Ahead of Vodafone's probable* 4G launch tomorrow, NBR thought it would ask Telecom about its mobile network upgrade plans.
A spokeswoman replied, "We’re planning to launch a commercial 4G LTE product before the end of the year and will roll this out progressively as demand warrants."
There's no firmer timing at this point, but we do have an earlier statement from Telecom's CFO that there is only capex budgeted this financial year (ending June 30) for the company's 4G trial, not a commercial roll-out. But tomorrow, of course, the goal posts could be moved for everyone - so you've got to wonder if Telecom will feel under pressure to launch sooner, even if it's in very confined geographic areas.
NBR also canvassed 2degrees.
A spokeswoman said, "2degrees will be moving to 4G – although we won’t be revealing details or timing of our plans at this stage."
It's worth noting at this juncture that the carrier is now in a better position to upgrade. CEO Eric Hertz recently revealed 2degrees bought a 1800MHz block of spectrum from Telstra for $15 million (Vodafone proposed selling some of TelstraClear's spectrum be made available to other market players last year as it announced it had entered an agreement to buy Telstra's NZ subsidiary, heading off likely Commerce Commission qualms on that front.)
* NBR understands that Vodafone partners were briefed on the 4G launch today.
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