11 Apr 2013

Huawei to build Telecom's 4G network

9:02 am on 11 April 2013

Telecom has shunned the maker of its troubled XT Network, Alcatel Lucent, and selected Chinese firm Huawei to build its new fourth generation LTE network.

The network is set to go live on a large part of its smartphone network in Auckland by October and in Wellington and Christchurch by Christmas.

This will be months after its biggest rival, Vodafone, which plans to expand its equivalent network to Christchurch by May and Wellington by the end of the year.

Telecom Retail chief executive Chris Quin says the company is not concerned about coming onto the network after Vodafone because it's convinced it has chosen the right firms to partner with.

He says Huawei is the most technologically advanced company and invests the most money in research and development.

Telecom will not announce pricing until closer to the October launch.

The chief executive of the Telecommunications Users Association, Paul Briselen, says the 4G network will really only take off when there is more competition in the market.

He says Huawei built the 2degrees network in New Zealand and most of the world's 4G networks are being deployed by the Chinese company, which is cheaper than other providers

Mr Brislen says Telecom's move pretty much puts the nail in the coffin for Alcatel as a provider of broadband services in New Zealand.