Spark - The First Mobile Operator to Conduct 5G Trials in New Zealand

New Zealand’s digital services company, Spark, has become the nation’s first provider to perform live 5G mobile tests. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Hon Clare Curran, in Wellington became the first member of the public to run a 5G speed test achieving speeds of over 9 Gigabits per second. That’s more than nine times faster than the maximum speeds available to consumers with residential fixed line fibre today, and 90 times faster than today’s most prevalent UFB 100 Mbps service.

5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology and can be up to 100 times faster than 4G. It uses new bands of radio spectrum with super-fast response times, allowing a full-length movie to download in just a few seconds. The trial, located on the Stout Street Exchange Building, Wellington, was deployed with specialist equipment and technical support from technology partner Huawei and is located directly across from Parliament. It will test speeds, coverage and the parameters of the spectrum in a real-world environment. The trial will be live throughout the month of March and connects with equipment in a specialized vehicle drive-testing the streets of Wellington CBD. Testing is being executed as device and equipment manufacturers work towards delivering 5G capable devices in market by late 2018.

Spark is excited to be leading the 5G race with this trial, and intend to be at the forefront of deploying this technology in New Zealand once the required spectrum is made available. The company has fast-tracked plans and is committed to creating a 5G Lab in Auckland later this year, where customers can work with us to truly understand how 5G will change their lives and businesses. With concepts like self-driving cars, smart cities, virtual and augmented reality growing, unleashing the full potential of these concepts will require a fast wireless network with a super-fast response time. 5G will deliver significantly faster speeds and more capacity than previous mobile technology and will support the connectivity of multiple devices with very low response times. Spark is keen to launch in New Zealand as soon as the spectrum is available.