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​Govt and Vodafone combine to boost rural 4G speeds

​Govt and Vodafone combine to boost rural 4G speeds

Telco new peak speed commitments for 4G rural wireless broadband services.

Vodafone has revealed new peak speed commitments for 4G rural wireless broadband services delivered under the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI).

In an agreement signed with the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), the telco has increased its 4G wireless broadband peak speed commitment from 5Mbps to 30Mbps download, with 4G peak upload speed commitment also increasing from 500Kbps to 5Mbps.

Following the deal, peak speed commitments for 3G wireless broadband services will remain at 5Mbps download and 500Kbps upload.

“We are pleased to see that the significant advancements in fixed wireless broadband technology will be reflected in our RBI contract agreement with MBIE,” says Tony Baird, Technology Director, Vodafone.

“Since 2011, the RBI has taken high speed wireless broadband to hundreds of thousands of rural addresses, with the majority of those now able to access a 4G service.

“The programme continues to transform our rural communities by giving them the means to communicate and connect freely, in the same manner as their urban counterparts.”

Although Vodafone’s 4G RBI peak speed commitment now sits at 30Mbps, Baird says some customers today are achieving 4G download speeds of around 75Mbps.

“Global research and development in the fixed wireless space is rapid and ongoing, and Vodafone has the vision - and the technology roadmap - to take rural services further and faster still,” he adds.

In this agreement, Baird says Vodafone has also committed to higher data caps on its 4G RBI service, these are now 80GB for on-peak, and 50GB for off-peak.

Since 2011, Vodafone has built or upgraded more than 515 RBI cell sites and outside of its contractual obligations, the telco has also upgraded a further 350 of its own rural cell sites, through which RBI services are offered.

“The new agreement means minimum peak broadband connection speeds under the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) increase to at least 30 Megabits per second - six times the current speeds of 5Mbps,” adds Communications Minister Amy Adams.

“On-peak data caps on 4G will increase over 150 per cent, which means rural users can take advantage of video streaming and more data intensive apps.

“Fast internet is as important on our farms and in our rural communities as it is in our cities. It’s excellent to see that Government’s investment in RBI, and its partnership with Vodafone, is continuing to increase the quality of rural connectivity.”

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