One New Zealand, formerly Vodafone NZ, has announced it will acquire broadband provider Dense Air’s New Zealand business.

In doing so, the operator will also snap up the mid-band spectrum Dense Air holds, which will be immediately deployed to improve speeds and capacity on its 4G and 5G mobile networks.

New Zealand
– Getty Images

The acquisition of the new spectrum will boost network capacity, according to One New Zealand chief executive Jason Paris.

Dense Air Network is a "wireless infrastructure-as-a-service" company that specializes in developing 4G and 5G "small cell" networks. The firm also has operations in Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.

The company was acquired by Alphabet spin-off Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners back in 2021.

If the deal is given the go-ahead, it would give One NZ management over the 2x35MHz of 2600MHz spectrum, which it said can be immediately deployed for its 5G network.

“Think of it like adding an extra lane on the motorway," said Paris. “Back in July, we re-tuned the network leading to a 30 percent speed boost on 5G. Now we’re making our mobile experience even better by making this spectrum available to our customers.”

One NZ retuned its entire 5G network after acquiring 3.5GHz of C-Band spectrum from the New Zealand government.

Back in July, One NZ stated that the upgrade involved a frequency switch and bandwidth expansion from 60MHz to 80MHz.

The upgrade provides additional capacity on the network, which means increased availability for Fixed Wireless Access at faster download and upload speeds.

In the past 18 months, One NZ said it has invested in more than 500 4G and 5G site upgrades and new builds across the country.

The operator has previously worked with Dense Air. Back in 2020, Dense Air loaned the operator its 2.6GHz spectrum for three months.

The deal is subject to approval by the Commerce Commission and other customary closing conditions.