Vast stretches of unspoiled landscape have made agriculture and tourism the two legs on which New Zealand’s economy stands, but they have also made network coverage for citizens and travelers something of a challenge. With so much of the country’s GDP dependent on what happens outside of the cities, nationwide broadband is a must in the 21st century. Tourists must be able to share their memories as they happen, and farmers must be able to track their produce and improve productivity to keep up with the world’s growing demand for meat and dairy.

Spark New Zealand has cooperated with Huawei to build an LTE network at 700MHz, a frequency range that delivers both coverage and capacity at a lower cost. With its ability to operate in the presence of mountains and vast expanses, this network now provides 4G services throughout the country, from the busiest parts of Auckland to the most remote stretches of countryside, with nearly 200,000 rural customers now enjoying the same quality of Internet as the townies. Not only does this bridge the digital divide, a social good in and of itself, it stimulates commerce. Consumers can check the origins and transportation records of the food on their table, instantly. Travelers can share their experiences as they happen, no matter how far they are from the noise and clutter of the modern world. And there will be more to come, with these emerging opportunities estimated to add USD1.8 billion to the gross domestic product of New Zealand.

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"We are very pleased to have 700MHz band spectrum. We absolutely believe that having the spectrum is not only the right thing for our company, but the right thing for our customers and economy as well. And particularly in areas that wouldn’t traditionally get coverage and speed without 700Mhz band spectrum being available."

David Havercroft, COO, Spark New Zealand

700MHz low-frequency spectrum penetrates walls and travels long distances, making it very suitable for either rural or urban coverage.

700MHz also reduces the cost of network construction in the early stages significantly, while shortening the deployment time. This helped Spark New Zealand achieve their LTE coverage targets in short order.

“What is absolutely great is the commitment from Huawei to get the network out, give us the best technology, and help support the economy and serve our customers. So it has been a great relationship.”

David Havercroft, COO, Spark New Zealand

APT700 for LTE

APT700 spectrum is also known as “digital dividend” spectrum, which harkens back to its origins as the bandwidth once used for analog TV broadcast. Its range and capacity make it a highly-coveted spectrum band worldwide, with Spark New Zealand’s APT700 LTE network achieving peak download speeds of 90-100Mbps.

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