Vast stretches of unspoiled landscape have made agriculture and tourism the two legs on which New Zealand’s economy stands, but they have also made network coverage for citizens and travelers something of a challenge. With so much of the country’s GDP dependent on what happens outside of the cities, nationwide broadband is a must in the 21st century. Tourists must be able to share their memories as they happen, and farmers must be able to track their produce and improve productivity to keep up with the world’s growing demand for meat and dairy.
Spark New Zealand has cooperated with Huawei to build an LTE network at 700MHz, a frequency range that delivers both coverage and capacity at a lower cost. With its ability to operate in the presence of mountains and vast expanses, this network now provides 4G services throughout the country, from the busiest parts of Auckland to the most remote stretches of countryside, with nearly 200,000 rural customers now enjoying the same quality of Internet as the townies. Not only does this bridge the digital divide, a social good in and of itself, it stimulates commerce. Consumers can check the origins and transportation records of the food on their table, instantly. Travelers can share their experiences as they happen, no matter how far they are from the noise and clutter of the modern world. And there will be more to come, with these emerging opportunities estimated to add USD1.8 billion to the gross domestic product of New Zealand.