Spark is launching 5G service in Christchurch today, with the faster mobile technology available around the centre of the city - including The America's Cup FanZone located at Five Lanes, 120 Hereford Street, 10am to 5pm.
Both mobile and wireless broadband service is on offer. See a coverage map here.
The Christchurch launch also marks the first time that Samsung's mobile network gear has been used in a New Zealand build, and the first new telco infrastructure vendor on the scene for a decade (Juha Saarinen takes a deep-dive into Samsung's 5G infrastructure push here).
Spark has already turned on 5G mobile in downtown Auckland and Takapuna, Te Awamutu, New Plymouth, Palmerston North and the Dunedin CBD.
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The telco is offering wireless broadband service in all the above areas as well as Alexandra, Westport, Twizel, Tekapo, Hokitika and Clyde.
The GCSB blocked Spark's original choice of 5G network partner, Huawei, back in November 2018, and the Chinese company remains sidelined.
Spark drafted in Nokia Networks and Samsung as replacements for Huawei at the edge of its network (that is, gear for cell towers), while maintaining incumbents Cisco and Ericsson for the core.
Vodafone NZ has stuck with 4G incumbent Nokia Networks for its 5G network upgrade, which kicked off in parts of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown in December 2019. The telco has since been infilling (see coverage map here).
2degrees, currently an all-Huawei shop, says it is talking to other vendors with an eye on beginning its 5G upgrade later this year.