as an alternative to wired ADSL internet or wireless connections. That meant videos could not be streamed through a 4G phone data plan.

The Vodafone release said that at entry level, customers could move on to 4G with a SIM-only plan for $40 a month which included 500MB of data with a 4G upgrade.

The smart data $120 plans and above, with 2GB of data, had 4G included at no additional cost.

Mr Matthews was unaware of any ADSL plan that had 2GB of data included. Most started around 5GB, 10GB or 20GB.

Vodafone chief executive Russell Stanners said the network was live for its customers in parts of Auckland and the network would expand to more suburbs every week.

The 4G network would be live in parts of Christchurch and parts of Wellington in August and September. There was no mention of the network coming further south.


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