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.