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Cell towers build boosts Spark, Vodafone footprint

Spark and Vodafone have built more rural cell towers than they were required to do under the terms of the 2014 auction for 700 MHz spectrum.

In the past two years the carriers have added a total of 34 new cell towers. All of them in rural areas.

Together they expanded the coverage by 3825 square kilometres. Or, as Communications Minister Amy Adams puts it: “An area the size of 450,000 rugby fields”.

New towers were contract requirement

Building new towers was one of the requirements set down when carriers bid for 700 MHz spectrum in 2014. Under the terms of the auction agreement, the towers had to be built within five years.

Adams says: “Thirty four towers were completed by the end of the second year, which is four sites more than required by the auction agreement. Seventeen have come online in the last year.

“This is a great effort by Spark and Vodafone, and they are on track to meet their 2019 deadline.”

Many of the new towers provide 4G services.

The 34 new cell towers

Year 2 (2016) Year 1 (2015)
Vodafone Beaumont,
Shingle Creek,
Cornish Point (Central Otago), Mount Alexander (North Canterbury),
Whakapapataringa (South Waikato),
Glen Murray (Waikato),
Methven (Canterbury).
Catlins North (Southland),
Waihau Bay (East Coast),
Tapawera South (Tasman),
Otautau (Southland),
Millers Flat (Central Otago).
Spark Orere Point (Firth of Thames),
Palliser Bay (Wairarapa),
Upokongaro, (Manawatu),
Raupunga (Hawkes Bay),
Knoll Ridge Café (Ruapehu),
Lake Okareka (Tarawera),
Port Waikato, Aria (Waikato),
Te Kao (Far North),
Hector (West Coast),
Naseby (Central Otago),
Waikaia (Southland)
Castle Hill (North Canterbury),
Awhitu North (South Manukau Heads),
Porangahau (South Hawkes Bay),
Glen Murray (South of Port Waikato),
Barrytown (West Coast),
Maihiihi (Waikato),
Kaniere (West Coast),
Gladstone (West Coast),
Karamea (West Coast), and
Kaiaua (Western Firth of Thames).