Spark New Zealand invests in strategic partnership with Nokia for core infrastructure to prepare for 5G, ultra-broadband and IoT

Espoo, Finland – –

Nokia and Spark are partnering to prepare New Zealand for the future with a “step change” in the capacity, flexibility and agility of Spark’s core and backhaul IP/MPLS network. Unprecedented growth in demand for mobile and fixed broadband is driving the need for an upgrade, as Spark prepares for the move to 5G, ubiquitous ultra-broadband connectivity and rapid growth in IoT.

Spark is committed to making New Zealand one of the first countries globally to be ready for 5G. Spark has already seen a tenfold increase in network traffic with the introduction of its broadband over wireless service, which is primarily based on a Nokia IP/MPLS network. It plans to further expand the capacity and agility of its transport network over the next two years to prepare for 5G.

Demand for mobile and ultra-broadband services continues to accelerate in New Zealand, driven by Internet-based video as well as new applications, such as augmented and virtual reality. The expansion to 5G will also enable the fulfilment of the government’s goals for rural expansion of broadband services, while helping Spark to lower delivery costs. The expanded capacity and agility of the network will also help spur innovation and new services, especially around the promising application of IoT technologies.

The Nokia IP solutions are deployed in hundreds of networks worldwide, and offer the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of purpose-built IP/MPLS mobile solutions. Nokia’s commitment to continuous innovation makes it an ideal partner for a network leader such as Spark.

The Nokia 7250 IXR-R6 addresses key network requirements for traffic growth and major architectural changes on the path to 5G. It features terabit capacity and high-port density delivered in a compact, ruggedized form factor. The Nokia 7250 IXR-R6 comes with advanced security features and a wide choice of interconnectivity options ranging from legacy SDH/SONET to high-speed, latency sensitive Ethernet, suitable for next-generation fronthaul interface (NGFI). The 7250 IXR-R6 enables cost-effective transport of both latency-sensitive and ‘bursty’ traffic, which makes it equally suitable for ultra-broadband as well as for new IoT-based services.

Key facts:

  • Three year strategic partnership with Nokia providing best in class IP and Optics equipment and software to the Spark network, including the new Nokia 7250 platform
  • This deal follows closely on the heels of Spark’s launch of 200 Gb/s per wavelength fiber link using the Nokia 1830 PSS Optical Transport Network

Rajesh Singh, General Manager of Partnering, Procurement and Vendor Management at Spark, said: “This strategic partnership is a key step for us to realize our vision of a data-driven future for New Zealand. Nokia is helping us to achieve worldwide leadership in preparing for 5G. It will allow us to offer our customers the most advanced mobile and fixed broadband services anywhere, efficiently and securely.”

Kent Wong, head of Nokia’s IP business in Asia Pacific, said: “We are very pleased to continue our strategic partnership with Spark, which is committed to keeping New Zealanders at the cutting edge of technology. Spark’s investment will safely accommodate future growth as they benefit from Nokia’s global reach, expertise and agility. We are excited to help them be among the first customers to begin the move to 5G.”

About Spark New Zealand
Spark New Zealand provides digital services to over two million New Zealanders and thousands of New Zealand businesses. As one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies, Spark New Zealand is made up of a number of core business units (Spark Home, Mobile & Business, Spark Digital, Spark Ventures and Spark Connect). Spark’s ambition is to unleash the potential in all New Zealanders through its leadership in mobile and broadband communications and thereby contribute to all aspects of its community as a good corporate citizen.