Spark upgrades South Island core network

Upgrade completed with the assistance of Spark’s partners Transworks, Downer, and NEC

Spark has announced completion of an upgrade of its core optical transport network (OTN) in the South Island, a loop from Invercargill, via Queenstown to Christchurch, saying the upgrade will provide an additional route in case of a natural disaster or emergency.  

The upgrade takes capacity on the loop to 200Gbps per wavelength and follows an announcement in December 2016 that Nokia was supplying Spark its first dense wavelength division multiplexing optical communications technology capable or carrying 200Gbps on a single optical wavelength, twice the current maximum then supported on Spark’s network.  

Nokia also announced, in June, a three year agreement with Spark for the supply of routing equipment to upgrade Spark’s core network and “address capacity and embrace architectural evolution on the path to 5G, ultra-broadband and IoT.”   

Spark says the OTN provides the backbone and core connectivity between all the main cities in New Zealand, transporting all customers’ mobile, broadband, landline, and managed and unmanaged enterprise traffic.  

Spark chief operating officer, Mark Beder said the upgrade would massively improve the resiliency of the Spark network in the South Island. “Having more high speed, high capacity links gives us more options for routing traffic and keeping people connected, especially during emergency situations.”  

He added: “This upgrade also significantly increases our network’s core capacity, ensuring we can keep up with New Zealanders’ huge appetite for data and helping to deliver a congestion-free experience for our customers.”  

Beder said the upgrade had been completed with the assistance of Spark’s partners Transworks, Downer, and NEC.

 

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