Telecom will launch its 4G network in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch on 12 November for prepaid and plan customers.
The telco is offering free 4G SIMs until the end of January next year and asking customers to visit its website to pre-register for the upgrade and check whether their phone is compatible.
"Whether they are shopping online, streaming music or making stutter-free video calls to family and friends, 4G will allow our customers to do a whole lot more, a whole lot faster on their mobile devices," says Telecom retail chief executive Chris Quin. "It will also allow businesses to stimulate more efficient ways of working remotely with teams on the road able to make reliable video calls, download pictures and documents in seconds and use cloud services on their mobiles."
The 4G service will use LTE over the 1800MHz spectrum. According to Telecom's website, rollout in rural areas will depend on whether Telecom is successful in the auction of the old 700MHz analogue TV spectrum, best used in less densely populated areas.
Telecom expects to have half of its 4G network live by mid-2014 and will keep updating its website with details of where it will launch next.
The service won't cover all of the three main centres, but will be live in Auckland's CBD, central suburbs and selected suburbs in the city's east, west, north and south, Telecom says. In Wellington it will cover the northern CBD and fringe suburbs, and parts of Lower Hutt, and in Christchurch it will cover parts of the CBD, Telecom says.
Among the 4G LTE compatible phones it currently has in market are the iPhone 5, the Nokia Lumia 920, the HTC One, the Samsung Galaxy S4, the Sony Experia Z and the Blackberry Z10. The telco expects to introduce more by the time the 4G service launches. Devices will require a software upgrade at the time of launch.
Telecom’s chief operating officer David Havercroft says Telecom has had promising results from testing the network. It is collaborating with its 3G partner Alcatel Lucent and vendors Huawei, Cisco and Ericsson.
Telecom says LTE rollouts offshore have allowed users to download an e-book in less than a second, stream or buffer a half hour TV show in less than five seconds and download an album is less than three seconds.
Customers won't initially be able to roam using the 4G service.
The telco says it's also introduced a new look retail brand that adds a range of colours, other than blue, to the Telecom 'spark' logo.
"Our brand refresh is about far more than a colour change. It’s about bringing a completely new tone to how we communicate with and what we offer our customers.
"We wanted to deliver new things before changing the label, and so we have transformed the network experience we’re offering both our mobile and our fixed customers. That’s something we’re very proud of and so we think we’ve earned the right to change our brand."
Telecom introduced the abstract blue logo, designed by Designworks, four years ago.
UPDATE: Here's the colourful 60 second ad.
And here's the release from Saatchi & Saatchi:
In the biggest shift in its branding since the adoption of the spark logo, Telecom NZ has unveiled a fresh, colourful new identity through the launch of its new mobile category brand, Ultra Mobile.
Developed with agency partner Saatchi & Saatchi, the new-look advertising signals a departure from the telco’s familiar blue branding to the adoption of a bright new six-colour palette – intended to signal substantial transformation and broaden the appeal of its communications to a wider audience.
Saatchi & Saatchi’s Executive Creative Director Antonio Navas described the rationale behind the move to multi-colour: “All of the great changes Telecom has been making to its products and services over the last year have given us a strong creative mandate to come out in a bright and bold new way.
"I wanted the spot to be a vibrant visual expression of the metaphor of change; a gorgeous celebration of colour, vitality, technology and creativity," added The Sweet Shop Director, Dylan Pharazyn.
As well as the change in visual identity, the brand has undergone a real shift in the tone and targeting of its communications too, as evidenced by the campaign’s large-scale outdoor and digital executions, and the playful feel of new TV Ads.
Kellie Nathan, who led the project at Telecom said, “The spirit of the new work is a reflection of the changes we’ve made internally and the business’s ambition to connect with a younger, mobile savvy, audience.”
Ben Fielding, Saatchi & Saatchi’s Business Director on the Telecom account added, “This is not just about a new logo, it’s about injecting energy into the brand and launching Ultra Mobile with a large dose of substance.”
“We needed the work to feel fresh but also be absolutely single-minded about what Ultra Mobile is: data-rich plans and packs, free 4G upgrade for everyone, and 700+ free WiFi hotspots across the country.”
Client: Telecom New Zealand
CMO: Jason Paris
GM Brand, Comms & Digital: Kellie Nathan
Comms Team: Arnna Conroy, Daimler Teves.
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi New Zealand
Executive Creative Director: Antonio Navas
Creative Director: Slade Gill
Creative Group Head: Brad Collet
Creative Team: Aryna Karaitiana & Phil Hickes
Brand Planner: Janisa Parag
Business Director: Ben Fielding
Account Team: Brendon McLean, Rachael Williams, Kate Taylor, Michael James
Agency Producer: Jane Oak
Production Company: The Sweet Shop
Director: Dylan Pharazyn
Producer: Larisa Tiffin
Post Production: Jon Baxter / Perceptual Engineering
Editor: Michael Lonsdale
Music: Original Composition: American Authors ‘Best day of My Life’
Audio Post: Liquid