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New cell tower for Solway folk

2degrees has erected a new cell tower in Solway. PHOTO/TOM TAYLOR

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A new cell tower in Masterton’s Solway is set to improve 2degrees coverage in an area where residents had been complaining about connectivity for years.

2degrees had completed the build of the tower next to the Caltex on High St and would be connecting it early in 2021.

“As always, we went through a rigorous process to assess our options, which starts with minimising the impact to the existing environment, while achieving the service levels we wish to provide,” 2degrees head of communications Katherine Cornish said.

An indicative map of 3G coverage on the 2degrees website showed that Solway’s coverage had been weaker than the rest of Masterton.

Another two existing towers provided 2degrees customers with coverage across other areas of Masterton.

“We will regularly be reviewing the service we provide, boosting it to meet the needs of our customers,” Cornish said.

Nationwide, 2degrees users had observed an improvement in their video experience in the three months to September 28, 2020, compared with the three months before, according to mobile analytics company Opensignal.

Meanwhile, Vodafone and Spark users had observed a decline in their video experience.

2degrees had also bested New Zealand’s other major providers in terms of 4G availability, 2degrees users having a 4G connection 89 per cent of the time compared with Spark’s 87 per cent and Vodafone’s 79 per cent.

However, 2degrees fell short of the other providers in the 4G coverage experience category. 2degrees had a score of 8.1, compared with Spark’s 9.2 and Vodafone’s 8.6.

In this metric, greater importance was attached to locations that more users visit, and the portion of locations that 4G was available to them.

“In some very remote areas of the [Wairarapa] region, there has been a reliance on a competitor network, and this is being phased out,” Cornish said.

Previously, 2degrees customers had to roam on other networks in some rural areas where only Spark or Vodafone coverage was available.

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