Spark has become the first operator to switch on 5G services in New Zealand with a number business and consumer customers in Alexandra, Central Otago, invited to experience high-speed fixed wireless access. The company plans to extend the service to selected customers in another five heartland towns before Christmas 2019, with other locations following early in 2020.
‘For over a year we’ve been working hard to prepare for 5G, including adding over 150 new mobile sites and extensively upgrading our existing network to 4.5G, to take advantage of the more efficient use of spectrum and greater capacity that 4.5G provides. We’ve now reached the point where invited customers can start experiencing some of the real benefits of 5G,’ noted Mark Beder, Spark’s Technology Director, adding: ‘We believe that the first meaningful use-case for 5G will be increasing the capacity and speed of wireless broadband offerings.’
Spark has partnered with network densification specialist Dense Air to use spectrum in the 2600MHz band currently used in other parts of the country for 4G.