New Zealand telco Spark has activated 5G mobile services in Te Awamutu and New Plymouth, wrapping up its rollout for 2020. Spark initially launched the new network in Palmerston North in July, before expanding the service to parts of central Auckland (October) and downtown Dunedin (November), while commercial 5G wireless broadband services were previously launched in six smaller towns on the South Island in November 2019. Spark will continue its 5G rollout next year, with new locations to be confirmed in the coming months. Customers can access the new network on any Spark plan free of charge until at least July 2021.
Spark Technology Lead Renee Mateparae commented: ‘Rolling out 5G to a whole country is a significant task, with or without a global pandemic. Despite this we are on track with our build programme and excited to switch on 5G in Te Awamutu and New Plymouth today. As we deploy 5G to new locations it is great to see real-life examples of people and businesses benefiting from the faster speeds and low latency that 5G provides.’
Spark also revealed it is working with Aon New Zealand in Te Awamutu to help keep the insurance company connected over 5G, through a trial of Spark’s cloud managed network VMware SD-WAN service. This will ensure there is no impact to their business if their main fibre connection fails, by enabling reliable, fast connectivity over 5G wireless.