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Vodafone New Zealand says customer demand for increased cellphone coverage at Glenorchy prompted its application for resource consents to build communications towers at Greenstone Station Rd on Mt Nicholas on the western side of Lake Wakatipu.
Lakes Environmental received the application on September 30 and Vodafone spokesman Paul Brislen said barring any delays the 3G towers would be installed within 18 months.
He said the company had negotiated with landowners and filed resource consents in tandem to speed up the process.
"We've had customers tell us they want to increase cellphone coverage, use iPhones and send pictures and we're happy to respond to that demand," he said.
The cell site and microwave transmitter would give coverage in a 60km to 90km oval radius.
Mr Brislen said the landowners "were on board" and had indicated they would sign a contract with Vodafone once resource consents were granted.
"Hopefully, we'll be able to start building the sites this year," he said.