Spark has welcomed news today from Communications Minister Simon Bridges that the target of ninety per cent of New Zealanders having access to 4G has been reached ahead of schedule, and the company is already taking the first steps towards the next evolution of mobile technology – 4.5G.
The Spark 4G network, which currently covers over 93% of the places New Zealanders work, live, and play, gives people better and faster access to mobile services, helping them to stay connected with family, friends, and colleagues. It also gives them more options for internet connections with Spark Wireless Broadband.
4.5G is an evolution on 4G and Spark is delivering it over a wide range of its spectrum assets, including the recently acquired 2300MHz spectrum by utilising “Carrier Aggregation” technology (using multiple bands of spectrum simultaneously to increase speeds and capacity), 4x4 MIMO (utilising multiple antennae simultaneously to multiply available capacity), and 256 QAM (or Quadrature Amplitude Modulation, which improves the efficiency of radio transmissions and allows for more speed).
Spark General Manager of Networks, Colin Brown, says the company is committed to delivering high-quality mobile services to as many New Zealanders as possible, and while the 4G rollout is continuing, the company is also turning its attention to the next generation of mobile services.
“We are proud to do our bit to get more 4G to more people. In particular, our 700MHz deployments are bringing more connectivity to people in rural areas, and our 2300MHz spectrum has already been deployed to 44 sites to give people all over New Zealand more capacity for mobile data and more options for wireless broadband.
“But we’re always looking forward too. We are the first and only provider in New Zealand to give people a taste of the future with 4.5G, which provides more capacity and faster mobile speeds, with speeds of over 1Gbps possible as devices catch up to the network in the future. This technology is now operating on two sites – one in central Christchurch and the other in Silverdale – and we’ll be rolling it out to more New Zealanders soon,” said Brown.