Cisco has become the first of several collaborators working with Spark to prepare and test the parameters for a 5G network in New Zealand.
Earlier this month, the tech giant signed an agreement that will result in the contribution of services, technology and capabilities to an innovation hub designed to develop, test and prepare for 5G deployment locally.
“5G will transform the way we live, work and play with significantly faster speeds and considerably more capacity than previous generations of mobile technology,” Spark COO, Mark Beder, said. “The purpose of the 5G innovation hub is to start planning and testing use cases that’ll help New Zealand businesses win big in a digital world.”
The move is an extension of the current partnership between both parties in New Zealand, with Spark delivering technology solutions, design, installation and online support for Cisco products and services for over 10 years.
“We’re taking an eco-system approach by collaborating with several global technology and network specialists like Cisco, who will allow us to leverage the world-class skills and experience of Cisco’s global team and examine what they are doing in other international markets,” Beder added.
“This innovation hub will become a space where vendors, developers and application providers alike will be innovating for the common good of customers and businesses.”
According to Beder, Spark’s plans for 5G are “progressing at pace” in New Zealand, with the telco trialling 5G in Wellington and Auckland earlier this year, achieving the highest speed of 18.23 gigabits per second - approximately 150 times faster than Spark’s initial 4G trial.
“5G will take us from a world of connecting people and the internet, to a world of connecting everything to everything, making cities smarter, energy grids more efficient, medical services more accessible and transportation safer,” Beder added.
“It’s an exciting part of our future and builds on our strengths in network innovation, and the success we’ve had with wireless broadband.”
At this stage, Spark is yet to finalise the network technology partners for its 5G network deployment.
“The innovation hub will provide a collaborative workspace to allow local New Zealand companies to work with Cisco’s programmable networking technology within a 5G sandbox to explore new ideas,” Cisco sales and operations director for service providers A/NZ, Andrew Findlay, added.
“Next generation networking underpins the 5G future where the contrasting demands from IoT through to augmented reality require unprecedented flexibility in the network, and with that there are new possibilities waiting to be discovered.”