New Zealand's second-largest telco, TelstraClear, says it has started deploying the fibre-optic network that will connect the cell sites for its large-scale wireless trial in Tauranga.
Some twelve kilometres of fibre will be laid in the provincial New Zealand town, to feed the 3G sites that TelstraClear intends to use for its "Unplugged" network there. The whole project is said to cost $50 million and has a launch date of July next year.
TelstraClear's fibre rollout will continue until March, in the areas of Otumoetai, Brookfield, Gate Pa, Greerton, Papamoa and Mt Maunganiu and connect to the telco's national backbone. The latter was recently upgraded to 10Gbit/s capacity, but TelstraClear doesn't say how much its Tauranga fibre can handle.
Presently, details of TelstraClear's 3G network in Tauranga are scarce. It is likely however to be similar to the HSDPA network its shareholder, Telstra in Australia, has rolled out.
Telstra's WCDMA network with HSDA upgrade runs in the 850MHz spectrum, and provides speeds of around 1.6Mbit/s for the downstream, and 384kbit/s uploads. The network equipment is supplied by Ericsson and was turned on in October this year.
While TelstraClear promises the network will let customers "talk and use broadband wherever [they] are, whenever [they] want to in Tauranga city" it remains to be seen if this means cellular calling with nationwide roaming through the only GSM provider in New Zealand, Vodafone, is on the cards.