Twizel, Tekapo get 5G service

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Twizel and Tekapo are among five small South Island centres to receive Spark’s first commercial 5G 5G wireless broadband services.

The other centres are Westport, Clyde and Hokitika.

Spark has got the jump on rival Vodafone NZ – in a fashion – but its service is restricted to fixed wireless rather than supporting cellphones on the move.

Its service uses 5G to deliver broadband into a home as a substitute for a landline. The service can not be used on the move with a cellphone.

Mark Beder, technology director at Spark, said the focus was on getting New Zealand ready for 5G.

“With our new commercial 5G wireless broadband service, we’re offering Kiwis in regional New Zealand towns the chance to be some of the first people to discover 5G with Spark,” he said.

“The much higher data cap on 5G wireless broadband opens up an attractive proposition for a lot more customers, as it can offer fibre-like speeds in places with no or limited fibre coverage,” Mr Beder said.

Mr Beder said Spark’s ability to offer 5G services in small towns was due to its recently completed wireless network upgrade.

“We enhanced our capacity by approximately 80% over the past two years. This included building new cell sites and the extensive rollout of 4.5G, which significantly enhances network performance and capacity relative to conventional 4G.”

The Spark 5G service uses the latest Nokia 5G radio equipment.