Telecom launching 4G/LTE in October

Telecom says it's launching 4G/LTE services in Auckland by October, with Wellingon and Christchurch expected to have the high-speed mobile network by Christmas.

Update: Around two-thirds of Auckland's 4G network will be completed by October. Telecom says 60 percent of Wellington and Christchurch will have 4G coverage by the end of the year, with the goal to have all three metropolitan areas completed by mid-2014. A coverage map will be released in the upcoming weeks.

At a media briefing today Telecom was unwilling to disclose its 4G prices, saying more details will be released closer to the October launch.

In trials with Huawei's 4G/LTE infrastructure, Telecom says peak speeds of 250 Mbps were reached. Of course this is on an undersaturated trial network and real world speeds will likely be different. 

In February while Telecom was still talking about trialling  4G, Vodafone pipped it at the post by launching its 4G product. 

At Vodafone's launch chief executive Russell Stanners said the telco's current datacaps were sufficient and the company has no intentions to increase them for the new 4G technology. Asked if Telecom would follow suit or increase its datacaps, Telecom Retail CEO Chris Quin says

Telecom's 4G trial (which are still being conducted) will give the company a better idea of what sized data caps customers will want, says Quin.

Tim Miles, who took over from Quin nine weeks ago as chief executive of Gen-i, says data use on Telecom's networks is sky rocketing. With it Telecom will need to increase caps – it's a matter of when and not if, says Miles.

Last year concerns were raised about Huawei technology being used in New Zealand telco infrastructure, because of the company's links to the Chinese military – possibly opening up the country to cyber attacks. Telecom chief technology officer David Havercroft says he doesn't share these concerns, having put Huawei's gear through the same auditing and certification it does with other vendors.

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