Gladstone has received a new Spark cellphone tower, among 10 Spark and 5 Vodafone towers installed in rural areas.

The towers follow the auction of the 700 MHz band of radio spectrum, won by Spark and Vodafone in 2014. Under the auction agreement Spark and Vodafone were required to build new towers in new rural areas in the first five years after the purchase.

Minister for Communications Amy Adams said 60 more towers are still to come.

"People living and working in these areas can now use their mobile phones in places where there was previously no coverage," Ms Adams said.


"This coverage is essential for emergency situations and will help emergency service providers to quickly reach those needing assistance.

"Eighty per cent of New Zealanders now have access to 4G, or fourth generation, high speed mobile data services and we expect that number to reach 90 per cent by 2019. This is another important milestone in improving our internet services for individuals, schools, hospitals and businesses, including in rural areas, as New Zealanders seek to take advantage of the benefits of the digital economy," Ms Adams says.