The Auckland trial is taking place in parts of the North Shore on the 2600MHz spectrum and is being conducted by Huawei. Alcatel-Lucent is running the trial in the Lower Hutt area of Wellington, also on the 2600MHz spectrum. Both trial areas include residential and light industrial property, a section of motorway and small–to–medium enterprises, allowing Telecom to test the technology and customer experience in a variety of contexts.
Telecom NZ is also planning two smaller trials of 4G LTE outside of the main centres. Alcatel-Lucent will conduct a trial in a rural part of southern Hawke’s Bay on the 700MHz spectrum (which will become available after the switch over to digital television) and Huawei will trial at 1800MHz and 2600MHz frequencies in a small area of Rotorua.
The first phase of the trial will run until mid-February and will focus on testing how the network performs in a New Zealand environment in a series of situations – for example its performance under a heavy load. It will also work through possible coverage models for the network, and identify and work through any technical issues that may arise during the deployment process.
The second phase will involve customer trials. It will begin in mid-February and run until the end of March. Trial participants will be equipped with a 4G-capable device and asked to feed back to Telecom on their experience of using the 4G LTE network. They will also be asked to carry out and report back on set tasks, such as uploading or downloading large files or video conferencing over their device.
Telecom NZ has also announced that it had selected Ericsson to supply equipment for the Home Location Register (HLR) combined with the Home Subscriber Service (HSS) a core part of both the existing 3G and new 4G LTE network.