- For more pictures of the metro cell click here.
Locals and visitors at Te Hiku o Te Ika Marae in Te Hapua will now be able to stay connected since Spark switched on a metro cell at Te Hiku o Te Ika Marae today, bringing much needed coverage to the community.
This is the first time Spark has placed a metro cell solution on a Marae to connect the surrounding community.
Te Hapua is the northernmost settlement of New Zealand with a population of around 200 people. Located on the banks of the Parengarenga Harbour, 30 kilometres south of Cape Reinga and over 100 kilometres from its nearest major township, Kaitaia.
The metro cell, placed at local Te Hiku o Te Ika Marae, allows mobile coverage to extend approximately 400 metres in radius, meaning the cell site coverage will partly reach the nearby Kohanga reo, school and health clinic.
Marae trustee and Te Hapua local, Hope Sucich says cell phone coverage in Te Hapua has always been limited and locals would have had to go up a hill beside the Marae to get minimal coverage if it was not a clear day.
She adds the coverage the metro cell site offers will enable locals to stay connected with their friends and family and give them peace of mind in case of any emergencies on or around the Marae.
“This will be a huge help for us locals and any visitors to our Marae, being so isolated has always meant we had very limited service, so this will give our people connectivity at the Marae, schools and health clinics.”
The metro cell installation was facilitated by the Far North District Council and Spark after the Ngati Kuri trust board reached out in a bid to bring better coverage to the northernmost region of New Zealand.
Spark North Island Business Manager Cameron Bell says Spark is happy to have worked with the local Marae and council to get the area connected with a suitable solution.
“Where building a full mobile site with a tower, at a cost of up to half a million dollars, might not be feasible, the metro cell gives us a solution for this particular community that currently lacks mobile coverage,” says Bell.
Notes to the editor:
- A metro cell is a small-scale cell site solution, delivering cellular service to a more localised area, this has previously been used to boost mobile coverage capacity for indoor locations such as hospitals and shopping malls.
- Te Hapua residents have access to Broadband on multiple ISP networks including Spark.