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Spark NZ launches government-level enterprise managed security services


The series of services now on offer to businesses include secure internet, secure managed firewall, secure messaging, secure application publishing, and remote access, along with security management services such as security incident, event management, and incident response as a service. According to Spark Security head Josh Bahlman, the offering was designed to provide enterprise with the same services it supplies to government departments and agencies. "Cyber threat is a top concern for Kiwi enterprises -- expanding our offering provides businesses with the best possible defence in-depth model," Bahlman said. "With over 100 security professionals whose focus is 100 percent security, a strong investment in new security technologies, and the only commercial New Zealand member of FIRST [Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams], Spark can provide extensive access to global threat intelligence sources." As part of the TaaS panel, Spark provides the NZ government with secure internet, application consumption, application publishing, third-party connectivity, remote access, device security, legacy gateway, CASB, secure email, and security management services under the Managed Security Tower.

Spark NZ to launch IoT network next month


New Zealand telecommunications carrier Spark has announced that it is aiming to launch its Internet of Things (IoT) network next month while continuing to trial its Cat-M1 network.

Spark extends Cat-M1 IoT network across New Zealand


Spark has extended its Cat-M1 Internet of Things (IoT) network to 98 percent of the New Zealand population. The Cat-M1 network is deployed across 96 percent of Spark's 4G sites, with the carrier expecting to add more than 2,000 new IoT devices every week. "On top of being an IoT network and mobile service provider, Spark will also expand its suite of IoT services, a move that will see us work with best-in-class partners to enable startups to enterprises to solve problems," Spark's Digital Services head Michael Stribling added. Spark said its first major Cat-M1 IoT customer is smart metering provider IntelliHub, which previously had to use 2G networks for its services. "We are using Spark's new Cat-M1 network to service our current nationwide deployment as we accelerate the installation of 150,000 smart meters to a large portion of [wholesale internet, gas, and electricity provider] Trustpower's customer base," IntelliHub CEO Adrian Clark said.

Spark NZ to launch Cat-M1 IoT network


New Zealand telecommunications carrier Spark has announced that it will trial its Cat-M1 Internet of Things (IoT) network this month across its core 4G network, ahead of commercial launch in early 2018. According to IoT GM Michael Stribling, Spark is already working with its customers on utilising its Cat-M1 network for such use cases as vehicle telematics; smart metering; smart cities applications including lighting and environmental monitoring; and smart health devices. "M1 is a secure, high-quality network, ideal where sensors and devices are transferring large amounts of data regularly and real-time access to that data is critical," Stribling explained on Tuesday morning. "We're now close to having a market-ready service that'll help bring those possibilities to life." Spark had already been supplying machine-to-machine (M2M) solutions across its 4G network -- which covers around 95 percent of "the places New Zealanders live, work, and play", the telco said -- with the Cat-M1 network to bolster these offerings.

Spark NZ announces 5G rollout


Spark NZ has announced that it is planning to deploy a 5G network to go live by 2020, with the New Zealand telecommunications carrier outlining its trials and cell site densification program. "We are undertaking detailed planning to'map' expected 5G cell site densities in New Zealand and, as a result of this planning and the learnings we have taken from our 5G testing, we are forming a good understanding of how many new sites we will need for 5G, and where," Spark managing director Simon Moutter said. "We have already begun a build program to increase the number of cell sites in our existing mobile network -- which will enable us to meet near-term capacity demand as well as lay the groundwork for network densification required for 5G." A briefing paper, published on Thursday morning by Spark, details its 5G plans and concerns, including arguments in favour of the New Zealand government making spectrum available for the rollout. "Mid-frequency spectrum allocated for 5G, in what is known as the C-band, needs to be available to operators in sufficiently large blocks (of at least 80MHz, ideally 100MHz) to ensure they can build 5G networks exceeding current 4G performance," the paper said.