News Release

Spark New Zealand Enhances Rugby World Cup Mobile Experience with Cisco Traffic Optimization Software

News Summary: Spark deploys Cisco Ultra Traffic Optimization
Feb 25, 2020

News Summary:

  • Spark deploys Cisco Ultra Traffic Optimization (CUTO) software to enhance mobile experience at Rugby World Cup, and prepare its network for 5G
  • CUTO software is a cost-effective, easily deployed solution for managing mobile network congestion, and preventing burdensome network renovation


San Jose, Calif., and Auckland, New Zealand, – February 25, 2020 – Cisco announced today that Spark New Zealand deployed its Cisco Ultra Traffic Optimization software to improve its mobile network capacity and fan experience at the Rugby World Cup. 

According to the 2020 Cisco Annual Internet Report, mobile connections continue to grow across the globe with a projected 13.1 billion connections by 2023, nearly half of which will be video capable. Video traffic is considered “heavier flow” and can block other kinds of mobile traffic, like e-mail and social media, during times of network congestion. At a major sporting event like the Rugby World Cup, user experience can be greatly impacted if traffic congestion is not properly managed. 

Traditionally, in order to reduce traffic congestion in a radio access network, mobile operators are obligated to boost their network with additional radios and spectrum to remediate the situation. This kind of build out can cost millions of dollars, and cost nearly a year’s time. 

The CUTO software increases radio site capacity and improves quality of experience through instant stabilization, and maximizing per-subscriber throughput. As an added benefit, the CUTO software is fully operational in around two hours preventing a loss of subscribers you might normally see during an extended network overhaul.

"The CUTO solution developed by Cisco on their mobile packet core has provided immediate gains in radio network capacity and performance," said Campbell Fraser, Tribe Leader of Technology, Spark. "We deployed the solution nationwide prior to the Rugby World Cup when the streaming of live games created peaks of network demand. We wanted to maximize the user experience for mobile customers, but also ensure critical services - like voice - were protected.”

“Spark is a leader in delivering live multi-media experiences from a mobile network,” said Kishen Mangat, Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Mobility. “Cisco is pleased to be on the roster of Spark’s technology partners as they continue to push the boundaries of mobile technology and enter the 5G era.”

Supporting resources

About Spark New Zealand
As New Zealand's largest telecommunications and digital services company, Spark’s purpose is to help all of New Zealand win big in a digital world. Spark provides mobile, broadband and digital services to millions of New Zealanders and thousands of New Zealand businesses.

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