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Spark partners with Nokia to accelerate 5G rollout

Thu 23 Sep 2021

Spark has chosen Nokia to support its accelerated 5G rollout, which aims to provide 5G coverage to 90% of New Zealanders by 2023.

The deal will see Spark deploy Nokia’s latest 5G RAN technology across a large part of the rollout while simultaneously upgrading 4G at these sites using Nokia products.

As part of the deal, RAN equipment supplied by Nokia will be used to upgrade Spark’s existing mobile network, using products from its latest AirScale radio portfolio, all powered by Nokia’s energy-efficient ReefShark System-on-Chip technology. The upgraded service will provide Spark customers with 5G connectivity, faster speeds and additional capacity.

Spark New Zealand general manager of value management Rajesh Singh says he looks forward to working with Nokia to achieve its goal of connecting the majority of Aotearoa with 5G in the next few years.

 “We’re immensely excited about bringing 5G to approximately 90% of New Zealand’s population by the end of calendar year 2023 and to provide the foundation that we believe will support Kiwi businesses across a range of industries to adapt, transform and grow in an increasingly digital world,” says Singh. 

“We’re also pleased to be upgrading parts of our 4G network to support the unprecedented increase in demand for data we are seeing each year. 

“We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with our partner, Nokia on this exciting next phase of our 5G rollout.”

Nokia says its products have the potential to help deliver up to 10x faster data speeds to Spark’s mobile and wireless broadband customers while consuming less energy than earlier generations of network equipment.

Nokia’s AirScale portfolio equipment is also software upgradeable from 3G/4G to 5G, enabling Spark to remotely upgrade 4G sites to 5G, when required. This energy efficiency and upgradeability makes Spark’s network investment futureproof while also lowering its total cost of ownership.

Nokia has a long-standing partnership with Spark and has delivered several projects across Spark’s network, including 5G RAN, IP, core, and optical transport. These projects have set the foundation for better network performance with ubiquitous 5G connectivity.

“We’re proud to support Spark as it delivers the benefits of 5G to more of New Zealand,” says Nokia chief technology officer for A/NZ Rob Joyce.

“By helping Spark be 5G ready and reduce its total cost of ownership with our AirScale products, it can deliver 5G much faster and further than before, allowing its consumer and enterprise customers to reap the rewards of 5G in more and more places across New Zealand.”

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