Please configure

Spark turns on 4.5G in central Taupo – Enabling 30 sites around New Zealand


Pictured above: Speed test on a Samsung 8 in Taupo

Key facts:

  • Today, Spark has switched on 4.5G on three mobile sites in central Taupo.
  • 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
  • More capacity will improve Spark’s Wireless Broadband experience, with the potential for higher speeds as 4.5G compatible devices become available
  • To celebrate the launch, Spark is giving away free data bundles, smartphones and a grand prize of $4,500

Spark announced today that Taupo has become the 30th site capable of achieving the fastest mobile data speeds in the country, as 4.5G is switched on in three sites across Taupo. The three 4.5G capable towers are located at Crown Road, Taupo Exchange and Taupo Central.

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 Taupo follows other mobile towers in Invercargill, Thames, Waihi, Cromwell, Christchurch CBD, along with the activation of a cluster of five towers in Queenstown, now making a total of 30 sites, with more to follow.

While there are only a few devices available that are fully 4.5G capable, many of the latest high-end phones support some of the features, with the potential to propel their speeds to between three and five times faster than regular 4G. With the innovation of next generation mobile devices happening all the time, it won’t be long until there are many more devices that are fully 4.5G capable.  

The launch will also deliver plenty of new capacity, allowing Taupo 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), by connecting to the nearest cell site rather than over a fixed line laid to their house.

To celebrate the Taupo launch, Spark will be on the streets of central Taupo on Wednesday 6 December with free data bundles and the chance to win a new Sony XZ Premium phone or a grand prize of $4,500.

Spark Chief Operating Officer, Mark Beder, says the deployment is an important milestone on Spark’s pathway to 5G.

“4.5G is the fastest mobile capability available today in New Zealand and only available on Spark. It’s our pathway to 5G and provides New Zealanders with the capability for the faster speeds and higher throughput.

“4.5G is an important part of our strategy because it helps us to prepare for a 5G future today, keeping up with changes in the way 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.”

“Taupo is the first large town in the North Island to get 4.5G and with summer just around the corner now is the perfect time to be rolling out 4.5G to cope with the huge influx of visitors Taupo will see over the next 4-5 months, as well as the series of international sporting events Taupo hosts.

“We see Taupo as a really good opportunity because there’s so many different types of businesses and many that use video streaming – like the tourism industry. The uptake you’ll get in terms of speed and capacity is somewhere in the vicinity of 3-5 times faster than a 4G site. So the opportunity for customers is better streaming, more capacity and throughput on their next generation mobile devices. It also means better service for new and existing wireless broadband customers in this area.”

Last month, 48 Terabytes of mobile data was consumed in Taupo, that’s the equivalent of watching over 46,000 hours of standard streaming on Lightbox or Netflix. Mobile data consumption in Taupo has gone up by around 200% in the last 12 months.

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 over the next 12 months.

Notes to the editor:

Images and video are available on request.
What is 4.5G

4.5G 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
Wireless Broadband is a ‘plug and play’ solution using the 4G network to provide a fast and reliable broadband service to customers. 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 –     
Areas in NZ where we now have 4.5G

Auckland – Silverdale and Millwater
Christchurch Central
Wellington Central
Queenstown (cluster of 5 mobile towers including Arrowtown)
Red Hill (Whitianga)
Invercargill (cluster of 3 mobile towers)
Hill End Wanaka
Stoke, Nelson



Chloe Vaughan

Communications Advisor
+64 27 359 3077 |

Please configure