Nokia will be Spark’s official 5G launch partner but Huawei will be retained as a potential supplier further down the road

Spark New Zealand is to partner with Nokia for its forthcoming 5G launch but has also left the door open for Chinese vendor Huawei to be involved further down the line.

Spark will use Nokia’s 5G network technology in the majority of its network when it launches 5G later this year. Spark was originally expected to opt for Huawei but increased governmental pressure in both New Zealand and Australia has seen Antipodean operators scale back their use of Chinese technology.

Spark said that it would retain Huawei on its preferred vendor list and could use them as it looks to scale up it’s network.

“What we haven’t yet done, is put another application for Huawei,” a Spark spokesman told reporters from Reuters.

“The point at which we want to start using their equipment as part of this multi-vendor approach, we will put in another application,” they added.

Spark is set to launch its initial 5G offering in 5 towns and cities across New Zealand by mid-2020.