2degrees, Spark and Vodafone and announce new rural broadband and mobile services in 20 locations

2degrees, as part of the RCG, announced today together with Spark and Vodafone, that new rural broadband and mobile services are now live into 20 rural locations across New Zealand.

The sites are the result of collaboration between the three mobile network operators and Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) to build essential broadband and mobile services for rural New Zealand.

CIP contracted the Rural Connectivity Group (RCG) which was established to provide connectivity to rural New Zealand. The RCG is a joint venture between the three telcos, to build, operate and maintain this essential rural network infrastructure. Services are now available over the RCG network to customers of 2degrees, Spark or Vodafone.

The 20 new sites, the first of more than 400 new sites, range from the Far North all the way down to Southland. The new sites will provide high speed wireless broadband and quality mobile coverage to around 1,600 rural homes and businesses, across 70 kms of state highway and to 13 tourist sites. Depending on the customer’s provider and their current mobile phone, some customers may need to get software updates to their phone or upgrade their phone.

2degress Chief Commercial Officer and RCG Board member Paul Mathewson said, “We’re proud as an industry to be able to collaborate and work together where it makes sense – and our RCG partnership with Spark and Vodafone is the perfect example. Connecting Kiwis with their loved ones or the people they do business with is at the heart of what drives us at 2degrees, and we’re thrilled that fast connectivity is going to reach the furthest and most remote corners of New Zealand.”

The Government via Crown Infrastructure Partners contracted the RCG to be the infrastructure provider to bring mobile and wireless broadband coverage to rural New Zealand under the Rural Broadband Initiative 2 and the Mobile Black Spot fund.

Once the RCG project is completed it will deliver new mobile and wireless broadband coverage to at least 38,000 rural homes and businesses. It will also provide mobile coverage to a further 1,200 kilometres of state highways and provide connectivity to at least 152 top New Zealand tourist destinations by December 2022.

The RCG network uses Nokia 4G Multi Operator Core Network (MOCN) which has been deployed successfully with three mobile network operators. This new technology allows RCG to deploy one Radio Access Network (RAN) to connect to the three differently architectured core networks of Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees. 

This allows all three mobile networks to provide services to these rural communities from just one cell site that requires only three antennas to operate. 

ENDS

Notes to editors:

 

List of RCG sites that are now live:

Northland Region

Kaihu – Kaipara District Council

Aranga – Kaipara District Council

Fisher Riley – Far North District Council

Whangarei Heads – Whangarei District Council

Pipiwai – Whangarei District Council

Kaiatea Road – Whangarei District Council

 

Auckland Region

Kaipara Coast Highway – Auckland Council

Te Arai – Auckland Council

 

Hawkes Bay Region

Waihua Beach – Wairoa District Council

 

Taranaki Region

Junction Road – Stratford District Council

 

Ruapehu Region

Raurimu – Ruapehu District Council

 

West Coast Region

Charleston - Buller District Council

Rapahoe – Grey District Council

Tatare – Westland District Council

Ruatapu – Westland District Council

Inangahua - Buller District Council

Ikamatua – Buller District Council

 

Southland Region

Morton Mains – Southland District Council

Waikawa – Southland District Council

Otahu Flat – Southland District Council

 

For more information:

Caitlin Metz - Rural Connectivity Group / 021 033 1116 /  Caitlin.Metz@theRCG.nz  

Katherine Cornish, 2degrees - 021 947 835 or Katherine.Cornish@2degrees.nz