People in Minginui and Te Kaha will now have access to 4G mobile and wireless broadband services.

Two new cell towers have gone live as part of the RCG – Rural Connectivity Group roll out providing critical online access at a time when connectivity is more important than ever.

The towers were delivered by the Rural Connectivity Group (RCG) as part of the second phase of the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI2). The RCG will build more than 400 new cellular towers throughout rural new Zealand from which mobile operators and wireless internet service providers can supply competitive broadband services to rural customers.

By December 2022 the infrastructure built by the RCG across New Zealand will see at least 34,000 rural homes and businesses gain mobile and high-speed wireless broadband coverage.

Spark’s Mobile Network Lead, Renee Mateparae says, “We’re very pleased to be part of a solution that aids in bridging the digital divide for rural communities and helps the rural sector remain competitive.”

“Spark is offering competitive plans that include a range of wireless broadband and landline options. Customers can call 123 or visit a Spark store to find out more about the new services in the area.”

Mataparae said, “It’s really important for our customers to know that most RCG towers are 4G-only, so they do not have 3G available. This means that because voice calls have historically worked over the 3G network, some older mobile phones will not be able to make calls on the new RCG towers. Customers may need a software update to their phone, or in some cases, would need to upgrade their phones to newer models that support 4G HD calling.”

“Spark has simple instructions on how to activate 4G voice calling on your handset on the Spark website*, as well as a comprehensive list of the handsets on which this feature has been enabled to date.”

The Rural Connectivity Group is a joint venture between Spark, Vodafone, and 2degrees.