Telecom to trial 4G technology by Christmas

17:43, Oct 09 2012

Telecom says it remains on track to trial 4G technology before Christmas.

The company said in May it would give hundreds of consumers and at least four big businesses - Mitre 10, KiwiRail, Mainzeal and supermarket group Countdown - their first taste of 4G technology this year.

Telecom told analysts at a financial briefing in August that it had not set aside any capital expenditure for 4G, leading some to speculate the trial had been postponed. But spokeswoman Lucy Powell said that was not the case.

4G networks can carry more data using the same amount of radio spectrum as earlier mobile technologies, meaning they should result in faster and/or cheaper mobile broadband plans with higher data caps.

They also have much lower latency - or "lag" - making mobile applications that rely on frequent, rapid data exchange such as mobile gaming and mobile video-conferencing more practical.

Retail chief executive Chris Quin said in May that the trial would be in Auckland and Wellington and in some smaller centres and regions.

Telecom might not take the equipment down afterwards, meaning the trial could evolve into the full commercial launch of a 4G network.

The wide-scale deployment of 4G networks awaits the release of 700MHz spectrum, which will be freed after analogue television shuts down.

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