Samsung launches its first 5G network in New Zealand with Spark | ZDNet

Samsung, through its partnership with Spark, has launched its first commercial 5G network in New Zealand.

Spark’s new 5G network, rolled out in Christchurch, is the first deployment of Samsung’s latest 5G RAN solutions in New Zealand.

According to Spark, the rollout of its Christchurch 5G network marks the first time a new radio network vendor has deployed a commercial network in New Zealand in over a decade.

“We are thrilled to work with Spark in building its 5G network. This project in Christchurch marks another milestone in Samsung’s 5G journey,” Samsung Electronics New Zealand managing director MinSu Chu said.

Samsung signed on to be Spark’s 5G vendor at the start of last year, after the New Zealand telco was banned from using Huawei’s equipment for its 5G radio access network.

The Government Communications Security Bureau banned Spark from using Huawei’s networking equipment as it believed using such technology raised “significant security risks”.

With the latest rollout, Spark now has six locations across New Zealand that have access to its 5G network. In addition to Christchurch, Spark’s 5G wireless broadband services are currently available in Auckland, Dunedin, Palmerston North, New Plymouth and Te Awamutu, and six South Island towns. 

In announcing the latest 5G launch, Spark technology lead Renee Mateparae also said the telco was on track to deploy the new network nationwide by 2023.

Earlier this week, Spark, 2degrees, and Vodafone committed to providing more information to support consumer choice and developing a prospective consumer data right before the end of the year.

This will entail New Zealand’s major telcos providing at least 12 months’ usage and spend information to customers; providing customers with an annual summary of their usage and spend along with a prompt to consider alternative options; and promoting the development of tools to enable more effective comparison and choice for telco consumers through the nation’s Telecommunications Forum.

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