Samsung Electronics has announced the signing of a commercial agreement with Spark New Zealand to build part of the mobile operator’s 5G RAN this year. The South Korean company will supply its latest 5G New Radio solutions, including scalable Massive MIMO radios which it claims are ‘simple and cost-effective to deploy, and accelerate commercial 5G availability’.
‘We are pleased to have Samsung as a 5G vendor for our mobile services, not only are they able to offer us a huge amount of global best practice and network infrastructure knowledge, they can also provide a proven immersive 5G experience for our customers,’ said Rajesh Singh, General Manager of Value Management of Spark New Zealand, adding: ‘One of the main reasons we selected Samsung was their 5G NR solutions which deliver enhanced network capability, high quality connections, and state of the art technology.’
In preparation for its 5G deployment, Spark announced in November 2019 that it had shifted to a multi-vendor RAN strategy and confirmed Nokia, Samsung and Huawei as preferred equipment suppliers. New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) had previously rejected, in November 2018, Spark’s application to deploy only Huawei’s 5G infrastructure, citing national security concerns.
Spark launched commercial 5G wireless broadband in selected areas of five small towns and communities on New Zealand’s South Island in November 2019, using the 2600MHz band and Nokia hardware.