Wednesday, 14 June 2017 10:49

Spark, Nokia seal partnership on road to NZ 5G introduction Featured

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New Zealand’s biggest telco Spark is partnering with Nokia in a move designed to prepare New Zealand for the introduction of 5G, ultra-broadband and IoT.

Spark says the newly formed three-year strategic partnership is a "step change" in the capacity, flexibility and agility of its core and backhaul IP/MPLS network amidst “unprecedented growth” in demand for mobile and fixed broadband driving the need for an upgrade.

The deal follows closely on the heels of Spark's launch of 200 Gb/s per wavelength fibre link using the Nokia PSS1830 Optical Transport Network.

Rajesh Singh, general manager of partnering, procurement and vendor management at Spark, said the strategic partnership was a key step for the telco “to realise 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."

Nokia says Spark is committed to making New Zealand one of the first countries globally to be ready for 5G and that it 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.

The telco plans to further expand the capacity and agility of its transport network over the next two years to prepare for 5G.

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."

According to Spark, 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.

And the telco says 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 – and the expanded capacity and agility of the network will also help spur innovation and new services, especially around the promising application of IoT technologies.

Wong says the Nokia 7250 IXR-R6 addresses key network requirements for traffic growth and major architectural changes on the path to 5G, featuring terabit capacity and high-port density delivered in a compact, ruggedised form factor.

He also says 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.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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