New Zealand operator Spark has started its 5G standalone network build, in cooperation with technology vendors Ericsson and Red Hat. In addition to its investment in C-band mobile spectrum, Spark has committed NZF 40 million – NZD 60 million to the development of its 5G standalone network over the next three years. 

In making the announcement Spark confirmed Ericsson and Red Hat as technology partners for the 5G standalone network build. The announcement follows the successful completion of a 3-month 5G Standalone trial in 2022, comprising Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core running on Red Hat OpenShift and integrated with Spark’s 5G Fixed Wireless Access Network (FWA) to test enhanced wireless broadband. The new Zealand operator says this trial confirmed and validated the technical capabilities of 5G Standalone technology on Spark’s network.

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