Vodafone today announced it will take its first step into New Zealand’s 5G future and switch on a 5G network in December, starting in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown. The launch announcement coincides with today’s completion of the sale of Vodafone New Zealand to Brookfield and Infratil, and follows Vodafone’s recent rollout of 5G in the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain and Germany.
Vodafone New Zealand CEO, Jason Paris, said, “I’m thrilled to announce we will be bringing genuine 5G to New Zealanders later this year, building on our proud heritage of being first to deliver the best technology from around the world to Kiwis including 2G, 3G, and 4G.
“5G is so much more than the successor to 4G. It’s our most powerful tool yet, representing a transformational shift that will drive a digital revolution and make New Zealanders’ lives and businesses better, smarter and more productive.
“The decision to bring 5G to New Zealand now is to help ensure New Zealand businesses can maintain their competitiveness in an increasingly connected world. The experience of Vodafone in launching 5G in other countries has shown that consumer applications such as gaming, wearables, and smart home technologies definitely benefit from 5G’s higher-speed and lower latency, however it is innovative businesses and public organisations who are the real early adopters.
“5G is starting to shape the future of every sector. In health with connected ambulances and remote surgery, in manufacturing with automated factories and in utilities with smart waste management or intelligent electricity networks. It’s starting to benefit communities around the world and deliver social-good outcomes, for example through improved e-learning capabilities. We want all businesses and organisations to see what 5G can do for them.
“Vodafone is already working alongside a number of business partners to understand how the power of 5G can improve the lives of New Zealanders. I’m proud to announce our first four partners, NZ Police, BNZ, Auckland’s Rescue Helicopter and Waste Management. They have agreed to work with us and our partners Nokia, Microsoft, and IBM, to begin to scope their 5G future.”
Vodafone Technology Director, Tony Baird said the potential applications of 5G are exponential. “5G takes New Zealand beyond mobile and will accelerate Vodafone New Zealand’s leadership position in IoT. 5G and IoT will enable hyper-connectivity between machines, smart devices and people. This means we’ll start seeing the development of innovative, intelligent processes and connected services that simply haven’t been possible or even conceivable until now.
“5G is also ideally suited for delivering fixed wireless broadband. This will be a great broadband solution for many more New Zealand customers than was previously possible, and will complement our ongoing investment in 4G, IoT and fixed network technologies.”
Paris added, “This announcement demonstrates Infratil and Brookfield’s commitment to invest in New Zealand’s future, and is the first of many initiatives that will show that we are 100% focussed on delivering world class experiences for all Vodafone customers and for New Zealand.
“For Vodafone New Zealand customers, 5G is not a someday technology. This is their future – now. When we switch on a global standards-based 5G network for New Zealand in December it will mark the next chapter of our journey to transform Vodafone New Zealand and help unlock innovations that will enable all New Zealanders to live better, safer, healthier and more connected lives.
“Today we are announcing a network leadership initiative for New Zealand. There is a lot more to come in terms of leadership from us. We also have an announcement on service leadership coming soon that will make a significant difference to the delivery of more consistent customer service for everyone. We know we aren’t where we need to be on this, so watch this space.”