Superfast cell network coming to Queenstown

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Queenstown will be one of the first places in New Zealand to receive a superfast cell phone network.

Vodafone showcased its 4G network to resort businesspeople this morning (Wednesday).

Launched locally in late June, the next generation network allows quicker access to internet content and information while on the move.

Vodafone external affairs director Tom Chignell says: “Queenstown is the first provincial centre in the country that’s getting 4G.

“There are about a dozen cell sites in Queenstown and the initial rollout will be to six of those – three in the CBD, two at the airport and also the Glenorchy site.”

The firm claims its 4G network is up to 10 times faster than standard 3G services.

This allows customers using top smartphones such as the iPhone 5 to stream, download, upload, browse and play games faster than ever before and without delays.

“It’s all about smartphones – they’re changing the way people are using mobile networks,” Chignell says.

“50 per cent of Kiwis already use smartphones to access the internet; they’re taking over from PCs.

“Data and usage is going ballistic at the moment.”

The service costs $10 a month for customers not on at least a $120-plus per month plan.

It allows a book to be downloaded in less than a second, HD movies in minutes and an album in the time it takes to download a single track on 3G, Vodafone states. Access to The Cloud is also seamless.

Vodafone New Zealand boss Russell Stanners says: “4G is the network that the best smartphones were made for.

“It means you can access all the information and entertainment you want in real time – and connect faster than ever before.”

The other six Queenstown cell towers will also be upgraded after the nationwide rollout.