Spark and Dense Air agreed on a spectrum swap in the 2.6GHz band. The deal means the two spectrum owners now both have contiguous 2x35MHz blocks. This arrangement should allow the pair to each make better use of spectrum.

Dense Air is the UK based cellular wholesale operation now active in New Zealand. It aims to offer a Radio Network as a Service to mobile carriers.

Earlier this week testers made the first live calls on Dense Air’s service. They made voice calls and data calls, this included Voice-over-LTE calls, on the 2.6GHz band. The calls integrated directly into Spark’s core network.

Last year Spark started 5G trials in Central Otago using Dense Air services.

Renee Mateparae, Spark technology evolution lead says Dense Air gives her company options to extend coverage and capacity in non-traditional ways.

She says: "We continue to evaluate these solutions which could help keep Kiwis better connected in higher density areas like large buildings and high foot traffic locations such as central city districts and shopping malls.”