Vodafone NZ 3G Data Capabilities

Vodafone New Zealand operates cellular networks at 950/1800 and 2100MHz, with 3G data supported in the 950 and 2100MHz bands. As of December 2010, Vodafone had 2,465,000 mobile subscribers. This analysis includes only 3G capable towers and does not take into account any 2G-only towers.

As at 1 February 2011, Vodafone was licensed for 1150 towers in the 950MHz band and 877 in the 2100 band. In many cases both bands are utilized from the same tower – the total number of towers operated being 1528. At 950MHz, all towers are licensed for 15MHz channels. In the 2100MHz band, 226 towers are licensed for 5MHz, and the remainder at 15MHz. Vodafone uses HSPA+, which requires a minimum channel sizes of 5MHz, so it is likely that in most cases Vodafone are operating between one and three 5MHz cells per tower – or up to six 5MHz cells on dual-carrier towers.

Vodafone built their network in conjunction with Nokia-Siemens, with 3G rollout commencing in 2006 as WCDMA. It was later HSPA+ software enabled, with each cell supporting aggregate downloads of 28mbps and uploads of 5.6mbps. Media reports indicate Vodafone is experimenting with HSPA-DC, a technology that allows channel bonding. Nokia-Siemens reports that it is possible to combine two 5 MHz carriers from different frequency bands, such as 950 and 2100MHz, allowing an individual end-user to effectively double the 28mbps download data rate. As this analysis is based on spectrum licensed, this new HSPA-DC technology does not change the aggregate bandwidth or bandwidth per subscriber figures reported below – HSPA-DC does not add spectrum or make the system more efficient.

Technology Bandwidth / Cell Number of Cells Aggregate BW Subscribers Bandwidth / Sub
HSPA+ 28/5.6 mbps 5617 157.3/31.4 gbps 2,465,000 63.8/12.8 kbps

The map below shows the location of all 950MHz and 2.1GHz UMTS licenses associated with Vodafone. Red dots indicate towers with only 950MHz. Green dots indicate dual carrier towers. Blue dots indicate towers with only 2.1GHz

[iframe http://www.google.com/fusiontables/embedviz?viz=MAP&q=select+col0%2C+col1%2C+col2%2C+col3%2C+col4%2C+col5+from+435814+&h=false&lat=-37.06394430056684&lng=174.6661376953125&z=8&t=1&l=col2 100% 400px]

The table below shows the license numbers, centre frequencies, bandwidth/modulation, and location names of all of the 950MHz and 2.1GHz UMTS licenses associated with Vodafone.

[iframe http://www.telco2.co.nz/vodafone-licenses.html 100% 400px]

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