21 Jun 2021
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Spark turns on Hamilton's first 5G network

By Shannon Williams

Spark has switched on the first 5G network in parts of Hamilton. 

Coverage extends across Hamilton Central, as well as parts of Claudelands, Chartwell and Fairfield, with further coverage being added before the end of the month, the telecommunications provider says.

Hamilton will be the ninth location in New Zealand to have access to Spark 5G on both wireless broadband and mobile, alongside Christchurch, Auckland, Dunedin, Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Te Awamutu, Clyde and Alexandra as well as four South Island towns that have access to Spark's 5G wireless broadband services. 

"We are making great progress on our 5G roll out which is enabling faster home wireless broadband and mobile speeds, and building the foundation for the emergence of new technology and experiences that require 5Gs speed, low latency and mass connectivity," says Spark Technology Lead, Renee Mateparae. 

Local Hamilton innovators, AR3 Limited were selected as finalists in Sparks inaugural 5G Starter Fund for their product, OneBin, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically separate all categories of recyclables from waste when someone disposes of it into a rubbish bin. 

With 5G, AR3 will no longer need to have the AI equipment embedded into each OneBin and instead have it managed through edge compute, which brings data storage closer to the location where it is needed. This would make their smart waste bins less prone to theft and could be deployed to consumers at a more cost effective rate. 

 5G will also significantly enhance their smart waste bin by improving the speed of sorting the waste into landfill or recyclables. 

"Those who want to experience 5G speeds at home can sign up for Spark's 5G Wireless Broadband Plan. New Wireless Broadband customers who sign up before 30 June 2021 will receive a $20 credit per month for the life of their plan," says Mateparae.

"For those who want to experience 5G mobile speeds, Spark has a range of 5G ready mobiles in store or online and currently, customers can access the new network on any Spark plan free of charge," she adds.

"Customers who purchase a 5G-ready device on any Spark Pay Monthly mobile plan from Sparks Centre Place or Chartwell stores will go in the draw to win one of 28 JBL Link View Smart Speakers worth $399 until 28 June 2021 or while stocks last."

Customers can check out Spark's new 5G coverage in Hamilton on the Spark website.

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