Spark New Zealand Ltd is the first to test 5G in New Zealand

Spark New Zealand Ltd (ASX:SPK) is the first NZ provider to test 5G.

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It's a technology race for various telecommunication businesses to get 5G up and running before their rivals.

Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) and Optus are battling it out here to offer 5G first.

In New Zealand, Spark New Zealand Ltd (ASX: SPK) has announced that it's the first provider to test 5G.

The first live 5G test was carried out at Wellington. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Media, Clare Curran, was the first member of the public to achieve speeds of over nine gigabits per second.

Spark said that the speed achieved was nine times faster than residents could achieve on fixed line fibre cables and 90 times faster than the most prevalent 100 megabits per second service that a lot of people have.

The test was carried out right next to Parliament and used equipment from technology partner Huawei. The trial will continue throughout March and connects with equipment on a specialised vehicle and it will be testing along the streets of Wellington's CBD. According to Spark, 5G capable devices will be offered by manufacturers in late 2018.

Spark's managing director, Simon Moutter, said "Many people have now heard of concepts like self-driving cars, smart cities, virtual and augmented reality. Unleashing the full potential of these concepts will require a fast wireless network with a super-fast response time.

"5G will deliver significantly faster speeds and more capacity than previous mobile technology and will support the connectivity of multiple devices with very low response times. It will take us from a world of connecting people to each other and the internet to a world of connecting almost anything."

Foolish takeaway

Spark seems to be leading the way in New Zealand. It could be the main beneficiary of 5G in New Zealand, it's currently trading at 16x FY19's estimated earnings with a dividend yield of 7.18%. It could be a decent option for investors looking for a defensive source of income.

Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Telstra Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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