Spark taps Nokia to brace its core network for 5G

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Spark New Zealand has signed a three-year strategic partnership with Nokia to upgrade its core and backhaul IP/MPLS infrastructure to prepare for 5G, ultra-broadband and IoT.

Spark said that unprecedented growth in demand for mobile and fixed broadband is driving the need for an upgrade. The operator has seen a tenfold increase in network traffic with the introduction of its wireless broadband service, which is primarily based on a Nokia IP/MPLS network.

Spark plans to further expand the capacity and agility of its transport network over the next two years to prepare for 5G as demand for mobile and ultra-broadband services continues to accelerate in New Zealand, driven by Internet-based video as well as new applications such as augmented and virtual reality.

Spark also noted that 5G will help it lower delivery costs for rural service rollouts.

Under the deal, Nokia will provide IP and optics equipment and software for the Spark network, including the new 7250 IXR-R6 platform.

Rajesh Singh, general manager of Partnering, Procurement and Vendor Management at Spark, said the partnership is “a key step for us to realize our vision of a data-driven future for New Zealand.”

The deal follows closely on the heels of Spark’s launch of a 200-Gbps-per-wavelength fiber link using Nokia’s 1830 PSS Optical Transport Network.

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