Alcatel-Lucent finalizing New Zealand network deal

New Zealand Telecom has confirmed plans to build a new $300 million mobile network, and is in the final stages of negotiating with Alcatel-Lucent to build a new high-speed network, a report from the New Zealand Herald said.

The New Zealand Herald report also said the move is an attempt from New Zealand Telecom to hold on to its corporate customers, according to analysts.

The report also quoted Simon Moutter, COO of New Zealand Telecom's business division, as saying that building a W-CDMA network would give customers a greater choice of mobile handsets, 'real' global roaming capability and improved broadband speeds, the report said.

The new 3G network uses technology, similar to that used by competitor Vodafone, to handle mobile calling, video and high-speed broadband, the report said.

Fewer than 20% of mobile networks around the world use New Zealand Telecom's current technology, meaning customers have reduced handset choices and international roaming options, it added.

A decision to upgrade its network became increasingly necessary after Telstra announced it would be closing its CDMA network next year, leaving New Zealand Telecom without an Australian roaming partner, the report further said.