Mobile phones in New Zealand

How to choose an appropriate mobile phone

Mobile phones in New Zealand

The leading mobile telephone company in New Zealand is Telecom New Zealand. Besides Telecom there are several other smaller mobile telephone providers and companies who use the networks of other companies.

The prefix for mobile phone numbers in New Zealand is “02”, followed by seven to nine digits. Usually there are eight digits. The first few digits after the “02” indicate the original mobile network that issued the number.

There are several mobile telephone providers. Here is a list of the mobile phone companies:

  • Vodafone
  • 2 Degrees (Econet Wireless, NZ Communications)
  • Telecom Mobile (Telecom New Zealand)TelstraClear Mobile

There are also companies who offer mobile telephones but use the networks of the providers listed above:

  • TelstraClear
  • M2
  • Compass
  • Black & White
  • CallPlus
  • Slingshot
  • Digital Island

Prepaid or contract mobiles?

As in most countries in the world, you can choose between two types of mobile telephone payment systems.

Prepaid mobile phones are usually the best choice for people who use their phone very little or who plan on staying for only a short amount of time. Making phone calls on a prepaid is usually more expensive than with a contract and you need to use your credits before they expire. Also you are responsible for topping-up your phone yourself. However, you are able to receive calls and dial emergency numbers even when you run out of credit.

Mobile telephone contracts are the better option for people who use their phones often and are planning to stay in New Zealand for more than a few months. Mobile plans are based on term contracts which usually last between 12 to 24 months.

The prices of contracts may vary, depending on the type of mobile phone you choose and the conditions of your contract. If you quit your contract before it expires, you will be charged exit fees, which are usually the accumulated amount of the rest of your contract.

Before you get a mobile telephone contract, make sure you consider the following aspects:

  • The plan’s call rates for national, international, mobile and same provider. Some plans charge for every minute, others charge every thirty seconds.
  • Plans that include a free mobile device, others may charge you for it.
  • Plans with free data allowance (for surfing the Internet on your phone).
  • If the plan charges for data tethering (using your phone as a modem to connect your laptop).
  • Wavelength speed – Remember: the faster the wavelength, the best connection when far from mobile phone towers.
  • If you have a smartphone, but no free data allowance, make sure you find out what the rate is. Going on the internet with your phone without having a internet plan can be extremely costly.

Further reading

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