New tower to bring cellphone coverage

A cellphone tower under construction at Papatowai should bring coverage to the area late this month or early next month, a Vodafone spokeswoman says.

The South Otago Catlins location is the third tower to be built under the 2011 Vodafone Community Cell Site scheme, which solicited bids from remote communities to bring cellphone coverage to their area.

Of the three chosen locations, two sites were selected in the Catlins, at Haldane and Papatowai. The third location was Waihau Bay in the Bay of Plenty.

Venture Southland and the Clutha District Council lobbied successfully to bring cellphone coverage to the Catlins based on the area's tourism potential, the spokeswoman said.

Upon completion, there will be four cellphone towers in the Catlins - at Papatowai, Haldane, Owaka and Tokanui.

The Owaka and Tokanui towers were built as part of the Government's rural broadband initiative.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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