Spark switches on more 3G, 4G coverage in Gisborne in time for Christmas

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Spark New Zealand

As part of Spark’s commitment to ensure residents, visitors and holidaymakers have access to high-quality mobile services, four brand-new mobile sites have been built in Te Puia Springs, Tutara, Whakapunake and Hicks Bay, and are now delivering mobile and wireless broadband services, just in time for the bustling holiday season.

Spark has invested a significant amount in upgrading its mobile network in time for Christmas to cater for the expected increase in demand for mobile data. During the Christmas holidays last year, Spark customers used 3,570 terabytes of data on the mobile network – 121 percent more than the same period in 2016.

Spark’s Physical Infrastructure Lead Rob Berrill says that in the last three months Spark has upgraded more than 100 cell sites by adding extra capacity, as well as building 20 new mobiles sites in anticipation of the busy holiday period.

“We’re always looking to improve mobile service across New Zealand and we’re excited that Gisborne residents and holidaymakers are now able to access the full benefits of 4G. This means more mobile coverage as well as access to Spark’s wireless broadband service.”

“The mobile network upgrades will allow locals and visitors alike to stay connected with their friends and families while enjoying the sights and sounds of the sunny East Coast.”

In addition to building more permanent cell sites, Spark will be adding an extra six new COWs (cell site on wheels) to its ‘herd’ this summer as well as six COPs (cell sites on platforms) – increasing the herd to a total of 32 mobile assets.

“Both COWs and COPs provide a temporary solution at festivals like Rhythm and Vines to ensure customers are able to stay connected at all the gigs and events that are planned in locations where the usual coverage would be compromised by the size of the expected crowd,” says Rob.

Spark will be deploying its herd of COWs to more than 40 events over the 2019 summer and plans to build a couple of hundred more cell sites nationwide over the following three years to keep up with the rising demand for data.


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