5G NR Frequency Bands
Spark New Zealand Limited is a supplier of telecommunications and digital services in New Zealand. The Company operates through three segments: Spark Home, Mobile & Business; Spark Digital, and Spark Connect. The Spark Home, Mobile & Business segment provides fixed line, mobile and Internet services to consumers and the small medium business market, and includes Spark Ventures. The Spark Digital segment integrates information technology (IT) and telecommunications services to provide converged information and communications technology (ICT) solutions for clients. The Spark Connect segment includes its network and IT operations, shared business operations and servicing of wholesale and international customers.
The company operates 3G services over B1 (2100 MHz) and B5 (850 MHz) bands, with upgrades to HSPA+ in August 2010 and DC-HSPA+ in 2012. Spark began rolling out 4G LTE over B3 (1800 MHz) in 2013, progressively upgraded its LTE network capacity adding B7 (2600 MHz) and later B28 (700 MHz) in August 2014. In March 2016 the company purchased 70 MHz in the 2300 MHz band to deploy B40 (2300 MHz) TDD services, which has been activated as part of their flagship 4.5G LTE-A network. The network went live in June 2017 with carrier aggregation of B7, B28, and B40 services providing peak data rates up to 1.15 Gbps.
In July 2017 the company commenced rollout of a nationwide LPWA network using LoRa technology and expects to have a large portion operational by June 2018. The network is being deployed on 923 MHz with Wirnet™ iBTS base station hardware provided by Kerlink. The network was commercially launched in March 2018. The LoRa network forms one half of the operator's IoT strategy, with the company also deploying eMTC (Cat-M1) concurrently to service the two distinct use cases. Spark's eMTC / LTE-M network was commercially launched in September 2018 over the company's B3 and B28 LTE bands.
Spark also advised its LTE-M network was operational over the B1 (2100 MHz) band, which is used for LTE in limited deployment.
In August 2018 Spark announced its 5G rollout plans which set a 2020 target for commercial services. The company's plans suffered a controversial setback when in November 2018 the New Zealand intelligence agency Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) intervened and banned Huawei from participating in New Zealand 5G rollouts. Specific reasoning behind the ban has been classified.
Spark has advised the two most likely spectrum bands will be the mid-frequency C-band and high-frequency mmWave band. In addition to these bands low-frequency spectrum below 1000 MHz will be required to service rural areas with 5G, while the government is currently working to use the 600 MHz band for 5G too. Spark launched its commercial 5G network in March 2021 using n78 (3500 MHz).
4G LTE Network Information
Details on LTE network deployments are shown below. Data are often incomplete due to commercial nature. Consult dossier text for further details.
|Active [Launched 2013-11]
5G NR Network Information
Details on 5G NR network deployments are shown below. Data are often incomplete due to commercial nature. Consult dossier text for further details.
|Active [Launched 2021-03-09]