- 4.5G is capable of delivering up to 3-5 times more speed and capacity than 4G from a single mobile tower to compatible devices
- Spark is rolling out 4.5G to 10 towns in the next 12 months
- More capacity will improve Spark’s Wireless Broadband experience, with the potential for higher speeds as 4.5G compatible devices become available
Spark announced today that Cambridge and Turangi have become the latest towns capable of getting the fastest mobile data speeds in the country, as 4.5G is switched on in the two Waikato locations.
4.5G is the next generation of mobile technology, capable of delivering more capacity and faster speeds, and giving people more connectivity options. The launch of 4.5G in Cambridge and Turangi follows other single-tower deployments covering limited areas in the Christchurch CBD, along with the activation of a cluster of five towers in Queenstown, making a total of 10 sites, with more on the horizon.
The upgrade puts the Spark network slightly ahead of devices, with no commercially available modems or phones supporting the entire range and combination of 4.5G features at the moment. However, most new high-end phones support many 4.5G features, with the potential to propel their speeds to between three and five times faster than regular 4G.
The launch will also deliver plenty of new capacity, allowing Cambridge and Turangi residents to benefit from Wireless Broadband as an alternative to fixed-line services for low to moderate data users of home broadband. Wireless Broadband from Spark gives people quality broadband (with or without a landline), but by connecting to the nearest cell site rather than over a fixed line laid to their house.
Spark’s General Manager of Networks, Colin Brown, says the deployment is an important stepping stone to 5G, which is likely to become commercially available sometime in the next few years.
“4.5G is an important part of our strategy because it helps us prepare for a 5G future today, keeping up with the changes in the ways people will use wireless technology over the next few years. Because 4.5G combines a range of radio spectrum and uses it more efficiently, we can provide more capacity and speed to our customers, allowing them to do more.”
Waikato District Health Board’s Director of Virtual Care and Innovation Darrin Hackett said:
“It's great to see Spark launching 4.5G mobile technology in Cambridge and other towns around New Zealand. This will help patients using our SmartHealth online health service in our smaller towns and rural areas across the Waikato when they are using some of the latest smartphones to access video consultations with our doctors.”
Spark is committed to providing the important infrastructure that New Zealand needs to compete in the new digital economy, and intends to continue to deliver more 4.5G around the country with the delivery of 10 towns around NZ in the next 12 months.
Notes to the editor:
What is 4.5g
C4.5G is an evolution on 4G. Spark is delivering it over a wide range of its spectrum assets, including the recently acquired 2300MHz spectrum by utilising “Carrier Aggregation” technology (using multiple bands of spectrum simultaneously to increase speeds and capacity), 4x4 MIMO (utilising multiple antennae simultaneously to multiply available capacity), and 256 QAM (or Quadrature Amplitude Modulation, which improves the efficiency of radio transmissions and allows for more speed).
Wireless Broadband is a ‘plug and play’ solution using the 4G network to provide a fast broadband service to customers who have previously struggled to get adequate access to the internet. Customers can check their range of 4G coverage over 700MHz on the Spark website to see whether they are in an area suitable for Wireless Broadband.