Earlier this year Spark announced that it will invest an additional $35 million to accelerate our 5G rollout, boosting total mobile connectivity investment to $125 million in FY22, and delivering 5G coverage to approximately 90% of the population by the end of calendar year 2023. This is assuming the necessary spectrum is made available by the New Zealand Government.
The accelerated roll out will help Spark meet the growing demand for data, which increases by approximately 40% every year, and will be coupled with 4G upgrades at the same time to boost overall mobile connectivity capacity.
The Spark network delivery team has been busy adding new coverage to its 5G network over the last 12 months. 20 locations are now 5G live across New Zealand with more to follow over the coming months. Spark has also been expanding its 5G coverage in cities like Christchurch, Dunedin and Auckland and added Invercargill, Gisborne and even Bluff to the coverage line-up.
The recent lockdown experience during the COVID pandemic has meant that New Zealanders rely on their phones and the internet to connect with family, colleagues and friends, now more than ever.
Spark customers with a 5G-enabled smartphone in the coverage area can currently automatically access its 5G network for no extra charge.