Mobile phone operator 2Degrees believes it can catch up fast with Vodafone and Telecom because its newer networks make it easier to upgrade to 4G.
The smallest mobile phone operator on Monday said its 4G service was available from 72 sites in central Auckland and that its sites in wider Auckland would triple by the end of the year.
2Degrees chief executive Stewart Sherriff said the 4G service would be available in Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch by the end of the year.
Mr Sherriff said access to the 4G network would not cost users more money but they should watch their data usage as data speeds 10 times faster than standard 3G connections could be reached.
"One thing that works to our advantage is that the vintage of our equipment makes it relatively easy to go through those upgrades, so we're confident that we'll catch up quite quickly."
The 4G rollout came at the right time because the company's 3G network capacity was at a level which made its quality as close as possible to its newest service, Mr Sherriff said.
"Spent a lot of time, energy and money on really boosting the 3G network up to make sure that it was a high-capacity, high-throughput 3G network," he said.
"The rationale behind that really was that we didn't want our customers to be disappointed when they moved from the 4G environment to the 3G.
"So we wanted to minimise the differential between the two networks as much as possible."
2Degrees would start to roll out its 4G network in the provincial areas towards the end of this year or the start of next year.