Nokia has bagged a deal to support Spark's accelerated 5G rollout and provide 5G coverage to around 90 percent of the population by the end of 2023.
The deal will see Spark deploy Finland-based Nokia’s latest 5G radio access network (RAN) technology across a large part of the rollout, while simultaneously upgrading 4G at these sites, also using Nokia products.
Nokia RAN equipment will be used to upgrade parts of Spark’s mobile network using products from its latest AirScale radio portfolio, powered by Nokia’s energy efficient ReefShark system-on-chip technology.
These have the potential to help deliver up to 10-times faster data speeds to 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, future proofing its investment and lowering total cost of ownership.
Rob Joyce, chief technology officer of Australia and New Zealand at Nokia, said the company's AirScale products, could deliver 5G much faster and further than before, allowing customers to reap the rewards of 5G in more places across New Zealand.
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.
Rajesh Singh, general manager of value management at Spark New Zealand, said Spark was excited about bringing 5G to approximately 90 percent of New Zealand’s population by the end of calendar year 2023 and to provide the foundation that it believed would support businesses across a range of industries to adapt, transform and grow.
Rival 2degreees, meanwhile, has partnered with Ericsson for its 5G rollout and 4G expansion in a major breakthrough for the Swedish company in New Zealand.
Both Nokia and Ericsson have benefited from the effective exclusion of Huawei from local networks due to global national security concerns.
Mobile service providers are also still awaiting spectrum allocations from government to support their 5G and other rollouts.