Nokia has announced a collaboration with TeamTalk, to improve critical communications and emergency services throughout New Zealand.

The collaboration will encompass wireless technologies, the Internet of Things, emergency services, connected service vehicles, and private LTE solutions. The two companies will work together to build an IP/Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) radio service, employing Nokia’s backhaul network solution, to bolster critical communications in emergency services.

Emergency services in New Zealand have been affected by the lack of adequate mobile network coverage throughout the country. The goal of the TeamTalk/Nokia partnership is to create a country-wide solution that will support emergency services and improve responses to emergency situations.

Under the new agreement, TeamTalk will become a reseller of Nokia products, including equipment, software and services. TeamTalk will use this partnership to help focus its efforts to evolve from a network vendor to a critical communications service provider.

Nokia intends to begin with emergency services, but expand to other types of networks in New Zealand supporting critical infrastructure, including transportation and utilities. Stuart Mac Hendry, head of transportation, energy and public sector for APAC and Japan at Nokia, added, “The depth and breadth of our technology expertise and significant presence in the New Zealand market were the determining factors for TeamTalk to partner with us.”

The infrastructure deficit in New Zealand is of major concern to government agencies, who have expressed concern over emergency services, public transportation, water, and housing. The infrastructure problem could take tens of billions of dollars to address fully, and is exacerbated by a population increase of over half a million people in the past decade, with half of those in the past three years alone.

However, despite the population increase, there was no correlating increase in spending on infrastructure during the same time period, which remained flat from 2015-2017. Additional data shows that new capital spending for every 1,000 new citizens has fallen significantly, from $142 million in 2012 to $37 million in 2017.

Private companies, like Nokia, have expressed interest in helping the country to address infrastructure issues, including public-private partnerships and special purpose vehicles supported by wealth management and pension fund investors.