Which ISP should I sign up for?Edit
This depends if you're motivated by price, speed and/or customer service - experience shows that you can pick any two. With the exception of three I feel I should specifically mention, the ISP's are generally the same:
- Orcon are probably the exception to the rule above, they have fantastic speed and service, and are pretty reasonable with price.
- Slingshot have terrible service and speeds, but are arguably the cheapest provider around.
- Xnet are decently priced and their customer service is good, too BUT they're the only known ISP in NZ to pass along DMCA notices from the RIAA etc. (who have no jurisdiction in NZ) to their customers.
All providers offer DSL, the speed of which varies depending on your location from the exchange. There are no speed-limited DSL plans.
If you're lucky enough to live in Wellington or Christchurch, try and live in an area that is serviced by TelstraClear's cable network - the high speeds and low latency are incredible; unfortunately, they charge the earth.
There have been various attempts at 'unlimited' plans within the NZ market, but these haven't been very successful. This comes down to both poor planning on behalf of the ISP, and people exploiting the service.
While it's possible to get high-traffic plans, they do cost money. This is (in part) because NZ has a low population density, and the fact that one fibre-optic cable connects NZ with the rest of the world. The Central Government is in the process of consulting with companies to build a national fibre network.
Who is the best mobile phone provider and why?Edit
Out of 'the big 3' mobile providers, it depends where you live (metro/rural areas) and what you want from a provider.
In general, Telecom and Skinny have the best overall coverage; Vodafone and 2degrees focus more on the main centres. In remote areas (such as on the way to Queenstown) you'll likely lose coverage.
It's worth noting that:
- Dropped calls are a rarity in NZ, although they can happen.
- TXTing (SMS) is very common in NZ
- Compared to other parts of the world, voice calling is quite expensive.
- Data is similarly priced to Australia, the US and Canada.
- For those North American Redditors, incoming calls on mobiles are free and don't count towards your minutes; the person making the call pays.
Do I need to provide proof of identity?Edit
No. You can purchase SIM cards for all providers over the counter. There's no legal requirement to show a passport or anything like that.
Will my iPhone/iPad work?Edit
Yes - all the carriers support iPhone/iPads and sell micro sims.
If you're motivated by price. They're by far the cheapest for voice calls, and their data plans are pretty good when you're inside their 3G broadband zone (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown). If you're outside of these areas, you roam on Vodafone's network, which means 2G/GSM coverage everywhere else. If you're in a 3G broadband zone, the speeds are decent, but nothing fantastic.
|Calls (per minute)*||44c|
|Data (per MB)||50c|
Combo packs are a monthly one-off, prepaid purchase which buys you a bundle of minutes, txt (sms) and data. Generally they're far better value than 'pay as you go':Edit
|Pack||Price||Call Minutes*||Texts (SMS)*||3G Data|
|Text Combo||$19||50||5000||500 MB|
|Chat Combo||$19||100||300||50 MB|
|Data Combo||$19||30||300||600 MB|
*to any network in NZ
Have slightly cheaper calling rates than Telecom (on plans, anyway - prepaid costs the same amount on each). Despite running 2 networks (dual-band GSM and dual-band 3G), there is no EDGE and their HSxPA speeds are abysmal (think dialup). There have been recent issues with Vodafone's data network, too, which have resulted in people having to restart their handsets to be able to surf the web again. Congestion is also becoming a problem.
Purchase a SIM/Micro/nano SIM from a Vodafone storeor online .
|Text (SMS)||20c per 160 character txt|
|Call (per minute)||49c|
50c per MB
|Package||Price||Call minutes||Texts (SMS)||Data (MB)|
|Prepay 19||$19||100||Unlimited to NZ and Aus||500|
|Prepay 29||$29||200||Unlimited to NZ and Aus||500|
|Freebee Talk||$20+||30 ($20 top up)
60 ($30 top up)
120 ($40 top up)
|Unlimited to NZ||50c per mb|
|Freebee Data||$20+||49c per minute||Unlimited to NZ and Aus||250mb ($20 top up)
500mb ($30 top up)
1GB ($40 top up)
Note: with Freebees you also get to keep the top up dollar value and receive the freebee entitlements
GSM900 nationwide, UMTS2100 in metro areas. DC-HSPA being trialed in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and other areas. They also have a non-metro UMTS900 network.
Have the best coverage, and because their network is purely 3G, the best speeds, too. Unfortunately, they charge a premium for this, but it's only a couple of dollars extra. Their plans are reasonably simple to understand, too. Telecom is the network for people who TXT (SMS).
You can buy Telecom XT SIM/Micro SIM cards from Telecom shops , they're common enough.
Standard 'pay as you go'Edit
|Calls (per minute)||69c|
|Data||$1 for 10MB per day, $1 MB thereafter|
|International TXT (SMS)||30c|
|Pack||Price||Call Minutes||Text (SMS)||Data|
|Value Pack||$19||60||5000||500 MB|
A new budget operator predominantly focused on the budget conscious / student consumer. Their prepaid packages are priced weekly.
Phones purchased from Skinny are SIM locked to the network for the first 9 months, but can be broken for a one-off $30 fee.
SIM/Micro SIM cards cost $10, and include a $4 Loose Lips combo.
|Call (per minute)||39c|
|Data (per MB)||39c|
|Pack||Price||Call minutes||Texts (SMS)||Data (MB)|
|Pack||Price||Call minutes||Texts (SMS)||Data (MB)|
WCDMA/UMTS, 850Mhz (same as Telecom)
Will my phone work?Edit
If you're thinking of bringing your own phone in NZ, it will need to support the right frequencies:
- 2degrees use GSM900 and UMTS2100 in their own coverage zones.
- Vodafone use GSM900 nationwide, and UMTS2100 in metro areas. They also have a non-metro UMTS900 network.
- Telecom have a nationwide UMTS850 network.
If you have a quad-band GSM handset, it will work on Vodafone or 2degrees' 2G networks without issue. Most 3G European handsets will work on either of these networks. A NextG handset from Telstra in Australia, or a 3G handset from AT&T, Rogers, Bell, Telus or Claro in the Americas will work with Telecom's network.
CDMA handsets (such as those provided by Sprint, Verizon, Bell, Telus et al) will not be connected by a local phone company.
Just so you know:
- UMTS = 3G
- GSM = 2G