Reception in the forest

Visitor Allan Frost takes a call in the Waipoua Visitor Centre carpark

A collaboration between Vodafone and Northland internet provider Uber Group has brought mobile coverage to the Waipoua Forest.

While one of the area’s top tourist destinations, its lack of mobile phone coverage has been non-existent until now. The collaboration has allowed the visitor centre to experience full 3G mobile phone coverage while having the added bonus of enjoying fast broadband speeds which reach to nearby homes.

While the two companies often compete for customers they have worked together to sponsor this community project. Vodafone has provided the physical hardware and Uber Group has supplied a separate broadband connection dedicated to phone traffic to make the signal possible. Waipoua Forest Visitor spokesperson Jaime Clarkson says the centre staff and local residents are really excited. “Cell phone reception was non-existent before and the nearest coverage is 8km away. Now we are able to make and receive mobile phone calls, text messages and use data from in and around the visitor centre.

“This has had a really positive impact with our tourists who can now communicate in what was otherwise a dead mobile area and stay in touch with the outside world.”
 


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