Spark is launching a 5G service in Christchurch today, with the faster mobile technology available around the city’s center, including America’s Cup FanZone located at Five Lanes, 120 Hereford Street, 10 am to 5 pm.
The Christchurch launch is also the first time that Samsung’s mobile network gear has been used in a New Zealand building and the first new telco infrastructure vendor on the scene for a decade.
“With our leading 5G portfolio, we have played a key role in supporting Spark’s ambition to deliver 5G coverage to around 90 percent of the New Zealand population. We look forward to continuing our close collaboration with Spark to deliver innovative 5G services and transformative experiences to even more Kiwis.” Todd Selwyn, head of networks business at Samsung Electronics NZ, said today.
Spark has already turned on 5G mobile in downtown Auckland, Takapuna, Te Awamutu, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, and the Dunedin CBD.
Samsung was providing its 4G solutions to Spark’s existing network in select locations to help enhance services. For its 5G expansion, Samsung equipped its 5G Massive MIMO radios, among other systems.
Massive MIMO radio uses cutting-edge 3D beamforming technology to improve capacity and extend network coverage throughout Auckland.
“Through our partnership with Samsung, we’re thrilled to have expanded 5G coverage across Auckland at pace whilst simultaneously upgrading 4G capacity – providing Aucklanders with an enhanced wireless experience,” Renee Mateparae, Technology evolution tribe lead at Spark, said.
Following a similar pattern, 2degrees – who’s an all-Huawei shop – partnered with Ericsson for its rollout, while Vodafone Vodafone NZ has stuck with 4G incumbent Nokia Networks for its 5G network upgrade, which began in parts of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown in December 2019.
2degrees is also talking to other vendors to begin its 5G upgrade later this year.
Last August, Spark disclosed it would fund an additional $35 million to expedite its 5G rollout that will boost total mobile connectivity investment to $125 million in its 2022 financial year and provide 5G coverage to approximately 90 percent of the population by the end of 2023.