Samsung Seals 5G Deal with Spark New Zealand
New Zealand’s largest mobile carrier, Spark New Zealand, has proven that its three-year strategy has come to fruition. The firm has delivered its strongest revenue growth in three years, soaring 4.0 per cent to that of $1,824 million for the half-year to 31 December 2019. Supporting the growth was the solid performance in mobile, where high-margin mobile yielded a 5 per cent growth. Additionally, revenues were also lifted by cloud, service and security management growth as well as the introduction of Spark Sport.
Undeniably, the firm’s continued focus on its core operations such as the divestment of Lightbox also assisted in the Spark gaining an increased market share of 1.2 percentage points. Spark currently occupies 40.1 per cent, its highest level in the past eight years. Specifically, at the start of February, Spark has finalised the sale of its entertainment streaming business, Lightbox to Sky Network Television Limited (Sky). Marketing Director for the firm, Matt Bain believed that the firm had wanted to identify a feasible media partner since the start of 2019 who possessed the capability to enhance Lightbox’s content proposition. The purchase agreement and conditional sale ,which has been inked will allow Sky to combine with Lightbox to benefit from the synergy to be potentially achieved.
More recently, Samsung Electronics has announced on 04 March that it has entered into a commercial agreement with Spark New Zealand to participate in building Spark’s 5G network this year. Spark has been working closely with Samsung regarding its network innovation, having initiated 5G trials since 2019. These trials utilise Samsung’s 5G end-to-end solutions to test the feasibility of next-generation network technology at Spark Lab.
Besides, the test sessions also provide Spark with a clear-cut view of the high performance of Samsung’s 5G technology as well as the limitless possibilities that could emerge through lower latency and higher speeds. Additionally, Samsung will also provide Spark with its latest 5G New Radio (NR) solutions, including Massive MIMO radios. These lightweight radio units possess a slim design profile for ease of installation as well as space savings on its tower tops.
As a result of the coronavirus which witnessed countries imposing travel restrictions, Spark has announced the temporary shutdown of its customer care centres in Manila due to restrictions imposed by the Philippines government. On a positive note, Head of Spark Sport, Jeff Latch asserted that during this tough time, the firm would like to continue looking after its clients.
Consequently, Spark Sport has announced a new initiative where its platform will be available at no charge for existing and new customers up to May. This move will provide consumers with unlimited access to six sports channels and hundreds of hours of on-demand sports content as the virus impacts the screening of global live sporting events.
By Caroline Wong
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