The New Zealand government has taken a significant initiative to accelerate the deployment of 5G technology in regional towns, particularly in underserved rural areas across the country.
Ginny Andersen, Minister for Digital Economy and Communications, emphasized the government’s commitment to ensuring universal access to reliable mobile wireless coverage for all New Zealanders, regardless of their location.
To expedite the implementation of 5G services in rural and regional towns, the government has entered into tailored agreements with three major network operators in New Zealand: Spark, 2Degrees, and One New Zealand.
This collaboration aims to expedite the rollout of 5G services in approximately 55 rural and regional towns, as well as extend mobile wireless coverage to remote rural black spot areas. By joining forces with these network operators, more Kiwis will gain faster access to 5G services, which are expected to deliver superior data transmission speeds and enhanced capacity compared to the existing 4G technology, according to Minister Andersen.
The minister highlighted the significance of this deal in terms of improving connectivity in rural New Zealand, acknowledging the positive impact it would have on the region. She emphasized that this collaborative effort would contribute to bridging the connectivity gap and delivering better services to underserved areas..
In exchange for the commitments made by the major network operators, the government will grant them long-term access to the 3.5GHz spectrum band, which is globally used for 5G services. The allocation process for this spectrum band will be carried out directly by the government. This arrangement presents an opportunity to expand and enhance coverage in regional and rural New Zealand.
To support the nationwide implementation of 5G networks, each of New Zealand’s three major operators will be allocated 80 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5GHz band, providing them with sufficient resources to operate their respective networks across the country.