Telecom New Zealand will launch 4G in Auckland by October and extend 4G to Wellington and Christchurch by Christmas.

The telco expects to have 4G coverage on half of its network during 2014.

As part of an investment program, Telecom New Zealand has installed dual carrier HSPA+ on more than half of its mobile sites. It is also rolling out optical transport network technology to its network core.

"We're co-locating on all of the government's rural broadband initiative (RBI) sites where we don't already have coverage, and we've completed a trial over summer of free public Wi-Fi, which involved more than 140 'hotspots' rolled out to holiday destinations across the country," Chris Quin, Telecom Retail CEO, said in a statement.

"If we are successful in the 700MHz spectrum auction, 4G LTE will also allow us to significantly improve coverage in rural areas. We intend to install 4G LTE on RBI sites that we build from early 2014."

Huawei will build Telecom New Zealand's 4G network mobile sites. Telecom NZ CTO David Havercroft said the telco has been trialling Huawei's 4G technology in Auckland and Rotorua.

This includes testing 'carrier aggregation', which allows Huawei to use two different spectrums at the same time, achieving peak speeds up to 250Mbps in the trial, according to Havercroft.

The trial in Auckland by Huawei has taken place on the 2600Mhz spectrum, with the company also carrying out trials the 1800Mhz and 2600Mhz spectrums in Rotorua.

Alcatel Lucent has also carried out a trial in Wellington on the 2600Mhz spectrum and in Hawke's Bay on the 700Mhz spectrum, which will be available following the digital switchover to digital television.

Cisco Systems will build Telecom New Zealand's enhanced packet core, which will process and transport data through the network.

Meanwhile, Ericsson will build the new home subscriber service and the replacement home location register, which will be the central database that will hold customer profile information.

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