Spark switches on New Zealand’s first live 5G test site

spark 5G
Image credit: Spark

Spark said on Monday it has switched on New Zealand’s first live 5G mobile test site in Wellington.

The trial site, located on the Stout Street Exchange Building directly across from Parliament, was deployed with equipment and technical support from technology partner Huawei. The site will test speeds, coverage and the parameters of the spectrum in a real-world environment.

Spark says the trial site connects with terminal equipment in a specialized vehicle drive-testing the streets of Wellington CBD.

“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,” said Spark’s managing director Simon Moutter.

Moutter added that Spark has fast-tracked plans to creating a 5G Lab in Auckland later this year.

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,” Beder said. “We will be working closely with the Government to outline our future spectrum requirements.”

In a publicity stunt launching the site, Clare Curran – New Zealand’s Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media – was the first member of the public to run a 5G speed test on the site. Result: over 9 Gbps.

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