Spark plugs new upgrade schemes

2 Nov 2016

New Zealand fixed and mobile operator Spark has launched a programme called ‘Upgrade New Zealand’ which aims to migrate as many customers as possible from legacy copper networks to newer and more reliable fibre and wireless broadband technologies.

The first part of the scheme will see Spark trialling a new rollout method which it has dubbed ‘street in a week’, under which it will coordinate more closely with wholesale fibre network owners such as Chorus and Ultrafast Fibre to carry out all scheduled fibre upgrades on a street-by-street basis. It says this will give end users more certainty as to when their installation work will take place, which it claims is a major factor deterring some people from switching. It is testing the new deployment method in Hamilton with Ultrafast Fibre, and plans to subsequently extend it to other cities and other fibre companies.

The second part of the project will encourage medium and low-usage customers to switch from copper to 4G LTE-based wireless broadband equipment. Spark spokesperson Kayne Munro commented: ‘The 4G network offers fast speeds, with less risk of faults than most copper connections. Spark customers relying on a copper line connection are approximately 50 times more likely to report a fault compared with those on the Spark mobile network.’ The firm says 1.6 million households and businesses are covered by its 4G LTE infrastructure.

New Zealand, Spark