Cell towers to be installed by Transmission Gully motorway to fix phone black spots

A big fix is coming for cellphone users driving along the new Transmission Gully motorway out of Wellington.

There have been reports of cellphone black spots on the road since it opened, presenting a risk for drivers and emergency services.

Now, four new cell towers are being installed to plug the gap.

The Rural Connectivity Group which was set up by Spark, Vodafone and 2Degrees, build and operate rural and remote sites around the country. The company has 423 sites live at present covering around 1000km of black spots.

Company chief executive John Proctor said it was a natural progression for the company to oversee the Transmission Gully project.

There were two holes along the motorway at present - known as the northern and southern holes - which have affected coverage for cellphone users although he did not believe the dropouts prevented calls to emergency services as there was still 111 coverage.

"We got into this a little late ... we got a proposal agreed just before Christmas but we've worked very very quickly since then. There's a temporary site which we managed to get in at a very fast pace before Christmas to help on the northern hole and we're now planning four sites which will actually give contiguous service for all operators all the way through."

Spectrum has been donated to the company from all the operators so when a site has been built it covers all three operators.

He believed the towers on four sites would be enough to offer contiguous service.

"Putting them in will be no problem and there'll be no impact on drivers."

The temporary solution had been well used over the holiday period and everything was being done to achieve a permanent solution as quickly as possible.