To set the stage for Spark to deploy standalone 5G at scale in the future and explore the future benefits of 5G, Spark created and executed two proofs of concept for standalone 5G with technology providers Mavenir (5G standalone cloud -native core solution) and AWS (multi-access edge computing and 5G-optimized cloud solutions), and technology partners Nokia (cell site infrastructure) and OPPO (5G devices).

Spark deployed a standalone Mavenir 5G cloud-native core solution on AWS Snowball Edge, a physically rugged device that provides edge computing and data transfer services. This is the first global deployment of Mavenir on AWS Snowball Edge. Using an AWS Snowball Edge device allowed Spark to create a highly portable edge solution that could literally fit in a suitcase – to process and store data close to where it is generated, enabling low real-time latency and responsiveness.

Spark tested a video analytics tool on the solution – and the results demonstrated low latency to deliver real-time video analytics, with latency reduced by 70% to single digit milliseconds, before deployment to the edge of the 5G autonomous cores solution and analysis service.


The proof of concept allows Spark to experiment with how a highly customizable network can be sliced ​​and adapted to changing business needs. For example, create dedicated virtual networks with service- or customer-specific functionality on a common network infrastructure. The proof of concept shows how enterprises such as port authorities (with large fleets of mobile devices that require high throughput and low latency) can operate on virtual network slices that optimize the use of a private network physical.

Testing the Potential of a 5G Autonomous Network for Consumer Wireless Broadband

Since Spark launched 5G, the initial use case has been to increase both the speed and capacity of Spark’s wireless and mobile broadband products. The company saw another opportunity to explore how its wireless broadband service would benefit more from operating on a standalone 5G network.

To test this, Spark deployed a self-contained Mavenir 5G cloud-native core solution on AWS Outposts, a fully managed solution delivering AWS infrastructure and services to virtually any on-premises or edge location. This is New Zealand’s first mobile network deployment on AWS Outposts. Testing a wireless broadband service on this proof of concept showed faster download speeds and reduced latency compared to pre-deployment results, providing a better experience for Spark’s wireless broadband customers.

Mavenir is a network software provider of cloud-based network solutions for 5G use cases deployed on cloud services such as AWS.

Josh Bahlman, Spark Tribe Manager for Telco Cloud, explains
These proofs of concepts enable us to deliver the enhanced benefits of standalone 5G – both to New Zealand businesses looking to innovate using 5G connectivity and multiple access edge computing, and to New Zealanders accessing a network that supports applications such as instant video streaming, cloud-hosted games, and reaction times required for driverless vehicles. The 5G autonomous network opens the door to capacity and low latency to help accelerate IoT trends, such as connected cars, smart cities, and IoT at home and in the office.

Ashok Khuntia, President, Core Networks, Mavenir
Our cloud-based network solution provides flexibility and advanced capabilities such as network slicing to enable efficiencies in overall service design and deployment times to accelerate service trials and deployments. We’re excited to work with innovative organizations like Spark NZ to explore what’s possible as communications service providers move networking solutions into the cloud.