Spark claims first trial of 5G SA network in New Zealand
Spark noted that Mavenir, AWS, Nokia and Oppo took part in the 5G SA trial
New Zealand operator Spark said it has completed what it claims to be the first end-to-end 5G Standalone network trial in the country.
In a release, Spark said it has created and run two proof-of-concepts to lay the groundwork for 5G Standalone roll out in New Zealand, through a collaboration with Mavenir, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Nokia and Oppo.
Mavenir supplied a 5G Standalone cloud-native core solution, while AWS provided multi access edge computing and 5G cloud solutions. Meanwhile, Nokia and Oppo provided cell site infrastructure and 5G devices respectively.
Spark has deployed a Mavenir 5G SA cloud-native core solution on AWS Snowball Edge, which was described by the company as a physically rugged device that provides edge computing and data transfer services. The telco highlighted that this was Mavenir’s first global edge deployment on AWS Snowball Edge.
Spark tested a video analytics tool on the solution, and the results demonstrated low latency to deliver real-time video analytics, with latency reduced by 70% to single-digit milliseconds.
Spark also deployed a Mavenir 5G SA cloud-native core solution on AWS Outposts. The telco said that testing a wireless broadband service on this proof-of-concept showed faster download speeds and reduced latency when compared to pre-deployment results.
Josh Bahlman, Spark’s lead for telco cloud at Spark, said: “These proof-of-concepts create line of sight for us to deliver the enhanced benefits of standalone 5G – both to New Zealand businesses looking to innovate using 5G connectivity and multi access edge compute, and to New Zealanders accessing a network that supports applications such as instant video streaming, cloud hosted gaming and the reaction times required for driverless vehicles.” The executive also noted that the 5G Standalone network opens the door on capacity and low latency to help accelerate IoT trends such as connected cars, smart cities and IoT in New Zealand.
“The solutions offered by AWS and Mavenir provide an opportunity to test and learn by leveraging cloud-native solutions and multi access edge compute services optimized for 5G. Testing the technology in this way allows us to identify the optimal combination of vendors and solutions to deliver the benefits we want to achieve. We have further proof-of-concepts underway as we work to bring relevant use cases specific to New Zealand’s local requirements,” Bahlman said.
In September last year, Nokia announced that it had been selected by Spark to support its 5G rollout, which will provide 5G coverage to approximately 90% of the population by the end of 2023.
Under the terms of the deal, Spark will deploy Nokia’s latest 5G RAN technology across a large part of the rollout, while simultaneously upgrading 4G at these sites using Nokia products.
In March 2021, Spark and Korean vendor Samsung Electronics had launched 5G infrastructure in the city of Christchurch, the most populous city in South Island of New Zealand. The two companies had been working together on 5G trials since 2019.
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