Samsung switches on its first 5G network in New Zealand

New Zealand
(Image credit: Bernd Hildebrandt from Pixabay)

Samsung Electronics and Spark New Zealand have announced the launch of a new 5G network in Christchurch, the largest city in the South Island, with a population of over 400,000.

Christchurch is now the sixth location in New Zealand to have access to Spark’s 5G on both wireless broadband and mobile, alongside Auckland, Dunedin, Palmerston North, New Plymouth and Te Awamutu, as well as six South Island towns who have access to Spark’s 5G wireless broadband services.  

As well as being Samsung’s first network installation in New Zealand, the launch marks the country’s first new network vendor in over a decade.

5G America’s Cup action

This collaboration between Samsung and Spark, that will enable more users in New Zealand to experience the ultra-fast connectivity and low latency of 5G, is perfectly timed for fans to watch the America’s Cup action live at the Christchurch official FanZone, from today until March 21st.  

Located in the heart of the Christchurch city centre, the Fan Zone will have free 5G WiFi available for the duration of the America’s Cup, so locals can experience the highest 5G speeds. People can also test their sailing skills and win $10,000 worth of prizes by competing over Spark 5G in the official America’s Cup e-game, Virtual Regatta.

“Samsung’s 5G Massive MIMO radio enables major improvements in both throughput and efficiency for Spark.”

Rajesh Singh, Spark New Zealand.

“We’re pleased to collaborate with Samsung to launch 5G in central Christchurch, New Zealand to have access to 5G speed at home with our wireless broadband or on-the-go with a compatible 5G phone,” said Rajesh Singh, General Manager of Value Management at Spark New Zealand.

“Samsung’s 5G Massive MIMO radio enables major improvements in both throughput and efficiency for Spark,” Singh continued.

Massive MIMO radio

Spark’s new 5G network is the first deployment of Samsung’s latest 5G RAN solutions in New Zealand, including the company’s Massive MIMO radio.

Samsung’s Massive MIMO radio is one of the lightest and most compact network radios in the market. It features a slim design profile that provides space savings for 5G towers. By utilising advanced 3D beamforming technology, Samsung’s Massive MIMO radio also delivers improved capacity, which in turn extends network coverage.

"This project in Christchurch marks another milestone in Samsung’s 5G journey.”

MinSu Chu, Samsung Electronics.

“We are thrilled to work with Spark in building its 5G network. This project in Christchurch marks another milestone in Samsung’s 5G journey,” said MinSu Chu, Managing Director and Head of Samsung Electronics New Zealand.

“We have built a strong following in New Zealand through our mobile devices, so we are pleased to be able to take the next step in advancing reliable, secure 5G network and offer an end-to-end solution,” Chu continued.

Nationwide 5G deployment

In a press statement, Spark say that launching their 5G network in the South Island’s largest city with new mobile network vendor, Samsung, has them well on their way to have 5G deployed nationwide by 2023, provided they secure the necessary long-term rights to 5G spectrum.”  

The national rollout of next generation of mobile technology is predicted to add between $5.7 billion and $8.9 billion per year to the New Zealand economy over the next 10 years – including $606 million to the Christchurch economy, according to NERA Economic Consulting 2020.

Rachael Sharpe

Rachael is a British journalist with 17 years experience in the publishing industry. Since launching, she’s been freelancing, and working for some of the world’s best-loved websites and magazines including and and has also had a book, iPad for Photographers, published. A regular contributor at 5Gradar, Rachael is following the 5G market closely. Find out more at