Telecom NZ to put 3G in Santa's sleigh

Telecom New Zealand plans to launch its 3G service in Auckland before Christmas.Aotearoa's national carrier today announced that it would invest NZ$40 million over the next six months upgrading its network to provide high-speed mobile data services.

Telecom New Zealand plans to launch its 3G service in Auckland before Christmas.

Aotearoa's national carrier today announced that it would invest NZ$40 million over the next six months upgrading its network to provide high-speed mobile data services.

Telecom NZ said it expected Auckland to be the first city to receive the new 3G service -- to be called T3G -- followed by Wellington, Christchurch and key holiday destinations throughout the country.

According to Telecom NZ, the new service will be able to deliver data to mobiles 15 times faster than its current network and its existing customers will be able to port to the service without changing their mobile numbers.

Telecom NZ mobile general manager, Kevin Kenrick, today outlined the carrier's ambitious plans to turn the network into an entertainment platform.

The carrier intends to offer video messaging, film and music clip downloads, sports and news services, and push-to-talk functionality will turn the mobile into a "walkie talkie" to talk to several other customers at once.

"Next year we expect live television on your handset to be available," said Kenrick.

Pricing for the service is yet to be revealed.