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Spark sets sail for Christchurch, launching 5G ahead of America’s Cup

Spark is continuing its national 5G rollout and to kick off the year, has switched on 5G in central Christchurch – just in time for fans to watch the America’s Cup action live at the official FanZone from 10 – 21 March.  


Located in the heart of the Christchurch city centre, the Fan Zone will have free 5G WiFi available for the duration of the America’s Cup, so anyone can come and experience the high speeds 5G can offer both at home with wireless broadband or on the go with a 5G-capable phone.    


Locals can also test their sailing skills and compete over Spark 5G in the official America’s Cup e-game, Virtual Regatta, and win daily with $10,000 worth of prizes up for grabs both in store and at the FanZone.  


Christchurch is now the sixth location in New Zealand to have access to Spark’s 5G on both wireless broadband and mobile, alongside Auckland, Dunedin, Palmerston North, New Plymouth and Te Awamutu, 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 excited to kick off 2021 by launching 5G in the largest city in the South Island.  


“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.”  


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 $606 million to the Christchurch economy.[1]    


Spark worked with Samsung to launch its 5G network in Christchurch - the country’s first new commercial radio network vendor in more than a decade and Samsung’s first mobile network installation in New Zealand.   


MinSu Chu, President of Samsung Electronics New Zealand says, “We’re thrilled to be selected by Spark to help expand its 5G network and this first key project in Christchurch marks a significant milestone in Samsung’s technology journey.”  


The America’s Cup FanZone is located at Five Lanes, 120 Hereford Street, Christchurch Central from 10-21 March 10am to 5pm.  




Notes to editors:  

  • Free Spark 5G WiFi and the opportunity to win prizes and play Virtual Regatta will be available on all race days, beginning 10 March.
  • 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. 
  • For more information on the FanZone, visit the Christchurch CIty Council's website.  


[1] NERA Economic Consulting 2020  

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Elle Dorset

Corporate Relations Partner
+64 21 238 9844 |

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