Manfeild home to call service enhancement
INCREASING demand by venue users for specific cellular services and recognition that Feilding’s existing mobile and digital reach was hitting peak have influenced a new feature at Manfeild Park.
The importance of the 20-metre telecommunications tower commissioned by Spark New Zealand goes well beyond it being the tallest free-standing feature at the venue.
Standing adjacent to the carpark servicing the facility’s landmark Manfeild Stadium, the 3G and 4G-enabled technology will prove massively timely as the property continues to attract important events that demand the best and latest in digital communication.
“Ours is a digital world in which computing and wireless communication has become indispensable,” says Manfeild Park chief executive Kathy Gibson.
“When Spark suggested Manfeild was the ideal location for this tower we saw it as our community duty to make it happen.
“That this next step in their communication network serving the Feilding community will also be massively beneficial to fulfilling the increasing technology outcomes required by our own customers is also a win.”
While serving an everyday role in provisioning much-needed additional infrastructure to the Feilding area to support user growth, the site will also provide additional support to large events, Spark says.
The provider says that as demand reaches capacity on existing cell sites, it has begun to invest in these new “in-fill” sites – so-named as they are usually located between existing cell sites - to boost coverage and capacity.
This is occurring in many dozens of locations around New Zealand every year.
The company says the Feilding area has seen unprecedent growth for digital services, with data usage increasing by more than 900 percent within the last three years.
This meant there was increasing risk of Spark’s two sites that service the town and surrounds being unable to cope effectively.
Without it, those sites would have ultimately struggled to cope and users risked experiencing issues such as dropped calls and a lack of network coverage which could impact day to day accessibility to services and business efficiency.
“Given the cost of a new cell tower is usually in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, this is not a decision we take lightly – but we need to do it to ensure our customers keep receiving the quality of service they rightfully expect,” says Gill Evans, Spark’s Community Engagement Manager.
The increasing use of data is being driven by the rise in the number of devices like smartphones, tablets and connected watches, the newly adopted digital curriculum in schools, as well as customers who are adopting wireless broadband to stream video content in their homes.
Mrs Gibson says Manfeild was delighted to work with Spark in determining an infrastructure enhancement for the Feilding area that will deliver a solution to answering user growth.
She could see the site’s capabilities being particularly welcomed at big public events – which, for Manfeild, span from Central Districts Field Days, the country’s largest regional agricultural event with close to 600 exhibitors and more than 27,000 attendees, to the many large motorsport events staged annually, not least the nation’s top domestic circuit event, the internationally-renowned New Zealand Grand Prix held in February.
“These are big occasions where there is plenty to photograph and comment about – I could see great potential for those attending to Facebook, Snapchat and ‘Insta’ their magic moments.”
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Manfeild marketing coordinator Jordan Lawrence is impressed by the Spark New Zealand-provisioned 20-metre telecommunications tower at Manfeild that will improve cellular services for the venue and Feilding.Back