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Cellphone Tower, 127 Ridge Road, Howick | by Archives New Zealand
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Cellphone Tower, 127 Ridge Road, Howick

This photo shows Auckland’s (and New Zealand’s) first cellphone tower. It was erected at 127 Ridge Road Howick. The following information is from “Works News” June-July 1987. [BBAD A1222/5p]

“A new development for New Zealand’s business community will soon be the car telephone.

The introduction of the new Mobile Telephone Service (MTS) is planned by the Telecom Corporation of New Zealand to occur in Auckland by August 1987…………

The new phones use “cellular technology” which is based on the division of an area into a honeycombe-like pattern of individual cells usually covering a radius of 4 to 15 kilometers………

Initially there are to be seven cells in the Auckland region of which four contain freestanding towers designed by the MWD [Ministry of Works and Development] Auckland Civil Directorate and built at the MWD Wairakei Workshops.

The 15m high towers and the bases on which they stand have been designed as a standard unit to be used throughout the country and are able to withstand 145km per hour wind speeds with only a 2 degree rotation.………


The implications for use of the mobile telephone are exciting and may have an impact on everyone’s lives in the future. For example the manager or salesman will no longer need to be desk-bound to stay close to the phone. This will allow him to spend more time meeting customers, visiting sites and suppliers knowing that he can still receive or make calls…….Eventually mobile phones using this technology may be small enough to fit on wrist watches.”


BBFY 1054/4323/a held in Auckland Regional Office


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Taken on November 9, 2018