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Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki

New Zealand

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Basics Edit

New Zealand has three mobile network operators:

  • Vodafone NZ
  • Spark NZ (formerly Telecom NZ)
  • 2degrees (2°)

Vodafone is the market leader with coverage over 4G/LTE, 3G and 2G networks. Spark is the next biggest mobile provider with 3G and 4G networks only (and no fallback to 2G) and good 3G coverage for devices that use the 850 MHz frequency (see below). 2degrees is a relative newcomer with less of their own coverage, but using free national roaming with Vodafone for voice and some data offers.

The three operators cover 98% of the population by 2G, 3G or 4G/LTE in 2015.

Some MVNOs resell the services of the three MNOs, but focus mostly on triple-play products. Skinny mobile, Skinny direct and Warehouse Mobile focus on prepaid products.

Network Vodafone Spark
2G GSM 900, 1800 MHz n./a. 900, 1800 MHz
3G DC-HSPA

900, 2100 MHz

850, 2100 MHz 900, 2100 MHz
4G LTE

700, 1800, 2600 MHz

700, 1800, 2600 MHz 700, 1800 MHz

4G/LTE is now available in many cities and rural locations on Vodafone and Spark, while 2degrees 4G/LTE coverage is mostly in larger cities. 4G/LTE on 700 MHz is on band 28 like in Australia, Asia or Europe, not on bands 12-17 like in the US.

SIM cards in New Zealand don't need to be registered and some of them are sold already at airports.

Vodafone Edit

Vodafone

Vodafone is still the market leader in New Zealand. It has a good overall network in 4G, 3G and 2G at a range of prices. It's 4G network covers 84% of the population in 2015. It's 3G covers 97.5% of the population in 2015 and shares this claim with the other providers: coverage checker. It offers 4G/LTE for free on its $19 and $29 Prepay plans.

Availability Edit

Vodafone Prepay SIMs can be purchased at most NZ shopping malls and service stations throughout the country (store-locations). Vodafone currently offers 4 different prepaid plans:

  • Prepay & Go $ 5: no allowances included, on 2G and 3G only
  • Prepay $ 9: including 30 domestic minutes and 1000 domestic texts, on 2G and 3G only
  • Prepay $ 19: including 500 MB data, 100 minutes and unlimited texts to NZ & Australia, on 4G/LTE too
  • Prepay $ 29: including 1 GB data, 200 minutes and unlimited texts to NZ & Australia, on 4G/LTE too

On the $19 and $29 plans data carries or rolls over to the next month. You can top-up with most international credit cards on your Vodafone account or buy vouchers.

There is no default data available on the Prepay plans. To keep using data once your plan’s data has exhausted you will need to purchase a data pack or wait until your plan renews.

Data feature packages Edit

Vodafone offers these data add-ons it calls boosts for $9, $19 and $29 plans, not the Prepay&Go plan:

  • $ 3: 300 MB, valid only on the day of purchase, expires at 11:59pm
  • $ 6: 300 MB, valid for up to 1 week from date of purchase
  • $ 12: 500 MB, valid for up to 30 days from date of purchase
  • $ 20: 1 GB, valid for up to 30 days from date of purchase
  • $ 45: 2.5 GB, valid for up to 30 days from date of purchase

To activate, call 312, use the Vodafone app or go online to your account. The $3 and $6 boosts can only be added to the $19 and $29 plans. If you’re on a prepaid plan that is enabled for 4G, any other data boosts you purchase will also work at 4G speeds.

NZ Travel SIM Edit

For tourists and visitors Vodafone offers a Travel SIM card:

  • $ 29: 1 GB of data, 200 mins voice to domestic and certain international destinations and 200 SMS domestic and international, all valid for 30 days.
  • $ 49: 3 GB of data, 200 mins voice to domestic and certain international destinations and 200 SMS domestic and international, all valid for 60 days.
  • $ 99: 8 GB of data, unlimited mins voice to & texts to NZ, 200 mins + 200 SMS to certain international destinations, all valid for 60 days.

Having used up all your included data, you will be charged at 50c per MB.

To check data, sms and minutes balances send sms "MYADDONS" to 756. To find out your number send sms "NUM" to 521. For money balance send sms "BAL" to 777.

You can add 1 GB extra for $20 by texting "BUY EXTRADATA" to 756 or by calling 777. But you are advised strongly against doing this, since: 1. it is more expensive per GB then buying a new card 2. It is very complicated (first you have to put money in your account, and then you can buy the extra GB using a pin code which is only provided in shops 3. Any leftover money in your account is not refunded to you).

Data-only SIM Edit

Their data-only SIM is aimed at tablets and routers and called Prepay Mobile Broadband. It's on 4G/LTE too. Starter price is $ 5 without credit for a triple cut SIM. You can add one of these packages:

  • Data 20 Add-on: 500 MB for 30 days: $ 20
  • Data 30 Add-on: 1 GB for 30 days: $ 30
  • Data 50 Add-on: 3 GB for 3 months: $ 50
  • Data 80 Add-on: 5 GB for 6 months: $ 80

Each top-up of $ 20 or more gives a 500 MB data bonus. For extra data, they offer boosts of 2 GB for $45, 5 GB for $75 and 10 GB for $140, each valid until your base plan renews at the end of the month.

SIM sizes Edit

Triple cut mini SIMs (standard), micro-SIMs and nano-SIMs are all available.

Tethering Edit

Available with no restrictions or extra charges.

More info Edit

Spark New Zealand (formerly Telecom NZ) Edit

Spark logo

Spark NZ, previously known as Telecom New Zealand, was once the public provider in the country. It is the biggest competitor and almost on par with Vodafone. Its network was once marketed as the XT Network. It has a good nationwide coverage of 97% on 3G, but no fall back to 2G. So use their network only, if you have a 3G capable device on 850 MHz (see above), which is not so usual in other parts of the world as their 2100 MHz is only used in towns as back-up. 4G/LTE has started in many city centres and is available on prepaid for free: coverage

Availability Edit

You can get their prepaid SIM card in their shops: store finder and lots of other places. Top-ups can be bought there or made online by credit card. You can also buy the SIM card after going through customs and picking up your bag at Auckland International Airport terminal and at the Christchurch Airport.

You can top-up with a prepaid voucher sold all over or by credit card online.

They sell starter packs in three monthly prepaid plans or a casual rate:

  • $ 5: without any credit
  • $ 9: including 30 domestic minutes, 1000 domestic texts, no data
  • $ 19: including: 500 MB data, 100 domestic minutes, unlimited domestic texts and 1 GB per day WiFi
  • $ 29: including: 750 MB data, 150 dom. minutes, unlimited dom. texts, 1 GB/day WiFi per day, Spotify Premium

Data is charged at $1 per day for 10 MB. Additional data is then charged at $0.30 per MB.

1 GB per day of WiFi data is available with the $19 and $29 monthly prepaid plans. This is quite useful as the Spark hotspots are commonly located in phone booths. You only need to sign in once, where they send you a code and then whenever you come across a Spark WiFi signal, you automatically log on.

Data feature packs Edit

They offer these data add-ons for prepaid:

Volume Validity Price Activation to 258
100 MB 7 days $ 3 BUY DATA100
300 MB 30 days $ 10 BUY DATA300
1 GB $ 20 BUY DATA1GB
3 GB $ 50 BUY DATA3GB
5 GB 90 days $ 90 BUY DATA5GB

To activate, text code to 258. All packages auto-renew. To stop, text code to 258 and replace "BUY" by "END".

For Facebook and Twitter only, they offer a social package at $9 per month including 1 GB for these two applications. Activation: BUY 9SOCIAL to 258.

SIM sizes Edit

Mini, micro and nano SIMs are available.

Tethering Edit

Available with no restrictions or extra charges.

Regional roaming plans Edit

For roaming in neighbouring countries in Oceania and the South Pacific these add-ons valid for one month are sold, on 4G/LTE too where available:

  • for Australia: 1 GB for NZ$ 40, activation: text 'BUY OZDATA' to 258, overuse: $0.50/GB
  • for Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, Nauru and Papua New Guinea: 1 GB for NZ$ 50, activation: text 'BUY Z6DATA' to 258, overuse: NZ$1/GB

More info Edit

2degrees (2°)Edit

2degrees

2degrees (often written as 2°) is the smallest network and started business in 2009. It has a 24% in 2016. It has coverage in populated areas, but outside it roams on Vodafone on 2G and 3G for free. But it still covers "97% of the places where kiwis live and work". For 4G it doesn't roam, but it has started it's own network in the major cities. It's 4G network is available on prepaid plans for free: coverage

Availability Edit

2degrees prepaid SIMs are available at most supermarkets in bigger cities and their stores: store locator for a $5 startup price and are called "Prepay Plus". 

Alternatively, you may grab a "Visitor SIM" at one of these places for free pdf list. But micro SIMs for visitors you will only get at JR Duty Free shops. 

You can top up using a voucher sold at many locations or online by credit card. 

Data feature packsEdit

Default rate on all prepaid SIMs for data is $0.50 per MB. To all prepaid SIM cards the following data packages can be added:

  • 100 MB: $ 6
  • 300 MB: $ 10
  • 1 GB: $ 20
  • 3 GB: $ 50

To subscribe, text "buy <pack size>" like "buy 300MB". to 233. All data packs are valid for 1 month and auto-renew at end of validity period (or when nearly out if you have enough credit). If you run out of data and your NZ Data Pack doesn't auto-renew, you will be charged the following rates per MB for the remainder of the validity period of that data pack - 50c/MB (for 100 MB and 300 MB packs) or 20c/MB (for 1 GB and 3 GB packs). If you want to unsubscribe from your data pack's auto renewal simply text STOP 100MB (or another size) to 233, or do it online at Your 2degrees. You can continue to use any remaining data until your pack expires.

AU roaming packages Edit

For cheap roaming in Australia they offer 2 packages:

  • 300 MB for 7 days: $ 10
  • 500 MB for 7 days: $ 15

SIM sizesEdit

Mini & micro SIMs available (push out cards offering both sizes).

TetheringEdit

Works fine with no restrictions on data packs

More info Edit

Skinny mobile Edit

Skinny

Skinny is a MVNO owned by Spark NZ. It's business model is to offer cheap prepaid SIM cards at low prices, in defense to 2degrees. It uses the Spark network on 3G and 4G/LTE (see above for frequencies): Skinny coverage. Remember, that your device should be capable of 850 MHz 3G to use Skinny.

Availability Edit

Their prepaid SIM card is available online to be sent to an NZ postal address or at their sales partners like The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Dick Smith, Harvey Norman, Noel Leeming, JB HiFi, Paper Plus, New World, Pack'n'Save, and Countdown. You will be charged $ 2 without any credit included.

Top ups are available at over 6000 retail outlets nationwide or by pre-registered credit debit card online.

Data rates Edit

Default data outside of package is 0.20 per MB. Their price model is quite complicated: You first have to book a compulsory combo to be added by an optional add-on on this SIM. There are weekly or monthly combos.

  • weekly combos:
    • Standard: $ 5 - 100 MB data, 60 NZ minutes, 750 NZ texts
    • Busy Fingers: $ 4 - 60 MB data, 15 NZ minutes, 750 NZ texts
    • Loose Lips: $ 4 - 60 MB data, 60 NZ minutes, 100 NZ texts
    • Data weekly Combo: $ 5 - 250 MB data
  • monthly combos:
    • Text Unlimited: $ 8 - unlimited NZ text
    • Starter: $ 9 - 100 MB data, unltd. NZ text, 30 NZ minutes
    • Big Value: $ 16 - 500 MB data with rollover, unltd. Skinny mins and NZ texts, 100 NZ mins
    • Big Data: $ 26 - 1 GB data with rollover, unltd. Skinny mins and NZ texts, 300 NZ/AU minutes
    • Ultimate: $ 46 - 2.5 GB data with rollover, unltd. NZ/AU mins and texts

Combos renew every 7 or 30 days unless cancelled online. To these combos, the following data add-ons can be added:

  • for 7 days (available on all weekly and monthly combos):
    • 80 MB for $ 2
    • 200 MB for $ 4
    • 600 MB for $ 8
  • for 30 days (not available on weekly combos):
    • 500 MB for $ 10
    • 1 GB for $ 20 (not available for the $8 and $9 combos)
    • 2 GB for $ 25 (not available for the $8 and $9 combos)

You can even mix and match 30 and 7 day combos and add-ons. All 30 day and 7 day add-ons will auto-renew every 30 days or 7 days from purchase if your combo has auto renewed, is still active and you have enough credit to buy the add-on. If your combo failed to renew due to not enough credit but you reactivated it before your add-on renewal date the add-on will remain active and renew.

If you choose to change combo and move to a different monthly or weekly combo, your add-on will remain active and will still renew on its planned renewal date provided the combo is active and you have enough credit for the add-on.

If you want to purchase the same add-on more than once during your combo’s cycle, you'll need to cancel the existing add-on first and then purchase a new one using the Skinny Mobile Menu or our website. You'’ll keep any quota remaining from the original add-on until its expiry date. Your add-on renewal date will change to 30 days or 7 days from the time you purchase the new add-on.

If you have understood this combo and add-on thing, you will have low rates at a still good coverage in NZ. Their data-only SIM card has been discontinued.

SIM sizes Edit

Standard, micro and nano SIMs are all available.

Tethering Edit

Available with no restrictions or extra charges.

More info Edit

Skinny Direct Edit

Skinny direct

MVNO Skinny lauched Skinny Direct as second brand in September 2016 with an even lower touch model. Like Skinny Mobile it uses the Spark network on 3G and 4G/LTE (see above for frequencies): Skinny coverage. Remember, that your device should be capable of 850 MHz 3G to use Skinny.

Skinny Direct is a different set of plans not interchangeable with their other brand. Generally, listings of online-only operators and rolling contracts are banned on this WIKI. So it's important to point out the differences to the other offers here. Skinny Direct is only sold online, but you can switch any Skinny Mobile SIM bought in shops to it. It's like a hybrid of pre- and postpaid: you'll have to link the SIM card to your credit card and it works like a rolling contract on a prepaid basis. So it's essential to cancel your contract online at the end.

Availability Edit

Their prepaid SIM card is only available online and can only be sent to an NZ postal address only. But there is an easy bypass.

You can purchase a Skinny Mobile SIM card at their sales partners (for list see above) for $ 2 without any credit included. After registering the SIM with Skinny Mobile and before adding any credit, you can sign up online with Skinny Direct selecting "I want to keep my current number" and choosing 'Skinny' as your current provider during step 2 of the sign-up process (after choosing your plan). You'll get a text message from Skinny Direct confirming your number and after you've entered the confirmation code online you'll be good to go. You will need internet access on your device via a WiFi or on another device to use this process.

If you happen to use a pre-used Skinny Mobile SIM to be ported to Skinny Direct, try to use all your loaded credit before as this transfer will forfeit your previous balance.

Anyway, you will seal a rolling contract, not classical prepaid by linking it to your credit or debit card. The monthly plan fee will be deducted at the beginning of each month, until you terminate the agreement, regardless, if you are using it or not. However, Skinny Direct doesn't require a commitment beyond one month and can be cancelled online at any time. Thus you'll get the lowest prepaid data rates in the country right now.

Data rates Edit

There are 2 plans available:

  • 3 GB data and unlimited domestic minutes and text: $ 30 per month
  • 6 GB data and unlimited domestic minutes and text: $ 50 per month

Additional data for 30 days can be added:

  • 1 GB for $ 10

SIM sizes Edit

Standard, micro and nano SIMs are all available.

Tethering Edit

Available with no restrictions or extra charges.

More info Edit

Warehouse Mobile Edit

Warehouse mobile

Warehouse Mobile is the new MVNO of the biggest retail group in NZ. They started in 2015 on the Two Degrees network in 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE with a slightly different price model.

Availability Edit

The SIM card starter is priced at $4 and available online to be sent to a NZ postal address or at more than 90 retail locations of the Warehouse Group in the country (store locator). To start, you have to put the SIM in your phone, dial 800 and follow the prompts.

Top-ups start from $10 and can be made online on your account (by NZ-issued cards and internatl. VISA cards only) or by using vouchers sold at Warehouse and 600 more locations, where you spot their logo. The catch is that all top-up credit has an expiry of 31 days, at this point you’ll need to top-up again. If you don't top-up within 31 days, your SIM card will still stay active for a year, so they you'll still be able to receive incoming calls and texts.

Data rates Edit

Data is by default at 6c per MB. So you'll get 167 MB for your $10 top-up.

Recently, they've added one only data package of 500 MB at $8 valid for 31 days. This can be booked multiple times.

More info Edit

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