Spark, Cisco team up for 5G Innovation Hub; Vocus-Vodafone tie-up on the cards?

1 Jun 2018

New Zealand telco Spark has announced that US equipment vendor Cisco is the first of several collaborators it will be working with to prepare and test the parameters for a 5G network in New Zealand. As such, the two parties will work together to deploy a 5G Innovation Hub in an unconfirmed location. Spark has indicated that its 5G plans are progressing at pace; the telco successfully trialled 5G in Wellington and Auckland earlier this year, achieving download speeds of up to 18.23Gbps. Spark’s Chief Operating Officer Mark Beder commented: ‘The purpose of the 5G Innovation Hub is to start planning and testing use cases that’ll help New Zealand businesses win big in a digital world.’

Also in New Zealand, rumours of a high-profile acquisition have gathered pace, following the announcement that Vodafone NZ and Vocus Communications New Zealand have invited business journalists to attend a joint press conference on Tuesday 5 June. In April this year Melbourne-based Vocus Group ended all discussions over the sale of its New Zealand unit – which also includes local subsidiaries CallPlus, 2talk, Orcon, Slingshot and Flip – saying that it failed to receive any offers attractive enough to entice a sale. It is understood that bidding stalled at AUD250 million (USD197 million), well below the group’s initial valuation of around AUD500 million.

New Zealand, Cisco Systems, Spark, Vocus New Zealand (incl. Orcon, Slingshot), Vodafone New Zealand