This morning, Spark switched on 5G in Te Awamutu and New Plymouth, the latest locations in its nationwide rollout of the next generation of mobile technology.
As New Zealand continues to experience huge growth in the demand for data, Spark’s rollout of 5G provides much needed support in boosting capacity to areas like Te Awamutu – the third busiest cell site in New Zealand for mobile data usage.
Spark is working with Aon New Zealand in Te Awamutu to help keep their business connected over 5G, through a trial of Spark’s cloud managed network VMware SD-WAN service. This will ensure there is no impact to their business if their main fibre connection fails, by enabling reliable, fast connectivity over 5G wireless.
Jonathon Cook, Regional IT Director at Aon New Zealand says:
“As an insurance provider helping people in times of urgent need, it’s really important that we have a reliable, steady internet connection 24/7. Aon is excited to be trialing this new technology over Spark’s new 5G network which will provide us with peace of mind should our fibre connection fail. We’re confident that the reliable, fast connectivity of 5G wireless will help us continue to look after our customers, no matter what.”
In July, Spark confirmed it would turn on 5G in five locations before the end of the year. New Plymouth and Te Awamutu are the fourth and fifth locations in New Zealand to have access to Spark’s 5G on both wireless broadband and mobile, alongside Palmerston North, Dunedin and Auckland as well as six South Island towns who have access to Spark’s 5G wireless broadband services.
Spark Technology Lead Renee Mateparae says the team is happy to have successfully turned on 5G in five locations across New Zealand in 2020, during what was an especially challenging year.
“Rolling out 5G to a whole country is a significant task, with or without a global pandemic. Despite this we are on track with our build program and excited to switch on 5G in Te Awamutu and New Plymouth today. As we deploy 5G to new locations it is great to see real-life examples of people and businesses benefiting from the faster speeds and low latency that 5G provides.”
In the first year of Spark’s 5G rollout it has worked with Toyota in Palmerston North to provide virtual reality test drives; partnered with Animation Research Limited to bring street art to life through augmented reality in Dunedin; offered a glimpse into the future of smart cities with Auckland Transport in Wynyard Quarter; helped Kiwi businesses to build future 5G applications through the 5G Starter Fund and introduced 5G to local businesses like Aon Insurance to enable them to do what they do best.
Spark will continue its 5G rollout next year, with new locations to be confirmed in the coming months.
Those who want to experience 5G speeds at home can sign up for Spark’s Discover 5G Wireless Broadband Plan. For those who want to experience 5G mobile speeds, Spark has a range of 5G ready mobiles in store or online and customers can access the new network on any Spark plan free of charge until at least July 2021.
Notes to editors:
The national rollout of the next generation of mobile technology is predicted to add between $5.7 billion and $8.9 billion per year to the New Zealand economy
over the next 10 years – including $138 million to the local New Plymouth economy and $70 million to the Waipa District economy.
 NERA Economic Consulting 2020