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Spark Long-Term Evolution 4G Roll-out, New Zealand

Digital tools aid integrated approach to project delivery for seamless 4G upgrade of Spark New Zealand’s mobile phone network

The Spark New Zealand (Spark NZ) Long-Term Evolution (LTE) 4G roll-out refers to the ongoing upgrade of the company’s existing 3G mobile phone network into becoming 4G-compatible. 

Global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon was chosen to deliver project management, civil and structural engineering as well as planning services to bring this upgrade to life.

Fulfilling Spark NZ’s strict delivery conditions required Aurecon to establish efficient delivery processes and high standards early on in the project. By using a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) mapping component, the project team improved its reporting process to Spark NZ, adding value to the client. The project team even went as far as ensuring risk mitigation for Spark NZ by undertaking detailed structural design and planning reviews of each site and by verifying the compliance of proposed solutions with both industry and the community.

Aurecon also motivated the reuse or repurposing of existing steelwork and equipment, where it was possible to achieve an economical and environmentally sustainable approach to scoping site solutions which, ultimately, helped lower the overall project cost.

The iPad-based software used by Aurecon for electronic data capture and online storage proved to be the company’s best innovation. Not only did it significantly improve overall project efficiency, but this tool also allowed the client to receive site audit data faster and in a format that could be readily manipulated to quantify 4G equipment requirements.

“By confirming site solutions quickly, the client could process bulk orders earlier in the programme, making substantial time and cost savings. These savings contributed to Spark NZ upgrading more sites and increasing the coverage of their 4G launch,” said Tristan Ilich, Project Director.

Aurecon identified an opportunity to assist the customer’s record-keeping by enabling the wider project team (including Spark NZ, their contractors and other consultants) to have the use of Aurecon’s data storage system to store all project-related data.

“Although this was a relatively simple way for us to add value to the project, it was key to fostering a close and ongoing partnership with Spark NZ, epitomising our strategy of improving business performance through collaboration, efficiency and client service excellence,” said Aurecon Project Leader David Bellward.

Following the successful project completion, urban and rural communities across the country now experience a new standard of high-speed wireless mobile communication and data transfer at significantly faster speeds and with increased capacity.

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