Samsung Electronics New Zealand launched its first local 5G network today, in Christchurch and in partnership with Spark.
With Huawei now effectively excluded from participating in 5G in New Zealand, the launch marks the country’s first new commercial radio network vendor in over a decade.
Spark also works with Nokia on what it has called a "roster" and deployed its 5G network technology in other localities.
“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," said Spark technology lead Renee Mateparae.
MinSu Chu, president of Samsung NZ, said the Christchurch project marked another milestone in Samsung’s 5G journey.
“We have built a strong following in New Zealand through our mobile devices, so we are pleased to be able to take the next step in advancing reliable, secure 5G networking and offer an end-to-end solution,” Chu said.
The new network is the first deployment of Samsung’s latest 5G radio access network (RAN) solution in New Zealand, including Massive multiple input multiple output (MIMO) radio, a light and compact radio unit with a slim design profile, providing space savings on tower tops.
Using advanced 3D beamforming technology, Massive MIMO radio also delivers improved capacity and effectively extends network coverage.
“The solution uses world-class 5G technology, designed to provide resilience and meet the capacity and latency demands of the next phase of 5G innovation,” said Todd Selwyn, head of networks at Samsung New Zealand.
The launch is Spark's sixth location in New Zealand to have access to 5G speeds.
"Samsung’s 5G Massive MIMO radio enables major improvements in both throughput and efficiency for Spark, said Rajesh Singh, general manager of value management at Spark.