Spark New Zealand expanded 5G coverage to the North Island, launching service in parts of Auckland and partnering with the city’s transport authority to deploy IoT infrastructure.
Renee Mateparae, Spark’s technology lead, said the commercial 5G network in downtown Auckland builds on a private network put in place in November 2019 for the Emirates Team New Zealand sailing team.
The operator partnered with Auckland Transport to showcase IoT technology powered by 5G, beginning with connected lighting in the Wynyard Quarter’s Innovation Precinct which can generate heat maps to monitor foot traffic, and monitor air and noise pollution. Some have CCTV capabilities.
Spark’s LoraWAN network is being used to deliver so-called “smart benches” offering smartphone and electric scooter charging points, while sensors on bins aim to streamline council operations by delivering information on when they are full.
Chris Creighton, Auckland Transport group manager Technology Solutions, explained it is “learning how to use smart infrastructure” to solve problems including finding a parking space, which initially involves deploying 200 sensors.
The commercial 5G network covers Britomart, the Viaduct, Commercial Bay, Wynyard Quarter and North Shore’s Takapuna.
Spark launched 5G for a limited number of enterprise and consumer customers in Alexandra in September 2019, later expanding availability to five more locations on the South Island using the 2600MHz band and Nokia gear.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back