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Topic # 239883 9-Aug-2018 09:48
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Just received:

 

 

Spark New Zealand has published today a briefing paper that outlines how it is on track to start providing 5G services to New Zealand consumers and businesses from 2020.

 

5G is the fifth generation of wireless communications technology, which is starting to be rolled out around the world.

 

The briefing paper aims to inform investors of Spark’s 5G intentions, help customers and stakeholders understand more about 5G, and address key considerations for policymakers.

 

Managing Director Simon Moutter said Spark’s technical and network planning for 5G is advancing after successfully conducting outdoor and indoor trials earlier this year.

 

“We are undertaking detailed planning to ‘map’ expected 5G cell site densities in New Zealand and, as a result of this planning (and the learnings we have taken from our 5G testing), we are forming a good understanding of how many new sites we will need for 5G, and where. We have already begun a build programme to increase the number of cell sites in our existing mobile network – which will enable us to meet near-term capacity demand as well as lay the groundwork for network densification required for 5G.” 

 

Mr Moutter said 5G will enable Spark to provide additional capacity at a lower incremental unit cost than under 4G and 4.5G: “This means that once 5G is available to deploy, we will have a strong commercial incentive to rapidly build 5G network capability as the primary means of keeping ahead of growing customer demand for more data at faster speeds.”

 

As Spark’s network spend will be diverted from 4G capacity expansion into 5G as soon as the necessary spectrum is available, Spark expects to fund 5G network development (excluding spectrum and any material move towards widespread rollout of new cell sites using high frequency mmWave band spectrum) within its existing capital expenditure envelope of 11%-12% of revenues. By 2020, Spark expects its wireless-network specific capex to be between 25%-35% of Spark’s overall capital expenditure envelope, up from 25% in the year ended 30 June 2017.

 

In late 2018, Spark will launch a 5G Innovation Lab in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct that will allow partner companies to test and develop applications over a pre-commercial 5G network.

 

Mr Moutter noted Spark is already making decisions that are contingent on securing additional 5G spectrum and is having to make those decisions in the absence of any clear government policy on when that spectrum will be available or in what bands.

 

He said the allocation processes for the two most likely spectrum bands – mid frequency C-band and high frequency mmWave band - should be completed as soon as possible, to ensure 5G services can be delivered in time for the 2020-21 America’s Cup in Auckland as an international showcase opportunity.

 

In addition to these bands, low frequency spectrum (below 1000MHz) will be required to deliver 5G services on a pervasive basis into rural areas (outside of small provincial towns). The Government’s current work to define 600MHz spectrum as a band for potential 5G use should continue at pace.

 

Mr Moutter said it was important for policymakers to recognise 5G is not a standalone technology or solution. It will operate together with previous generations of wireless technology and will be deployed as an overlay of existing network infrastructure. Therefore, policy settings need to support network operators having control over the evolution of their wireless networks.

 

The current competitive market model, in which multiple wireless network operators compete against one another to grow their customer bases through product and service innovation and pricing, represents a good blueprint for the way 5G can be rolled out in New Zealand and would provide for more investment predictability and certainty over the coming decade, Mr Moutter commented.

 





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BDFL - Memuneh
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  Reply # 2070543 9-Aug-2018 10:51
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I have the paper but won't host a PDF seeing it's the kind of thing that can change. When there is a public link I will post it here.

 

The link someone posted just before was removed because it is the internal Spark SharePoint site so no one would be able to access anyway.





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  Reply # 2070558 9-Aug-2018 11:25
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I think this is fantastic as far as investment into the infrastructure is concerned.

 

However as long as there are data caps meaning you will burn up a month's data in an hour I find it's not really usable?

 

 


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  Reply # 2070585 9-Aug-2018 12:05
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Data caps on 4G have little relationship to prospective data caps on 5G. Data cap's are there to help in the sharing of the limited capacity fairly to all customers. 5G provides additional capacity, so you will likely see a corresponding rise in the caps.


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  Reply # 2070605 9-Aug-2018 12:29
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tripper1000:

 

Data caps on 4G have little relationship to prospective data caps on 5G. Data cap's are there to help in the sharing of the limited capacity fairly to all customers. 5G provides additional capacity, so you will likely see a corresponding rise in the caps.

 

 

That sounds like very good news on the data caps. For many people a big data cap can be almost as good as unlimited.  At the moment I am on Skinny's 240 gb fixed wireless monthly plan & with 8 gb a day to use it's pretty much the unlimited scenario for me.


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  Reply # 2070660 9-Aug-2018 13:12
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A lot of our household TV, all movies and all music comes into the house as broadband data and the monthly data usage seems to be around 400GB and has been trending up all year so no wireless offering will do...

 

 


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  Reply # 2070664 9-Aug-2018 13:13
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tripper1000:

 

Data caps on 4G have little relationship to prospective data caps on 5G. Data cap's are there to help in the sharing of the limited capacity fairly to all customers. 5G provides additional capacity, so you will likely see a corresponding rise in the caps.

 

 

That doesn't fill me with confidence. A corresponding i.e. linear increase would still mean you can eat a month's data in one hour.


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  Reply # 2070665 9-Aug-2018 13:14
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kryptonjohn:

 

tripper1000:

 

Data caps on 4G have little relationship to prospective data caps on 5G. Data cap's are there to help in the sharing of the limited capacity fairly to all customers. 5G provides additional capacity, so you will likely see a corresponding rise in the caps.

 

 

That doesn't fill me with confidence. A corresponding i.e. linear increase would still mean you can eat a month's data in one hour.

 

 

Why? Faster speeds don't always mean more data use.

 

 


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Reply # 2070668 9-Aug-2018 13:19
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sbiddle:

 

Why? Faster speeds don't always mean more data use.

 

 

I know end users that lock handsets to 3G only so they use less data!

 

John





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  Reply # 2070669 9-Aug-2018 13:20
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sbiddle:

 

kryptonjohn:

 

tripper1000:

 

Data caps on 4G have little relationship to prospective data caps on 5G. Data cap's are there to help in the sharing of the limited capacity fairly to all customers. 5G provides additional capacity, so you will likely see a corresponding rise in the caps.

 

 

That doesn't fill me with confidence. A corresponding i.e. linear increase would still mean you can eat a month's data in one hour.

 

 

Why? Faster speeds don't always mean more data use.

 

 

True, if there's not a general migration to UHD or better streamed video and so on (which there probably will be) and no general continued migration to broadband delivered mainstream media and other unforeseen increases in data usage.

 

For most users, what are the benefits of 5G that don't involve more data use?

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 2070671 9-Aug-2018 13:20
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Linux:

 

I know end users that lock handsets to 3G only so they use less data!

 

John

 

 

or devices simply camp on 3G, that's always a pain!





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  Reply # 2070681 9-Aug-2018 13:47
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kryptonjohn:

 

A lot of our household TV, all movies and all music comes into the house as broadband data and the monthly data usage seems to be around 400GB and has been trending up all year so no wireless offering will do...

 

 

My household uses less than 50Gb a month, so a wireless offering would make perfect sense. Sadly Spark doesn't offer 4G fixed broadband at my place currently due to lack of spare capacity on the network, so from that point of view 5G will be great. 


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  Reply # 2070688 9-Aug-2018 13:51
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alasta:

 

kryptonjohn:

 

A lot of our household TV, all movies and all music comes into the house as broadband data and the monthly data usage seems to be around 400GB and has been trending up all year so no wireless offering will do...

 

 

My household uses less than 50Gb a month, so a wireless offering would make perfect sense. Sadly Spark doesn't offer 4G fixed broadband at my place currently due to lack of spare capacity on the network, so from that point of view 5G will be great. 

 

 

keep an eye on the online ordering system every so often, you may find it will free up at some stage :)

 

There is a lot of new infill towers popping up right now.





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  Reply # 2070696 9-Aug-2018 13:59
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@hio77 Quite a few new sites in the Bays on the North Shore I see

 

John





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  Reply # 2070702 9-Aug-2018 14:04
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kryptonjohn:

 

For most users, what are the benefits of 5G that don't involve more data use?

 

 

None. And I'm being very serious, I see 5G in exactly the same way 3G was pitched in the late '90s. It failed to deliver on most of what was promised.

 

Nobody can deliver 5G in NZ right now or even in 2020 because they have no spectrum to do so. Even refarming and auctioning off the 3.5GHz band faces major obstacles because existing rights holders have management rights until 2022.


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  Reply # 2070710 9-Aug-2018 14:10
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Most of the ideal frequencies for mobile devices are already spoken for, so with 5G they are looking at using less ideal microwave frequencies. There is a lot of bandwidth available in these bands, but the trade-off is that the range is shorter or building penetration worse. This likely means cells will be smaller and cell sites will be denser, meaning they can reuse the larger bandwidth more times over than with present bands. 

 

So while it may be a lot faster, there will be much more capacity shared over far fewer users, likely meaning bigger data capacity per subscriber.

 

At the end of the day, wireless will always struggle to supply the volumes of data that terrestrial links easily do. Most people who have fibre in their home today have more potential dedicated bandwidth available to them than their local cell site has to share between the entire neighbourhood.


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