Mobile network operators are now rolling out services using 5G. 5G simply stands for “fifth generation” and is the latest evolution of mobile technology – following 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G. 5G will enable speeds up to 10 times faster than 4G, meaning mobile users can do more with data, quicker. It is ideal for live activities such as remote robotics or virtual reality, will enable more devices to connect to each other (the internet of things), and provide larger network capacity to cater for the expected huge increase in mobile data usage.
We know many New Zealanders are confused or unsure about 5G and what it may mean for them. Rather than relying on what you may read on the Internet or social media, we’ve developed the 5G Facts website as a “one-stop shop” where you can get basic information and easily link to reputable expert sources.
We know many New Zealanders are confused or unsure about 5G and what it may mean for them. That’s perhaps not surprising given there’s so much varying and confusing information out there. There are lots of claims made about 5G and it’s often hard to separate fact from fiction.
So, rather than relying on what you may read on the Internet or social media, we’ve made this website as a “one-stop shop” where you can get basic information and easily link to reputable expert sources.
Click here to download 5G information sheet.
Visit the 5G Facts website – the best place for you to learn about
4G Calling (VoLTE)
Until recently, all mobile voice calls in New Zealand have been made using 2G or 3G technology, with 4G (and now 5G) reserved for mobile data services.
Over the past few years, mobile providers have introduced 4G coverage for voice calls as well. This is otherwise known as VoLTE – which stands for Voice over Long Term Evolution (with LTE being the technical term for 4G). So, VoLTE essentially means ‘voice over 4G’ and is similar to ‘voice over internet protocol’ (VoIP).
In most urban areas, 4G calling works alongside 3G – if your phone is capable of a 4G voice calling, it will likely use that technology, otherwise it will use 3G instead.
However, across parts of rural New Zealand, many new cell sites being built by the Rural Connectivity Group only have 4G coverage. This means some mobile phones will not be able to make calls whilst connected to the new RCG sites despite seeing coverage bars. Although data and text will work on any 4G capable phone, and calls using data-based apps like WhatsApp, Facetime, Skype etc. will still work, a VoLTE capable phone is required to make calls through your mobile provider.
How to check if a device is connected to VoLTE
If you live in or plan to travel to a rural area, you should check if your phone is capable of making a voice call on 4G (VoLTE capable), has the correct software installed and that VoLTE services are enabled.
Instructions on how to do this can be found at the websites of the mobile operators: