If you're 5G-curious, Vodafone is offering visitors to Wellington Airport a free spin on the new mobile technology today, and over the next week.

Tony Baird, Vodafone New Zealand Technology Director, explains: "We wanted to give travellers the chance to try out our live 5G network before we officially switch it on across parts of the country. This free trial to test 5G over wi-fi will enable passengers to download their favourite content at super-fast speeds."

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People will be able to connect to the internet at speeds of up to 500 megabits per second - or five times the speed of the average UFB Fibre landline - in what will be the first time 5G has been offered at an NZ airport.

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"We are proud to be the first provider to open up 5G for anyone to test, and are looking forward to turning on our commercial 5G network very soon," Baird says.

The free trial will last for one week, until December 9, and allow up to five users to connect to the 5G-wireless device for 5 minutes at a time.

Vodafone is offering free 5G at Wellington Airport from today until December 9. It's a fixed-wireless setup, so you don't need a 5G phone or tablet - just one that supports wi-fi. Photo / File
Vodafone is offering free 5G at Wellington Airport from today until December 9. It's a fixed-wireless setup, so you don't need a 5G phone or tablet - just one that supports wi-fi. Photo / File

"We expect people will be able to download a TV show potentially up to 10 times faster than they could over a 4G connection, or load a web page almost instantly over 5G without buffering or lag. This means they'll have plenty of time to download an episode of their favourite TV series to watch on their flight," Baird says.

Herald graphic
Herald graphic

You don't need to own a 5G-capable smartphone.

Anyone with a wifi-capable smartphone or tablet (that is, almost all models) will be able to try 5G for themselves by connecting via a Nokia FastMile 5G Gateway device under a "fixed wireless" setup.

A sample of the speed hit by Vodafone during setup last night. Photo / Supplied
A sample of the speed hit by Vodafone during setup last night. Photo / Supplied

Baird says Vodafone is on track for its commercial 5G launch later this month at 100 cell sites across Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown, plus 20 cows (cell sites on wheels) that will be moved around events and holiday hotspots.

The carrier will offer both mobile and fixed-wireless service.