Vodafone NZ has become the first operator in Aotearoa to enable 5G roaming to Australia, as well as three other countries in anticipation of the eventual resumption of international travel.
Tony Baird, Wholesale and Infrastructure Director, Vodafone NZ said although travel was currently extremely limited, the company wanted to continue to invest in and develop its 5G network
"Some might call us incredibly optimistic to launch 5G roaming with international travel off the table, but much of our work is about investing ahead of time to be ready for future demand. We like to know that our customers will be able to use the latest mobile network technology overseas where available, when the time comes and borders reopen - and roam like they're at home," Baird said.
From today, Vodafone NZ customers with a 5G enabled plan and device, will have the ability to connect to a 5G mobile network in parts of Australia, Taiwan, Latvia and Finland.
While travel to Taiwan, Latvia or Finland is unlikely for quite some time, a travel bubble with Australia is expected within months.
Vodafone says setting up international roaming deals is a long, time-consuming and complex process, and it just so happens that contracts have been finalised with these four countries.
"We obviously don't expect hundreds of Kiwis to flock to Latvia or Finland anytime soon," Baird said.
The cost to Vodafone customers to use data roaming while overseas is $7 a day.