Mobile phone coverage arrives at TECT Park
TECT Park has a cell tower – and as part of the celebration of this long awaited technology – the park is having a brand makeover.
The tower was turned on yesterday at a special ceremony attended by Western Bay District and Tauranga City mayors, Garry Webber and Tenby Powell, TECT Chairperson Bill Holland, Deputy Chairperson Natalie Bridges and TECT Trustee Peter Blackwell, Ngai Tamarāwaho kaumatua Des Tata and Sonny Ranapia, Rural Connectivity Group Engagement Manager Caitlin Metz and Park Manager Bill Wheeler.
A brand change will see the park drop the words `All Terrain’ from its name - shifting the emphasis to the strong association with its sponsor TECT which has naming rights.
Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber says the facility is the coming of age for TECT Park.
"Until now, lack of telecommunications has been a risk factor to users’ safety and has also been a barrier to commercial development at the park and hindered our ability to promote the park to its full potential as a tourist and visitor attraction,” says Garry.
”From its inception, one of the Park's core values has been "create" and, with the development of basic infrastructure such as telecommunications, roading and power, the two councils are providing users with the tools to create their own dream playground at TECT Park.
“Our thanks go to the Rural Connectivity Group for being faithful to its mandate under the RBI2/MBSF programme to provide mobile and wireless broadband services to the TECT Park and surrounding neighbours."
Tauranga Mayor Tenby Powell says the provision of telecommunications coverage completes a great year for TECT Park, coming on top of its Supreme Green Flag Award win last month.
“TECT Park is a great example of what local councils can achieve when they work together, in collaboration with community-minded organisations like TECT. This development and the park’s rebranding sets the scene for even greater success.”
TECT Chair Bill Holland says the launch and the park’s rebranding, are further positive developments in the park’s journey on which TECT has been all the way since opening in 2010.
“We look forward to continuing our relationship with TECT Park. It is a major asset for our District and one that will be enjoyed by our community for generations to come - thanks to its fantastic upkeep, wide-ranging facilities and now much-needed cell phone coverage.”
Cell phone reception will also be welcomed by the wider community between Oropi and Ngawaro which, until now, have put up with no coverage.
TECT Park has received the mobile facility as part of the Rural Broadband Initiative phase two and Mobile Black Spots Fund Programme (RBI2/MBSF) from Central Government. The Rural Connectivity Group was established to deliver broadband and mobile services to remote rural locations around New Zealand.
RCG Engagement Manager Caitlin Metz says RCG has enjoyed working with the two councils, TECT Park management and Base Power to bring this much needed facility to the park.
“It has been a shared goal and successful collaboration. The services provided by Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees will provide safety and convenience for the 300,000 plus visitors to the park. Mobile operators have tried for a decade to bring services to the area and it is the success of the RBI2 and MBSF programmes that have ensured coverage has finally been delivered,” says Caitlin.
TECT Park and the Adrenalin Forest Adventure Experience received a mobile facility from Government’s Mobile Black Spots Fund Programme (MBSF).
How will local mobile users access voice calling?
Currently in New Zealand voice calls on mobile phones are mainly made using the 3G network – even if you have the latest release smart phone. In many areas this will continue. Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees have confirmed that most new RBI2 cell towers will be used to deliver mobile voice services on their networks via 4G, rather than the current 3G network used across most of New Zealand. Because of this, many customers will need a software update to their phone or, in some cases, may need to upgrade their phone.
Mobile operators are upgrading 4G voice functionality within their own networks and to take advantage of the new 4G only network RCG is building. Trials of 4G voices services are underway around the country. Voice calling will be still be available to those using an older generation mobile via internet-enabled applications such as WhatsApp, Viber, Facetime or Facebook Messenger, although these services will draw on a user’s data plan with their provider instead of calling minutes.
For more information:
- Spark’s customers can contact customer services on 0800 110 062 or online at www.spark.co.nz/help/
- 2degrees customers can contact customer services on 0800 022 022 or online athttps://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/help-and-support/broadband-and-landline/broadband/rural-broadband/
- Vodafone’s customers can contact customer services on 0800 800 021 or online at http://help.vodafone.co.nz/app/answers/detail/a_id/30264