Spark is a major telecommunications company based in New Zealand. The company was established in 1987, initially operating under the name Telecom New Zealand. In 2014, the company rebranded as Spark New Zealand, reflecting its evolved focus on digital services. Spark is publicly listed on both the New Zealand Exchange (NZX) and the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). The company is primarily owned by institutional investors, with no single entity holding a controlling stake.

Alias
Spark New Zealand Ltd
Country
Type
Network Operator
Spark New Zealand logo
3G Network

The company has operated 3G services over B1 (2100 MHz) and B5 (850 MHz) bands since 2008, with upgrades to HSPA+ in August 2010 and DC-HSPA+ in 2012. In March 2023 Spark announced that it would shut down its 3G network by the end of 2025, refarming its 3G 850 MHz service into an n5 5G service.

    Network Frequency Band Status
    Shutting Down
    Shutting Down
    Date Event Subtype
    Launch of 3G Network
    Launch
    4G Network

    Spark began rolling out 4G LTE over B3 (1800 MHz) in 2013, progressively upgraded its LTE network capacity adding B7 (2600 MHz) and later B28 (700 MHz) in August 2014. In March 2016 the company purchased 70 MHz in the 2300 MHz band to deploy B40 (2300 MHz) TDD services, which has been activated as part of their flagship 4.5G LTE-A network.

    The LTE-A network went live in June 2017 with carrier aggregation of B7, B28, and B40 services providing peak data rates up to 1.15 Gbps. In November that year the network was further upgraded with 4x4 MIMO and 256QAM.

    Spark IoT

    Spark's LTE-M network was commercially launched in September 2018 over the company's B3 and B28 LTE bands. Spark also advised its LTE-M network was operational over the B1 (2100 MHz) band, which is used for LTE in limited deployment.

      4G Frequency Bands
      Network Frequency Band Max. Channel Bandwidth Status
      15
      Active
      20
      Active
      20
      Active
      20
      Active
      20
      Active
      Date Event Subtype
      Launch of 4G Network
      Launch
      5G Network

      In August 2018 Spark announced its 5G rollout plans which set a 2020 target for commercial services. The company's plans suffered a controversial setback when in November 2018 the New Zealand intelligence agency Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) intervened and banned Huawei from participating in New Zealand 5G rollouts. Specific reasoning behind the ban has been classified.

      Spark has advised the two most likely spectrum bands will be the mid-frequency C-band and high-frequency mmWave band. In addition to these bands low-frequency spectrum below 1000 MHz will be required to service rural areas with 5G, while the government is currently working to use the 600 MHz band for 5G too.

      With C-band spectrum yet to be authorised, Spark launched its first 5G services over n7 (2600 MHz) and n41 (2500 MHz) in September 2019. The company refarmed its 20 MHz channel previously used for 4G in addition to n41 TDD spectrum provided under partnership with Dense Air. The company followed with a commercial launch in March 2021 using its newly acquired n78 (3500 MHz) band.

        Network Frequency Band Max. Channel Bandwidth Status
        60
        Active
        Date Event Subtype
        Launch of 5G Network
        Launch