2degrees will launch 5G coverage with Ericsson this year.

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2degrees, a communications firm, has taken the initial steps towards establishing a 5G broadband network.

It will launch the service in Auckland and Wellington this year, and then gradually expand it to around 700 locations around the country.

2degrees CEO Mark Aue stated that the firm has been able to capitalise on the most recent technological advancements of 5G technology.

“Our launch will be well timed and what we’re building today will be far more advanced than what any telco could deliver a year ago.”

Swedish telecoms provider Ericsson will provide the technology, after the equipment provider for 2Degrees’ earlier generation networks – Chinese-owned Huawei – was banned by the government from involvement in 5G networks on security grounds.

“Ericsson is rapidly expanding its New Zealand presence and we look forward to bringing our customers the technology that is underpinning the world’s best 5G networks across five continents, including Australia’s leading mobile network,” Aue said.

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“What we’re building today will be far more advanced than what any telco could deliver a year ago. In the past 18 months there have been significant advances in the 5G ecosystem and our 5G build is poised to capitalise on that.”

He said as it rolled out the new network it would also double the capacity of its 4G network.

Rivals Vodafone and Spark already offer 5G mobile services in parts of the country.

5G broadband networks provide high-speed connectivity to a wide variety of devices and allow for the transmission of vast volumes of data, eliminating the need for fixed fibre and cable connections.

The government temporarily allocated the radio spectrum needed for 5G networks last year, but has yet to determine when the spectrum will be auctioned.

Aue stated that the upgrades and extension would be paid for by the company’s existing capital improvement strategy.

Shareholders in 2degrees are considering a future share float and stock exchange listing.

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