Telecom 4G not yet for Dunedin

Dunedin is the conspicuous name missing from the list of centres in which Telecom will launch its 4G network on November 12.

Also missing is Hamilton, but Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch will have 4G available on both prepaid and pay-monthly services, at no additional cost on Telecom's current plans.

Telecom retail chief executive Chris Quin said the initial focus was on rolling out 4G in the ''main population centres'', as it was the quickest and most efficient way to give the most people access to 4G.

''We are still committed to extending our 4G footprint across more of our national network and we will announce our plans in due course.''

Vodafone has 4G services in Queenstown. A Vodafone spokeswoman told the Otago Daily Times Dunedin and Invercargill were likely to be switched to 4G in the first quarter of next year but the Octagon area of Dunedin would be 4G-enabled before Christmas.

Mr Quin said one of the factors Telecom needed to consider was the impact of the upcoming auction by the Government of 700MHz. The 700MHz spectrum range was appealing for the roll-out as it enabled better economics of coverage in less populous areas than the 1800MHz range currently being used for LTE (long-term evolution).

The 4G services would use LTE technology over the 1800MHz range.

To access 4G, customers needed to be in a coverage area, own a 4G-capable phone enabled to work on the Telecom mobile network and upgrade to a 4G Sim card.

Most higher-end mobile devices introduced in the past year or so were 4G capable and more devices would be launched in coming weeks, Mr Quin said.

The speed and standards of this technology needs to be at least 100 Megabits per second and up to 1Gigabit per second to pass as 4G. It also needs to share the network resources to support more simultaneous connections on the cell. As it develops, 4G could surpass the speed of the average wireless broadband home internet connection.
4G LTE (long-term evolution): The buzzword is a version of 4G which is becoming the latest advertised technology but still not true 4G, as the standards are currently set.
When you start hearing about LTE Advanced and WiMax release 2, then we will be talking about true fourth-generation wireless technologies, because they are the only two formats recognised by the International Telecommunications Union as true 4G, at this time.
WiMax, Worldwide interoperability for Microwave access: Should be capable of around 40 Megabits per second, with a range of 50km.


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