New Zealand telco Spark has expanded its 5G network to central Christchurch to enable fans to watch the America’s Cup action live at the city’s official FanZone from 10 to 21 March using free 5G Wi-Fi connectivity. Christchurch is now the sixth location in New Zealand to have access to Spark’s 5G on both wireless broadband and mobile, alongside Auckland, Dunedin, Palmerston North, New Plymouth and Te Awamutu, as well as six South Island towns which have access to Spark’s 5G wireless broadband services.
Spark Technology Lead Renee Mateparae commented: ‘We’ve come a long way since we launched our first 5G service in September 2019, and it’s exciting to bring 5G to Christchurch just in time for the America’s Cup. We helped Emirates Team New Zealand make the boat go faster with Spark 5G when we launched in Auckland, and now Christchurch can get in on the action at the America’s Cup FanZone.’
Spark worked with Samsung to launch its 5G network in Christchurch – the country’s first new commercial radio network vendor in more than a decade and Samsung’s first mobile network installation in New Zealand. The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) blocked Spark’s original choice of Huawei as its 5G network partner in November 2018, prompting the telco to draft in Nokia Networks and Samsung as replacements for Huawei for its Radio Access Network, while maintaining incumbents Cisco and Ericsson for the core.