Emirates Team NZ partners with Spark for the 36th America’s Cup

“As racing becomes more and more driven by technology innovation, the crew on the boat and the team back at the base rely on the immediate availability of real time data to get the best performance on the water,” says Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand.

The winning boat during the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda

The winning boat during the 2017 America’s Cup in Bermuda

Seamless connectivity can make the difference in gaining that competitive edge

Grant Dalton, Emirates Team New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand has chosen Spark as its official telecommunications and connectivity partner for the team and for the 36th America’s Cup, which will be held in Auckland in  2021.

The agreement means Spark will provide Emirates Team New Zealand with telecommunications and digital connectivity, both on and off the water, as well as exclusive rights to provide telecommunications services and connectivity within areas controlled by the organising company, America’s Cup Event Limited.

“We have partnered with Spark, in the belief that their expertise in data and connectivity can help give us a competitive edge, and ensure the team is always connected in all mission critical aspects of design, testing and to put us in the best place for racing on the water,” says Grant Dalton, CEO of Emirates Team New Zealand.

“As America’s Cup racing becomes more and more driven by technology innovation, the crew on the boat and the team back at the base rely on the immediate availability of real-time data to get the best performance on the water. Seamless connectivity can make the difference in gaining that competitive edge. We saw that for sure in Bermuda and there’s no doubt that this will continue to be a differentiator for the racing in 2021.”

Mark Beder, technology director at Spark, says  5G – the latest generation of wireless technology – was arriving at a perfect time to maximise opportunities for the America’s Cup.

“We want to make the 36th America’s Cup an international showcase opportunity for many of the advances that will be enabled by 5G – and our partnership with both Emirates Team New Zealand and the event itself will put us in the best position to deliver to this brief.

We want to make the 36th America’s Cup an international showcase opportunity for many of the advances that will be enabled by 5G

Mark Beder, Spark NZ

“Beyond that, we see huge opportunities to use the 5G network to support and innovate with Emirates Team New Zealand and to support the connectivity required for the America’s Cup village.

“Digital connectivity is what we do best, and we want to align the development of Spark’s network and services with the spirit of innovation that Emirates Team New Zealand has always shown at the America’s Cup and will no doubt be doing so again in 2021.

“Emirates Team New Zealand and Spark share a classic Kiwi mindset and heritage – we couldn’t be prouder to be supporting Grant and his team with cutting edge connectivity,” says Beder, in a statement.

Spark’s 5G Innovation Lab, which will showcase the potential of 5G and allow companies to test and develop future applications over a pre-commercial 5G network, will be based in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter Innovation Precinct.

What the boat will be like in 2021
What the boat will be like in 2021

When the Lab opens before the yearend, it will be just a few hundred metres from the Emirates Team New Zealand base.

This close co-location will create great opportunities to start testing real world applications of 5G in live environment from later this year, says Beder.

“Connectivity and communications are key to the success of the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada,” says Laurent Esquier, CEO of the Challenger of Record (COR36).

“We are pleased to welcome Spark onboard and look forward to them providing technology in the America’s Cup village in Auckland that will enhance the visitor experience and offer a valuable service to the teams challenging for the Prada Cup.”

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Tags innovationstrategyagilebig dataanalyticsTelecommunicationsconnectivityPradachief technology officeremirates team new ZealandAmerica's CupCIO100Spark New ZealandWynyard Innovation NeighbourhoodMark Bederdigital transformationleadership

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