New Zealand Cell Phone Guide

Cell phone data map

This is a guide and comparison of cell phone options in New Zealand. Three companies in New Zealand have phone infrastructure: Spark, 2degrees, and Vodafone.

Coverage

All of the three companies with cell phone towers claims to have 97.5-99% coverage of the population or of where Kiwi’s work and play.  What that means is that they all have coverage in cities and most towns.  Outside of cities and larger towns, it is not uncommon to have 3G coverage and outside of towns where there is coverage “3G one bar” coverage is pretty standard.  What this means is that New Zealand has spotty cell phone coverage once you leave areas with large populations. If you look at the coverage maps, over 1/3 of New Zealand does not have cell phone reception.

Cell phone coverage map

Looking at the coverage maps and the claimed amount of coverage area, the three companies seem to have about equal coverage.  On the ground, in reality, they are not equal.

1. Spark: UMTS, HSDPA, and LTE.  Spark has the fastest and widest reaching 4g coverage.  More apparent in tiny towns and the country.

2. Vodafone: GSM, UMTS, HSDPA, and LTE. A little more 4g coverage than 2degrees.

3. 2degrees: GSM, UMTS, and LTE. Uses Vodafone towers in areas where there are not 2degrees towers.  The rural coverage is about the same for Vodafone and 2degrees

Even with Spark’s increased “functional” coverage area, there are a lot of areas in New Zealand that you will not get good or any cell phone coverage.  There are places a 20-minute drive away from some of the 10 largest cities in New Zealand that do not have cell phone coverage.

2degree sim card

 Cell Phone Plans

It is hard to compare plans directly because different plans offer ancillary benefits.  Information on bonus data, sharing plans, and extra services are listed under the carrier section. The plans are current as of 2019, but they change constantly.  You can switch carriers and bring your old phone number.

$0-20 per month

  • $9-Skinny, 0.25g data, 100 minutes, unlimited texts, prepaid
  • $12-Warehouse Mobile, 1g data, 200 minutes, unlimited texts, prepaid
  • $16-Skinny, 1.25g data, 200 minutes, unlimited texts, prepaid
  • $16-Warehouse Mobile, 2.5g data, 200 minutes, unlimited texts, prepaid
  • $19-2degrees, 1.25g data, 200 minutes, unlimited texts, prepaid
  • $19- Spark, 1.25g data, 200 minutes, unlimited texts, prepaid

$20-29 per month

  • $20- Slingshot, 1.25g data, 200 minutes, unlimited texts, prepaid
  • $25- Slingshot, 2.5g data, 300 minutes, unlimited texts, prepaid
  • $26-Skinny, 2.5g data, 300 minutes, unlimited texts, prepaid
  • $29-2degrees, 2.5g data, 200 minutes, unlimited texts, prepaid
  • $29- Spark, 2.5g data +2g bonus, 300 minutes, unlimited texts, prepaid

$30-39 per month

  • $30-2degrees, 1.5g data, 300 minutes, unlimited texts
  • $36-Skinny, 4.5g data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, prepaid
  • $38-Warehouse Mobile, 10g data, 200 minutes, unlimited texts, prepaid
  • $43- Slingshot, 6g data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, prepaid

$40-49 per month

  • $40-Spark, 1g data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, first 12 months 2g
  • $40-2degrees, 3g data, 400 minutes, unlimited texts
  • $40-Vodafone, 2.5g data, 300 minutes, unlimited texts
  • $46-Skinny, 12g data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, prepaid
  • $49-2degrees, 10g data, 200 minutes, unlimited texts, prepaid
  • $49- Spark, 4g data +4g bonus, 500 minutes, unlimited texts, prepaid,

$50-59 per month

  • $55-2degrees, 10g data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts
  • $55- Slingshot, 12g data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts

$60-69 per month

  • $60-Vodafone, 10g data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts
  • $60-Spark, 4g data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, first 12 months 8g
  • $66-Skinny, 30g data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, prepaid

$70+ per month

  • $70-2degrees, 25g data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts
  • $80- Slingshot, 30g data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts
  • $80-Vodafone, unlimited data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, cannot share
  • $80-Vodafone, 15g data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts
  • $80-Spark, unlimited data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, cannot share
  • $80-Spark, 7.5g data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, first 12 months 9.5g
  • $100-Vodafone, 22g data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, includes 1 additional line
  • $100-Spark, unlimited data, unlimited minutes, unlimited texts

 

Cell Phone Carriers

Skinny

  • Uses Spark’s network
  • Plans are good for 28 days
  • Plans cannot be shared
  • rollover data is good for 12 months after it was purchased
  • bonus 2g of data on weekends, this is a promo that might end, weekend data doesn’t rollover
  • you can purchase additional add on data

Slingshot

  • Uses Spark’s network
  • Add on data consumed first then roll over data than current month base plan
  • “Any unused data on your base plan rolls over to the next month.”
  • Cheap overseas calling rates, $0.06 per minute to US/UK

Warehouse Mobile

  • Uses 2degrees network
  • Plans good for 31 days
  • “At the end of 31 days, any unused data can roll over for up to 90 days.”

warehouse

2degrees

  • Prepaid plans cannot be shared
  • You can share your data with up to 5 numbers for free.  This works well for visitors
  • You can add another line for $25
  • You can tether and use hotspots for no additional fee.
  • Monthly plans have a free data hour daily which you initiate via the app
  • Rollover data for 12 months, uses rollover data first

 

Vodafone

  • 1 year of free Netflix
  • No additional lines or tethering on an unlimited plan
  • Free data on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Pinterest for one year
  • The $60, $80, and $100 plan can be shared for $20 per line. The $100 includes 1 line alreadyvodafone image

Spark

  • Prepaid plans
    • 50% off spotify Premium
    • 1g of free wifi per day
    • Free 10g of socialiser data (Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Spotify streaming) for 6 months
    • max rollover of 3.5g, no rollover on bonus data
  • Monthly plans
    • Free Spotify Premium for 24 months
    • Lightbox
    • 1g of free wifi per day
    • Free 10g of socialiser data (Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Spotify streaming) for 6 months
    • max rollover of 3.5g, no rollover on bonus data
    • unlimited plans have speeds reduced after 22g, no tethering
    • add an additional line for $29.99

spark

 

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