Spark recently beat out rival Vodafone by announcing the launch of what they’re calling New Zealand’s first commercial 5G service, priced from $75 per month. This is in extension to its launch to a limited number of business and consumer clients in Alexandra in September.
The service is restricted to a handful of towns in the South Island, and is fixed wireless rather than supporting mobile phones on the move.
In selected areas of:
Spark technology change lead Colin Brown said "Spark 5G wireless broadband services are now live in selected areas of Westport, Clyde, Twizel, Tekapo, and Hokitika. This builds upon the 5G service Spark switched on in Alexandra in September, with further locations coming next year,"
Spark is offering a fixed-wireless 5G service - that is, using 5G to deliver broadband into a home as a substitute for a landline. The service can't be used on the move with a cellphone.
There are three tiers of pricing, with users bumped up or down between the tiers each month depending on how much data they actually use:
All of the plans are "naked broadband". That is, they don't include any voice service, which Spark is not yet offering over 5G.
In real terms, Mark Beder, Spark’s Technology Director, said that “Initial testing in Alexandra has shown speeds for 5G wireless broadband of five to 10 times faster than for 4G wireless broadband in the same location.”
With speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second, 5G has the potential to be 100 times faster than 4G. In short, 5G is smarter, faster and more efficient than 4G. It promises mobile data speeds that far outstrip the fastest home broadband network currently available to consumers.
5G also has much lower latency than 4G. Latency refers to the amount of time it takes between when information is sent to a device until it can be used by the receiver. This makes 5G a better replacement for traditions Fibre broadband – you’ll be able to download and upload files quickly and easily, and stream 4K videos without buffering.
If you are lucky enough to live in Alexandra, Westport, Clyde, Twizel, Tekapo, or Hokitika access to these 5G services will initially be by invitation only. So you may still be in for a wait until you can connect up to 5G wireless internet in your area.
If you’re looking for faster wireless broadband, it is still worth comparing wireless broadband plans to make sure you are on the best broadband plan for you.