Spark today said it will receive 5G spectrum — rights to 60 MHz of 3.5 GHz (or C Band) spectrum in New Zealand – from the government through the direct allocation process.
Spark plans to switch on 5G sites in a number of major centres and regions across the North and South islands over the next year.
New Zealand Government aims to conduct 5G spectrum auction in November 2022.
Spark CEO Jolie Hodson said the allocation enables a significant investment in 5G infrastructure across the country over the coming year.
Work done for Spark by NERA Economic Consulting estimates that the rollout of 5G in New Zealand could add between $5.7 billion and $8.9 billion per year to the New Zealand economy over the next 10 years.
“Securing 3.5GHz spectrum was critical for the rollout of a full suite of 5G services, so we would like to acknowledge the Government for facilitating the allocation, which will enable us to proceed with our planned 5G roll out at pace,” Jolie Hodson said in a statement on Tuesday.
Spark New Zealand last year abandoned plans to exclusively rely on China’s Huawei for the rollout of 5G services in New Zealand amid concerns over national security. Huawei is the world’s largest telecom equipment maker.
The firm still kept Huawei as part of a three-company preferred list of equipment suppliers that included Nokia and Samsung Electronics.