2degrees selects Ericsson as partner for 5G network launch in 2021

2degrees is excited to announce it is partnering with Ericsson, the global leader in mobile communications technology, to bring New Zealanders a world-class 5G network.
  • Nationwide 5G network build starts in Auckland and Wellington
  • Telco sets it sights on delivering NZ’s best 5G network having already invested $1b on its nationwide mobile and broadband offering

2degrees is excited to announce it is partnering with Ericsson, the global leader in mobile communications technology, to bring New Zealanders a world-class 5G network.

The national 5G network build starts immediately, and the first sites will be built in Auckland and Wellington during 2021. The network will expand to the other main centres, with plans for 700 sites.

2degrees is the only telco in New Zealand to use Ericsson’s world-leading mobile technology. Further differentiation will be realised by combining Ericsson 5G, 4G and 3G radio access network (RAN) and core network will be optimised for a seamless customer experience. 

In addition to enabling the 5G network build, partnering with Ericsson will also allow 2degrees to double its 4G capacity, offering an even better customer experience.

Chief Executive Mark Aue describes the partnership as another major step forward for the company: 

“2degrees has invested $1 billion in a network that has recently been rated first for ‘most responsive network’ and first equal for its ‘excellent consistent quality’ by Tutela [1]”, he says.

Mr Aue says Ericsson’s global pedigree was highlighted recently by research company Gartner, which awarded it top ratings for its ‘ability to execute’ on 5G networks[2].

“Ericsson is rapidly expanding its New Zealand presence and we look forward to bringing our customers the technology that is underpinning the world’s best 5G networks across five continents, including Australia’s leading mobile network.”

“Our launch will be well-timed and what we’re building today will be far more advanced than what any telco could deliver a year ago. In the past 18 months there have been significant advances in the 5G ecosystem and our 5G build is poised to capitalise on that - ultimately 2degrees customers will benefit from mature and proven technology,” says Mr Aue.

Emilio Romeo, Head of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand says the company is delighted to be chosen as 5G RAN (Radio Access Network) and Core provider partner to 2degrees:

“We’ve come to know 2degrees, its team and its ambitions well in the process leading up to today’s announcement. It’s exciting to work with a challenger brand and a telco that is growing its market share at pace. We’re excited to see the role 5G will play when our technology goes live later this year. 

"Ericsson is poised to play a significant role with 2degrees to support New Zealand’s transition to 5G. We are investing in New Zealand and have local capability and global experts who are deploying our world-leading infrastructure with 2degrees.”

Mr Aue said Ericsson was appointed following a multi-vendor selection process and that the telco was reassured by Ericsson’s international track record of 5G commercial agreements and successful deployments and accolades.

For the 2degrees 5G network, Mr Aue reports progress is well underway:

“We started replacing the core of our network in 2020 and now we can accelerate the build out of 5G with our planned upgrade of existing sites. The move to 5G is a natural evolution for 2degrees and, like the move to 3G and then 4G, will be funded by the company’s established capital investment plan.”

Today, 2degrees delivers mobile services to customers via a nationwide network of almost 1800 sites that reaches 98.5% of the places kiwis live and work.


Notes to editors


For further information, please contact

Katherine Cornish

Head of Communications and PR

021 947 835 / Katherine.Cornish@2degrees.nz

[1] Tutela Mobile Snapshot Experience March 2021 

[2] Gartner February 2021 

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