Telecom picks Huawei for 4G rollout

Telecom's 4G/LTE service to go live in parts of Auckland in October

Telecom has chosen Huawei to build its 4G/LTE network, which is due to go live in October.

This marks a departure for Telecom as previously its main technology partner for mobile services has been Alcatel Lucent. Telecom has been in 4G trials with major customers since February.

In a statement, chief technology officer David Havercroft says Huawei will build Telecom's network of 4G-capable mobile sites known as the eUTRAN.

"Huawei's selection was based on two main factors. The first is that they have extensive experience, having built 73 LTE networks in 42 countries. The second is that they are truly pushing the boundaries of LTE technology.

"Over the past 3 months we have been trialling Huawei's 4G LTE technology in Auckland and Rotorua. Our testing has encompassed some very exciting new developments like 'carrier aggregation'. Carrier aggregation allows us to use two different spectrums simultaneously, and in our trials it produced maximum peak speeds of up to 250Mbps.

"While such technology is some way from launching commercially, it is very exciting to be working with a technology partner who has this level of capability, and a massive commitment to research and development that we can bring to New Zealand," Havercroft says.

Cisco Systems will build the ePC (enhanced Packet Core), which processes and transports data through the network. As previously announced, Ericsson will build the new HSS (Home Subscriber Service) and the replacement HLR (Home Location Register) the central 'brains' of the network, a database that holds all customer profile information.

Telecom says its 4G LTE network will be live on a large part network in Auckland by October. The company will then extend 4G LTE coverage to Wellington and Christchurch by Christmas, and expects to have 4G LTE live on close to half of its nationwide Smartphone Network during 2014.

Vodafone went live with its 4G network in parts of Auckland in February.