mobile operator in New Zealand

Don’t you agree that in this digital age, it is SUPER important to find the mobile operator that has the best connectivity and coverage for the best experience? Hopefully my experience here would be able to help you get a better idea on which mobile operator to use in New Zealand!

First things first, upon arriving at the airport, you will already see that there are many booths selling various SIM packages. So here I have a quick overview of the 3 major networks in New Zealand, of which it has 4 mobile operators as listed:

1. Spark

  • Best for travelling as it has the best network coverage across both North and South Island.
  • You also get 1 GB of WiFI/day at Spark WiFi Hot Spots like phone booths. During my time in Auckland, there was no lack of this and could be found nearly everywhere.
  • I got their $49 travel SIM when I first arrived and it offered the following for 2 months:
    • 3GB data
    • 200 minutes international call
    • 200 minutes local call
    • 100 local texts
    • 100 international texts Subsequent top ups for prepaid plans would be $19 for each month, inclusive of 750MB data, 200 minutes in NZ, and unlimited texts in NZ

2. Skinny

  • Skinny (which is under Spark) – They offer 28 day plans ranging from $16 to $26 for 1GB and 1.5GB respectively, with 150 and 300 carryover minutes respectively, and both having unlimited calls to Skinny mobile and unlimited texts to NZ and Australia.
  • However, you can only buy everything online, because that’s how they pass on the savings to consumers by adopting the no-frills concept of having no physical store.

3. 2degrees

  • 2degrees – Network coverage is not as extensive and you will run the risk of losing connection during your travels.
  • Depending on your usage, there are monthly plans ranging from $19 for 1GB of data and $29 for 2.5GB of data, with both having 150 carryover minutes, unlimited calls to 2degrees mobile and unlimited texts to NZ and Australia.

4. Vodafone

  • Vodafone – I did not do much research on this operator and so maybe you can check out more via the link I have attached. Based on what I see, it seems like you can buy a Vodafone SIM easily at the airport.
  • However, I’ve heard from the people around me that their customer service is not optimal, so if you decide to get this, hopefully you would not need to call their call centre for any help.

My experience

Out of the 4 mobile operators in New Zealand, I initially bought a tourist SIM card from Spark before switching over to Skinny. The main reason for the switch was that Skinny was cheaper for me over the 6 months period. If you have a reliable address that you can send the Skinny SIM card to before you arrive, you can easily purchase it online and collect it immediately when you arrive!

That’s it! Have you a better idea of which mobile operator to use in New Zealand now?

Thinking about budgeting for your New Zealand working holiday too or buying a car in New Zealand too? Have a quick read of my other articles here too!

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