New Zealand’s Spark kicked off the first live 5G mobile test site and claims to have achieved speeds of over 9 Gigabits per second. The company hopes to launch 5G services as soon as the spectrum is made available.
The trial was conducted with support from Huawei and will be live throughout the month of March and connects with equipment in a specialized vehicle drive-testing the streets of Wellington CBD. Testing is being executed as device and equipment manufacturers work towards delivering 5G capable devices in market by late 2018.
Spark’s managing director Simon Moutter says Spark is now moving 5G from a concept to reality.
“Spark is very excited to be leading the 5G race with this trial, and we intend to be at the forefront of deploying this technology in New Zealand once the required spectrum is made available. We want to be ahead of the pack in preparing for it, testing it, in deploying it, and we want to be the partner of choice for all of those New Zealand businesses who are starting to think about its uses in their industry. We’ve fast-tracked our plans and are committed to creating a 5G Lab in Auckland later this year, where customers can work with us to truly understand how 5G will change their lives and businesses.
Spark Chief Operating Officer Mark Beder confirms the company is keen to launch in New Zealand as soon as the spectrum is available.
“We’re pleased to have had the co-operation and assistance of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment who were able to provide access to temporary spectrum to make this trial happen. Industry and government partnerships will be crucial to ensuring New Zealand achieves the full benefits of 5G opportunities as soon as possible, and we will be working closely with the Government to outline our future spectrum requirements.”
Huawei New Zealand Managing Director, Yanek Fan said, “Huawei is proud to partner with Spark on another first for New Zealand by trialling 5G. We have been a strategic partner of Spark since 2013 delivering its 4G mobile network, the world’s first deployment of 700mHz spectrum in mobile and most recently Spark’s expansion into 4.5G and smart stadium projects.