Spark rolling out 5G in Christchurch

File photo.
File photo.
Spark has announced Christchurch will be the next New Zealand city to get its 5G mobile and wireless technology, with live testing already under way.

Spark was first to roll out 5G wireless broadband when it piloted the technology in five small South Island towns in late 2019 - Westport, Clyde, Alexandra, Twizel, Tekapo and Hokitika.

The telco has since added 5G mobile and wireless to five towns and cities over the past year - Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Te Awamutu, and parts of central Auckland and Dunedin CBDs.

Spark has committed to launching 5G in five to seven locations by the end of its financial year on June 30.

With Huawei still sidelined by the GCSB, the telco has turned to Nokia Networks and Samsung for the edge of its 5G network, while sticking with Cisco and Ericsson for its core.

On Wednesday, Spark reported an 11.4 per cent fall in net profit after tax to $148 million for the six months to December 30, while revenue fell 1.5 per cent to $1.77 billion.

The telco blamed Covid-19 for the revenue fall. Border closures and tightening have choked off an estimated $114 million in annual roaming revenue for Spark, Vodafone and 2degrees from Kiwis travelling overseas, and incoming tourists.

Graphic: NZH
Graphic: NZH

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