I really should have checked the SSC Broadband Map before signing up to Vodafone 3G coverage.
It appears that Roseneath, one of NZ’s wealthier suburbs, and where I live, is barely covered by Vodafone’s 3G service.
Actually there are plenty of gaps across Wellington – including Karaka Bay, Worser Bay and Seatoun, where many of the folks from the Miramar movie industry live.
You can forget about Vodafone highish speed mobile broadband if you have the time and money to ski Ruapaheu this year – there is not a whisker of Vodafone 3G
While in Auckland the wealthy suburbs of Mission Bay and St Helliers seem to partially miss out as well. Is this a conspiracy against the wealthy?
This is not great from Vodafone – either the map is wrong, or they are missing out on a segment of the market that can easily afford to pay for 3G, and one that travels around New Zealand a lot. Don’t start me on the huge posibilities of revenie from international travel – at least not until the global roaming rates fall a few of orders of magnitude below $30,000 per GB.
Around New Zealand coverage is pretty sparse, with State Highway one uncovered for much of the journey up the North Island, and many towns simply missing out.
The South Island is worse.
But Vodafone still wins here – as there is no Telecom 3G coverage for those maps. In fact their own coverage maps are hard to find – there are only links on that “coverage map” page. Here’s the Wellington one (pdf) – too low resolution to be of any use, and vague as to what goes where.
However in Australia Telstra Clear went from dodgy last to being the best 3G service by far – and they did a similar thing to what Telecom is doing in NZ right now – upgrading their vast existing network and leapfrogging everyone else.
While I would like to see a pre-emptive coverage response from Vodafone NZ, I’m pretty sure they won’t invest – they have got a good percentage of the population, and it is hard to justify hitting the sparsely populated rural areas. In Australia though there was a tipping point, where it became obvious that Telstra has coverage in say, Leonora, and the others simply did not. so going forward, if you ever find yourself needing data in the middle of nowhere, skiing on Whakapapa say, then Telecom will look increasingly viable.