New Zealand-based full-service telecoms provider Spark has announced that it expects to launch its commercial 5G service on 1 July 2020. The date was revealed at a media event held to mark the opening of ‘New Zealand’s first interactive 5G test lab’ in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct. (Spark notes that the July 2020 launch date has been selected as it will enable the telco to assist Emirates Team New Zealand in its defence of the 36th America’s Cup boat race in 2021.)
Spark Managing Director Simon Moutter commented: ‘Today is an important day on the roadmap to the next generation of mobile technology. It marks the first time in New Zealand that a true 5G pre-commercial network will be turned on and available for Kiwi businesses to explore, learn and create products that will define the future of 5G. The Spark 5G Lab is primarily designed to give New Zealand companies – our customers and partners – access to a 5G network so they can experiment with live 5G technology. We want to be the easiest company to work with, with the most collaborative team, and with the best network.’
Spark adds that ‘delivering a 5G network is reliant on the availability of spectrum which we anticipate will be auctioned by the Government in 2019’.