New Zealand telco Spark reports it has created and run two proof-of-concepts to lay the groundwork for a future 5G Standalone (5G SA) network deployment. In these trials, the operator partnered with technology providers Mavenir (for the 5G Standalone cloud-native core solution) and AWS (multi access edge computing and 5G optimised cloud solutions), and technology partners Nokia (cell site infrastructure) and OPPO (5G devices).

Spark deployed a Mavenir 5G SA cloud-native core solution on AWS Snowball Edge, a device that provides edge computing and data transfer services, which demonstrated a 70% reduction in latency to single-digit milliseconds when testing a video analytics tool. The operator notes the proof-of-concept allows it to experiment with how a highly customisable network can be sliced and adapted to evolving enterprise requirements. To explore how wireless broadband services could benefit from operating on a 5G SA network, Spark also deployed a Mavenir 5G SA cloud-native solution on AWS Outposts, a fully managed solution delivering AWS infrastructure and services to virtually any on-premise or edge location. Testing a wireless broadband service on this proof-of-concept showed faster download speeds and reduced latency when compared to pre-deployment results, providing a better experience for Spark’s wireless broadband customers.

Josh Bahlman, Spark’s Tribe Lead for Telco Cloud, explained: ‘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 5G SA network opens the door on capacity and low latency to help accelerate IoT trends, such as connected cars, smart cities and IoT in the home and office.’

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