Telecom New Zealand will begin a trial of LTE technology will go live in parts of Wellington and Auckland from 7 December. The first phase of the trial will run from December until mid-February and will focus on testing how the network performs in a New Zealand environment in a series of situations. The second phase – which involves customer trials - will then begin in mid-February and run until the end of March. Telecom is aiming to launch the new network late in 2013/early in 2014.
The Auckland trial will take place in parts of the North Shore on the 2600 MHz spectrum and will be conducted by Huawei Technologies. Alcatel-Lucent will run the trial in the Lower Hutt area of Wellington, also on the 2600 MHz spectrum. Both trial areas include residential and light industrial property, a section of motorway, and small–to–medium enterprises, allowing Telecom to test the technology and customer experience in a variety of contexts. Telecom is also planning two smaller trials of LTE outside of the main centres. Alcatel-Lucent will conduct a trial on behalf of Telecom in a rural part of southern Hawke’s Bay on the 700 MHz spectrum (which will become available after the switch over to digital television) and Huawei will trial at 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz frequencies in a small area of Rotorua.
Telecom also announced that it had selected Ericsson to supply equipment for the Home Location Register (HLR) combined with the Home Subscriber Service (HSS) a core part of both the existing 3G and new LTE network.
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