Broadband  |  2024-02-13

Hourua of New Zealand Becomes Latest TCCA Member

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

New Zealand telecommunications service provider Hourua has announced its membership with TCCA, the global member-led organisation for all stakeholders in the critical communications ecosystem.

Hourua, a provider of telecommunications services based in New Zealand, has formally joined TCCA, the international organization of members that advocates for the interests of all parties involved in the critical communications ecosystem. Hourua is a collaborative enterprise established by Spark and One NZ, the two largest telecommunications and digital service providers in New Zealand, with the objective of assisting first responders in utilizing the Public Safety Network Te Kupenga Marutau.

Next Generation Critical Communications, a government agency, has awarded Hourua the contract to provide cellular services for the Public Safety Network on behalf of the following organizations: Fire and Emergency New Zealand, New Zealand Police, Hato Hone St John, and Wellington Free Ambulance. These services furnish first responders with a dependable cellular solution across multiple networks, facilitating the exchange of data, audio, video, and images.

Hourua is providing the Public Safety Network with two critical services. Public Safety Network Roaming is the initial. This feature was implemented in July 2023 and expands mobile coverage for emergency services by allowing domestic cellular roaming between the Spark and One NZ networks. Users will automatically transition to the alternate network in the event that one is unavailable, ensuring that public safety and first responders have uninterrupted communications.

With the introduction of this world-renowned critical communications cellular service, New Zealand's emergency services are now equipped with optimal mobile service accessibility and an additional coverage area of approximately 28,000 square kilometers. This expansion will enable them to better serve the community and ensure the safety of New Zealand.

Public Safety Network Priority, the second service, is slated to launch in the latter part of 2024. By prioritizing voice and data communications for emergency services over other users during congestion or degradation of cellular networks, this measure will effectively protect their communications.

Vaughan Matthews, General Manager and Head of Business of Hourua:

We look forward to making the most of the combined knowledge across all the members of the wider TCCA community to work with Next Generation Critical Communications and help the public safety community in New Zealand make the most of the current and emerging technologies. 

TCCA CEO Kevin Graham: 

We are delighted to welcome another mobile network operator to TCCA membership. As in New Zealand, many countries are looking to leverage existing carriers to provide critical communications for public safety and other critical industry sectors. The experience Hourua will bring to our global community will be invaluable in helping other nations and agencies progress their programs.