Lte | 2022-11-16

Spark & Vodafone NZ Form New Partnership to Give the New Zealand Public Safety Network Priority Cell Phone Service

Spark and Vodafone new joint venture will provide priority cellular services complemented by digital radio network supported by Kordia and Tait 
Spark and Vodafone have announced the establishment of Hourua – a new joint venture that will provide priority cellular services to the Public Safety Network, which is being established by Next Generation Critical Communications, Poutama Whai Tikanga Pāpāho.

The Public Safety Network is the new communications service that will be used by New Zealand's frontline emergency responders, including Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Police, St John, and Wellington Free Ambulance.

The name Hourua can be translated as a double waka and has been chosen to represent Spark and Vodafone binding or lashing their wakas together – joining capabilities to deliver this critical service to New Zealanders. By bringing together new capabilities across their two respective mobile networks, Hourua will allow emergency services teams to roam across the Spark and Vodafone mobile networks, to improve redundancy in the event of network impacts.

Communications over the Public Safety Network will be highly secure and highly resilient – emergency communications will take priority over other mobile users when networks are congested or degraded, through the use of LTE Quality of Service, Priority and Pre-emption (QPP) network features. This will ensure that emergency responders are able to keep in touch on the phone as well as using apps that are required to deliver their roles effectively.

Priority cellular services will complement a new P25 critical communications digital Land Mobile Radio network as the other key element of the Public Safety Network, which is being delivered by TAIT Communications and Kordia.