Vodafone NZ to launch 5G network

Vodafone will launch a 5G network in December.

The mobile network will first roll out in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.

Vodafone says at full capacity, 5G will allow devices to operate at speeds 10 times faster than current 4G networks.

While Vodafone customers will be able to access 5G enabled plans for free at first, the company will charge a premium for access to the high-speed network in future.

Vodafone NZ CEO Jason Paris says he's thrilled to be first to bring 5G technology to New Zealand.

"5G is so much more than the successor to 4G," he said in a statement. "It's our most powerful tool yet, representing a transformational shift that will drive a digital revolution and make New Zealanders' lives and businesses better, smarter and more productive."

He says 5G will allow Kiwi businesses to keep up with international competition in an increasingly connected world. 

NZ Police, BNZ, Auckland's Rescue Helicopter and Waste Management have been announced as business partners who will work with Vodafone on the 5G rollout.

Thursday's announcement coincides with the sale of Vodafone NZ to Infratil and Canadian investor Brookfield. Vodafone Group has already launched 5G in the UK and Italy, Spain and Germany. 

To be eligible for the 5G network, customers will need a 5G capable device, a 5G enabled plan and be in a 5G connected area.

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei's plans to build parts of New Zealand's 5G network were stymied in November when the Government's spy agency raised concerns about national security.