Counting down to 5G roll-out


5G is coming to Queenstown this week – whether you like it or not.

Vodafone New Zealand, which is also launching the commercial mobile network in NZ in parts of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, says the technology offers faster speeds, low latency and increased capacity.

It’s starting in Queenstown with three 5G-enabled sites – in the Queenstown CBD, a hill above the Frankton-Ladies Mile highway and in the airport vicinity.

Mountain Scene revealed last month that several Arrowtowners, in particular, are agitating against 5G, including starting a Facebook group, launching a petition, ‘Half 5G in Queenstown & Arrowtown area’, and hosting a public meeting addressed by two experts on 5G’s health effects.

The critics allege radiation from 5G transmitters will affect people’s health and diminish bird and insect life, and say it’s been banned in some countries and communities.

In reply, Vodafone NZ spokeswoman Nicky Preston says the World Health Organisation’s concluded, from “thousands of scientific studies”, that frequencies used for 5G, 4G, 3G, televisions and Wi-Fi pose no risk to human health.

“Vodafone NZ will continue to monitor international research and adhere to international guidelines based on comprehensive scientific research and independent analysis.”

Preston, who visited Queenstown’s council this week to talk about 5G, says it’s “expected to improve community connectivity, create new industries and make fresh innovation possible thanks to its greater capacity and faster response times”.

She adds her company’s also upgraded its sites to include ‘4G calling’.

That offers quicker call connections and clearer voice calling.

Regarding Vodafone’s plans for Arrowtown, Preston last month said it expects to upgrade two existing sites to be 5G-enabled in 18 to 24 months’ time.