Samsung and Spark light up 5G net in New Zealand

Samsung switches on its first 5G in New Zealand, claiming to bring a new wave of rich and immersive services to users of the Spark network

Spark New Zealand and Samsung Electronics have announced the launch of a 5G network in Christchurch, the most populous city in New Zealand’s South Island.

The launch is the latest part of Spark’s national 5G roll-out, which began in September 2019. The operator has now switched on 5G in central Christchurch just in time for fans to watch the America’s Cup action live at the official FanZone in the city from 10-21 March. Located in the city centre, the FanZone will have free 5G Wi-Fi available for the duration of the yachting race.

Through their collaboration, Samsung and Spark say they will be able to support more users in New Zealand to experience the ultra-fast connectivity and low latency of 5G and subsequently help enterprise customers take advantage of innovative services. By entering into such a partnership, Spark says it is advancing its goal of helping New Zealanders grow in a digital world by extending 5G accessibility to drive new economic, educational and societal benefits.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Samsung to launch 5G in central Christchurch, New Zealand, to have access to 5G speeds at home with our wireless broadband or on-the-go with a compatible 5G phone,” said Rajesh Singh, general manager of value management at Spark New Zealand. “Samsung’s 5G Massive MIMO radio enables major improvements in both throughput and efficiency for Spark.”

Spark Technology lead Renee Mateparae said: “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.

“Launching our 5G network in the South Island’s largest city with our new mobile network vendor, Samsung, has us well on the way to have 5G deployed nationwide by 2023, provided we secure the necessary long-term rights to 5G spectrum.”

Spark’s 5G network is the first deployment of Samsung’s latest 5G RAN technology in New Zealand, including the company’s Massive MIMO radio, which is claimed to be one of the lightest and most compact network radios in the market, with a design profile that is said to provide space savings on tower tops. Using 3D beamforming technology, Samsung’s Massive MIMO radio also delivers improved capacity and effectively extends network coverage.

“We are thrilled to work with Spark in building its 5G network,” said MinSu Chu, managing director and head of Samsung Electronics New Zealand. “This project in Christchurch marks another milestone in Samsung’s 5G journey. We have built a strong following in New Zealand through our mobile devices, so we are pleased to be able to take the next step in advancing reliable, secure 5G network and offer an end-to-end solution.”

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