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4.5G mobile internet makes bucket list experience even more braggable

The Supercar Fast Dash in a magnificent Ferrari at Highlands – Experience the Exceptional in Cromwell is renowned as a true bucket-list experience.


But the arrival of 4.5G mobile technology has enabled Highlands to make the experience even more braggable—by livestreaming it direct to your social media channels.


4.5G is a new generation mobile technology launched in New Zealand by Spark. It’s capable of delivering 3–5 times faster internet speeds than normal 4G. When streaming an experience like a super car fast dash, 4.5G enables viewers on the other end of the driver’s social media feed to watch the race with far less lag.


When Josie Spillane, Chief Operating Officer at Highlands heard about the new technology, she immediately saw potential to change the way tourism at her facility is celebrated.


“It was probably about a year ago—I was invited to attend a special announcement by Spark that 4.5G would be available in Queenstown. I approached one of the team and said, ‘I’m interested and based in Cromwell, does it go that far?’ They looked into it and found it would.


“We wanted more immediate gratification for clients experiencing our tourism products and wanted to change the way people share their experiences at Highlands. We thought, why not let them log onto Facebook and stream a live video of them charging around the track at up to 230kms/hour?”


The idea was to let Ferrari Fast Dash customers simply load their phone into a bracket in the Ferrari and record the entire experience live. The challenge was making that idea happen. With the car travelling at such fast speeds, connectivity would drop out of the different wireless points already fixed around the circuit.


To solve this, Spark’s Spencer Ho came up with what he believes may be a world first—a bespoke in-Ferrari WiFi solution where the car stays connected to 4.5G all the way round the track.


“It’s just been the most awesome experience,” says Josie. “We’re now looking at how to make it more polished. We want to give people the opportunity to really showcase where they are—the inside of the car and the outside. 


“From a ‘stick your toe in the water’ idea and a meeting in Queenstown, to actually being one of the first to do it, it’s been awesome. The livestream shows how the whole experience is exhilarating but terrifying at the same time.


“People have been really keen to share that—it gives them bragging rights for life.”



Watch Josie testing out the live Fast Dash here and here.

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