PAT PILCHER needn’t have flown all the way to England to experience 5G after all. He could have flown down to Twizel instead.
Witchdoctor was so keen to give its readers a taste of what 5G is like that it recently put me on a plane to London to test it out.
It turns out that I could have schlepped down to Clyde, or Twizel, or other selected areas of Westport, because now Spark has made the shock announcement that they’ve turned on NZ’s first 5G network there.
According to Spark, their 5G wireless broadband services are now live in selected areas of Westport, Clyde, Twizel, Tekapo, and Hokitika. These towns follow Alexandra, which was switched on in September. Spark says that more locations will go live next year.
The 5G offering isn’t so much a mobile network as aimed at those wanting fast broadband, but for whom getting a little fibre in their online diet isn’t yet possible.
According to Mark Beder, Spark’s Technology Director, “Wireless broadband is one of the first use cases for 5G, and we’ve chosen to deliver it to several towns in heartland New Zealand who are all high users of our current wireless broadband product as we think these customers will get the most benefit.”
The broadband offering has been branded as the “5G Discover” plan. It provides up to 600GB per month of data, which is a jump in data caps over what was previously available with earlier wireless broadband plans in those regions.
This is a hefty increase, and according to Spark, it should allow customers to stream around 180 hours of video without tapping out their data allowance. Even better still, Spark says that customers will only ever pay a maximum of $95 a month, and that can reduce down to $75 a month with lower data usage. Spark will also be offering a 5G Discover Entertainment plan that includes Lightbox and Netflix and is priced from $85 to $105 per month. For the towns where the 5G discover plan has kicked off, Spark is offering an introductory discount of $10 per month for the first 12 months of the plan.
The move to offer 5G broadband sees the race to grab tech media headlines continue, with Vodafone recently announcing that they’d have 5G live in selected locations from December. Either way, we at Witchdoctor love competition, so bring it on!