Spark selects Nokia for 5G rollout

23 Sep 2021

New Zealand telco Spark has selected Nokia to support its 5G rollout across the country, as part of its plan to extend coverage to approximately 90% of the population by the end of 2023. The deal will see Spark deploy Nokia’s 5G RAN technology across a large part of the rollout, while simultaneously upgrading 4G at these sites using Nokia products.

Under the deal, Nokia RAN equipment will be used to upgrade parts of Spark’s mobile network using products from its latest AirScale radio portfolio, all powered by Nokia’s energy efficient ReefShark System-on-Chip technology. The Finnish equipment vendor notes its AirScale equipment is software upgradeable from 3G/4G to 5G, enabling Spark to remotely upgrade LTE sites to 5G when required.

Rajesh Singh, General Manager of Value Management at Spark New Zealand, commented: ‘We’re immensely excited about bringing 5G to approximately 90% of New Zealand’s population by the end of calendar year 2023 and to provide the foundation that we believe will support Kiwi businesses across a range of industries to adapt, transform and grow in an increasingly digital world. We’re also pleased to be upgrading parts of our 4G network to support the unprecedented increase in demand for data we are seeing each year.’

Rob Joyce, Chief Technology Officer for Australia and New Zealand at Nokia, said: ‘We’re proud to support Spark as it delivers the benefits of 5G to more of New Zealand. By helping Spark be 5G ready and reduce its total cost of ownership with our AirScale products, it can deliver 5G much faster and further than before, allowing its consumer and enterprise customers to reap the rewards of 5G in more and more places across New Zealand.’

New Zealand, Nokia, Spark