Posts tagged 2Degrees

the fonze

OMG might Telecom actually be cool?

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I have been meaning to blog about this for a while.  And that’s the rise of Telecom vs Vodafone in NZ, and who wins in the cool stakes.

Actually I should take a step back, let’s first talk about the FALL of Telecom.  When Bell South came along in NZ it got a whole bunch of high end business users, but was not regarded as mainstream by many.  From memory, estimates were it had around 10% market share.  It also had coverage issues, especially in Auckland.

When Vodafone bought Bell South in 1998, their market share begun to steadily climb, for a whole bunch of reasons:

  1. It had a superior product (GSM sim card based tech vs CDMA)
  2. Better phones (more GSM handsets from the then market leader Nokia)
  3. Telecom was the atypical monopoly, and people hated them, so anyone who wasn’t them was perceived as better
  4. Most important, IMHO, Vodafone was COOL.  Telecom was boring, old and .. well, not cool.  Vodafone marketed this very well at the time.

(more…)

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mobiles

Mobile Termination Rates Will be Regulated in New Zealand

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YES!  Finally. WOOWHOO!

After all the attempts by the big two (Vodafone and Telecom) to stop this, it’s gonna now happen.  And this is GOOD for any mobile user in NZ.  It will also help 2Degrees to grow and be a more effective 3rd player.  The reason this is so important to 2Degrees is that 95%+ of mobile users are on Voda or Telecom connections they can’t drop their rates too much because of the high Mobile Termination Rate (the amount Telcos pay each other to interconnect). Anyway .. this will help this big time and enable 2Degrees to lower its rates further and further drive down prices!

The Telecommunications Minister, Stephen Joyce, has announced Mobile Termination Rates will be regulated:

Mr Joyce says he considers that accepting the Commission’s recommendation meets this test and in this case will lead to lower mobile termination rates and more competitive mobile pricing plans for consumers.

“Following today’s decision I look forward to New Zealand mobile users enjoying more competition between operators and better prices.”

The next step is to add mobile termination access services to schedule 1 of the Telecommunications Act by regulation. The Commerce Commission will then go through a process to set prices and other terms which mobile carriers must offer. This process will likely take a few months.

And who do we have to thank?  Well the boys at droptherate for an excellent campaign AND of course a big thanks to Vodafone, for their own goal (yep they sure screwed up).   Sucks to be you eh Vodafone? <grin>

Black and White Version: Well done on regulating mobile termination rates Mr Joyce!

HatTip: Kiwiblog

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iPad1a

iPad dataplans in NZ (updated for 2Degrees)

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A week or so ago I did a post about iPad data plans in NZ, and included some nifty wee graph of the various plans etc.

Well 2Degrees have gone and made that post redundant with their new plans, so here is is again, UPDATED.

There are some (new) assumptions that need to be made here which are all noted, and the whole 60/90 day expiry with 2Degrees makes it less easy to compare across providers, so I have done the basic use it all in month one option, along with a more sophisticated graph.

UPDATE 4th Aug 2010: I have fixed 2 errors already.  Voda was recorded as 500MB (should be 250MB) for $20, and, and 2Degrees was 15GB (should be 10GB).  All fixed now.  Thanks Reece and Brett for spotting these!

My assumptions (important, so please read):

  • 1GB = 1000MB (not sure if this is how telcos in NZ charge or not to be honest, but I have been consistent with this, so it will make very little difference).
  • All rounded to the nearest dollar.     X axis is always in MB.     Y axis  is in $.
  • XT plans are the Pre-pay versions (so you get the 10c/MB till you hit the cap)
  • I have just put in the pre-pay plans, as that way it’s consistent and fair (and less lines!).
  • I am assuming Vodaphone do allow 10c/MB for over rates (their web site doesn’t say, not that I can find!)
  • No allowance is made for any difference in part charges or min charges per connection (no idea if this makes a lot of difference or not!)
  • The graph shows a straight line line between each data point, which is right EXCEPT all 2Degrees plans, where it SHOULD jump up $6 every 50MB or $20 every 500 MB etc, and not a gradual progression as the graph shows.
  • It assumes you keep buying packs on 2Degrees when you run out.  In reality you get to use any unused data from that the next month, so the first two graphs are slightly unfair to 2Degrees just after each re-buy point (but the later ones try to compensate for that by spreading the data over 60 or 90 days.
  • No specials are allowed for – this is the ongoing rates the telcos charge (so the 2 Degrees paid for 2GB get 3GB is just shown as 2GB here, nor is the $10 discount for XT on contract shown)
  • It assumes you are in an area of 2Degrees Coverage (or else you need to ignore every 2Degrees col except the $6 one!).

Note: Click on any image for a larger view.

All plans – based on 30 day use it or lose it, up to 10GB

All plans – based on 30 days use it or lose it up to 1GB


All plans – based on average cost per month, factoring in expiry, up to 1GB


Plans 2GB or more – based on average cost per month, factoring in expiry, up to 5GB


Commentary (updated 4 Aug)

Any winner less clear cut now with 2Degrees in on things.  A reminder of course 2Degrees is only really an option for any moderate use if on the 500MB/2GB/15GB plans, and these are only available in ChCh/Welly/Akl and Queenstown. The 60 and 90 day expiry on the data on 2Degrees also is a MAJOR bonus, esp when you are a heavy user (2-3GB+ per month).  IN case you missed it, 2Degrres has a 60 day expiry on the 2GB packs, and 90 days on the 10GB.  2Degrees packs and expires explained here. All others are 30 days.  2Degrees is also the only carrier to allow you to just keep buying more of the same pack in a month (I checked this by calling them – yep you can buy a 2GB pack each week if you want – something you CANT do on XT or Vodafone).

I would say when you are on the right plan (for your chosen telco) the price diff isn’t MASSIVE. So for a few hundred MB it’s $20 or $30 (I know that’s 50%, but its only $10!), or its around $50-$60 for a couple of GB on all three. When it changes is when you go over that, or change your usage, and it can sting (for going over OR under).  XT is far better when you DON’T use it much for a month (the 10c/MB to start with, esp if you normally use a GB or two), and 2Degrees 60/90 day expiry is very handy if you top up mid month (the only one that allows multiple top ups through the month).  And remember to factor in coverage, and speed (XT wins hands down there).

If you go a LITTLE over a cap (eg use 501MB and on a 500MB plan on XT) the 10c/MB until it hits the next double up cap level (ie you get a further 500MB for $29.95, but once only) is both fair, and good value.    If you go A LOT over your cap 2Degrees is great value since you can just keep re-buying multiple top ups (the only telco in NZ to allow this – the other penalise massive over usage in a month, 2Degrees just says: Sure use some more at the same rate – much fairer!)  Also one should not underestimate the advantage of the 60 or 90 day expiry on 2Degrees.  If you are moderate use (say 750MB – 1GB a month) you can now buy a 2GB plan and use the data over 2 months (in effect $25 per month for 1GB/mth)  Fare cheaper than anything else available.

Personally, on balance, XT is still my pick (for my situation).  The $29.95 for 500MB or $59.95 for 2GB, combined with the 10c/MB until you hit the cap, and the 10c/MB if you go over it, and the $29.95 double up are all NICE things about the plan, but for me the clincher is the superior coverage and speed.  I would say for those living in a metro area (ChCh/Welly/Akl or Queenstown) who don’t move around a lot for work, 2Degree could well be the best option – but you just have to know the kinda data usage you will use in a month before hand (ie do you buy the $6 packs of the $20 ones type thing).   I have to say Vodafone is a poor 3rd (for me), for lots of reasons, but the main one is I just don’t like them any more and their customer service sucks, and their plans have no advantages over the others (at least XT and 2Degrees each has advantages and wee extras).

Raw Data

Raw Data – all plans, assuming 30 day use it or lose it (not a correct assumption for 2Degrees)

XT 500MB XT 2GB XT 4GB Voda 250MB Voda 3GB 2Deg 50MB 2Deg 500MB 2Deg 2GB 2Deg 10GB
1 MB $0 $0 $0 $20 $50 $6 $20 $50 $150
10 $1 $1 $1 $20 $50 $6 $20 $50 $150
50 $5 $5 $5 $20 $50 $6 $20 $50 $150
100 $10 $10 $10 $20 $50 $12 $20 $50 $150
500 $30 $50 $50 $45 $50 $60 $20 $50 $150
750 $55 $60 $80 $70 $50 $90 $40 $50 $150
1000 MB $60 $60 $80 $95 $50 $120 $40 $50 $150
2000 $160 $60 $80 $195 $50 $240 $80 $50 $150
3000 $260 $70 $80 $295 $50 $360 $160 $100 $150
4000 $360 $90 $80 $395 $150 $480 $280 $100 $150
5000 $460 $190 $110 $495 $250 $600 $440 $150 $150
6000 $560 $290 $110 $595 $350 $720 $640 $150 $150
7000 $660 $390 $110 $695 $450 $840 $880 $200 $150
8000 $760 $490 $110 $795 $550 $960 $1,160 $200 $150
9000 $860 $590 $210 $895 $650 $1,080 $1,480 $250 $150
10000MB $960 $690 $310 $995 $750 $1,200 $1,440 $250 $150

RAW DATA – With Expiry Dates.  Assumes even use each month

MB XT 500MB PP XT 2GB PP Voda 250MB Voda 3GB 2D 500MB 2Deg 2GB 2Deg 10GB
100 $10 $10 $20 $50 $20 $50 $50
500 $30 $50 $70 $50 $20 $50 $50
1000 $60 $60 $95 $50 $40 $50 $50
2000 $160 $60 $195 $50 $80 $50 $50
3000 $260 $70 $295 $50 $160 $75 $50
5000 $460 $190 $495 $250 $600 $125 $75

Other useful related links

Black and White Version: Even more choice – it’s good!

PS: Let me know if I missed anything or messed up any of the graphs!  I will fix it :-)


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Data up to 1GB

iPad Data Plans Comparision – XT, Vodafone and 2 degrees

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Follow this link:

THIS POST HAS BEEN SUPERSEDED BY THIS ONE on iPAD data plans, as it factors in the new 2Degree plans, and also fixes an error in one table (Voda $20 should be 250MB not 500MB).


Recently I blogged about the various data plans for the iPad in NZ, and included a summary table with the costs, along with which were 3G etc.  I suggest you read this last post if you haven’t already, as this one is just about price.

Well I wanted to go one step further with the pricing side of things and show the various plans based on actual usage.

So here there are, two tables one showing lighter usage (up to 1GB) and one heavy usage (right up to 10GB).

My assumptions:

  • 1GB = 1000MB (not sure if this is how telcos in NZ charge or not to be honest, but I have been consistent with this, so it will make very little difference).
  • I have just put in the pre-pay plans, as that way it’s consistent and fair (and less lines!).
  • I am assuming Vodaphone do allow 10c/MB for over rates (their web site doesn’t say, not that I can find!)
  • No allowance is made for any difference in part charges or min charges per connection (no idea if this makes a lot of difference or not!)
  • The graph shows a straight line line between each data point, which is right EXCEPT for 2Degrees, where it SHOULD jump up $6 every 50MB and not a gradual progression as the graph shows.

Note: Click on any image for a larger view.

iPad Data Plans in NZ, up to 1G

iPad Data Plans in NZ, up to 10G

The cross over points are quite interesting, with lots happening in the  250MB – 1000MB space.  Also I note that up to 1GB there is not a lot in it (the Voda 500MB does have the edge if you use just 500MB though).  Personally I like any of the XT plans since they do the 10c/meg to start with and then capped at the monthly rate you select, plus the $29.95 double up option.  Pity Vodafone doesn’t offer the double up for $10, like they do on their other data plans.

Update 28th July 2010: What’s interesting (and I thought was a mistake at first) is that from 750MB right through to 3GB, the 2GB XT plan is cheaper than the 4GB. This is because the 4GB keeps charging at the 10c/MB until it hits the monthly cap of $79.95, where as the 2GB hits its cap of $59.95 earlier and stays there till 2GB and only passes it again between 3 and 4GB.  So unless you are a REAL heavy user, on XT the 2GB plan is better.    At anything more than around 3.5GB the only viable plans are on XT, with everything else getting prohibitively expensive.

For anyone interested here is the raw data


Other useful related links

Black and White Version: XT is faster, and cheaper in MOST cases for the iPad in NZ {and just faster for the others :-) }

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NZ map

iPad – XT, Vodafone and 2Degrees comparision

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Well the iPad is out in NZ now (although the Apple NZ site still shows Notify Me at the top right for where the Order Now button should be as spotted 1st by Lance Wiggs).  Anyway, in addition to this meaning that I now won’t get swamped by people when I pull the iPad out in public, it does mean many of the NZ telcos have also released micro sims and also iPad data plans.  So here’s the round up.

iPad summary for New Zealand across telcos

For each item, any clear winner is marked in green, with any clear last place network marked in red (blue is for hyperlinks, so ignore that colour!)

2Degrees

XT (Telecom)

Vodafone

3G network

Next week

(only have coverage in 50% of NZ)

Coverage Map

Yes, full

Coverage Map

Yes, but not 3G in all of NZ for the iPad1

Coverage Map

Micro Sims

Available now Available now Available now

Data Plans

(pre-pay)

$6 for 50MB2

2Degrees iPad Data plans here

500MB – $29.95 (1GB is $59.90)

2GB – $59.95 (4GB is $89.90)

4GB – $79.95 (8GB is $109.90)

XT Pre-Pay Data Plans here See note 3


250MB – $20

3GB – $50

Vodafone iPad Data Plans here See note 4

Data Plans

(contract)

Not yet available

500MB – $29.95

2GB – $49.95/$59.95

4GB – $69.95/79.95

XT Contract Data Plans here See note 5

No idea.  Some other voda plans MAY work, but remember some plans are “add ons” only (meaning is has to be added onto an existing Phone Plan, no a stand alone data plan.

Price of Micro Sim

Free to swap, or $20 with $20 credit.

Prepaid $29.95 / Postpaid $19.95 (free on open term 500MB plan)

Free according to the web site (but $6.95 postage)

Data charges special conditions

30 Days Expiry on pre-pay

Charges full amount each month when used at all.

PREPAY: 30 Day expiry for pre-pay.  Offers special 10c/MB until hit cap, and also $29.95 in a month to double data

CONTRACT: Can do the “double up” for $29.95 (see note 5)

30 Days Expiry on Pre-Pay

Charges full amount each month when used at all.


Notes
  1. See this post for why XT is full 3G for the iPad (and iPhone 3Gs/3G) where as Vodafone is not.  Or check for yourself by comparing coverage on XT with coverage on Vodafone and coverage on 2Degrees or this speed test between XT and Voda on an iPad in NZ
  2. 2Degrees data all expires 30 days after purchase.  50c/MB over 50MB.
  3. XT pre-pay charges 10c per MB capped at rate you set (e.g. if on 2GB then capped at $59.95)  Then for a further $29.95 your data doubles (so 2GB goes to 4) and then its 10c/MB after that.  These “double up” rates are show in brackets in the table above.  All XT rates are the same as other mobile devices.  A reminder some plans on XT are add ons only, meaning they can only be added onto an existing phone plan (i.e. not for data only devices like the iPad)
  4. For Vodafone, these are special iPad only plans.  In theory one might be able to use any of Vodafone’s data plans, but their web site implies that these are the only plans avail, so I am listing these only.  Remember, like XT, some plans are add ons only, meaning they can only be added onto an existing phone plan (i.e. not for data only devices like the iPad)
  5. XT rates for 2GB and 4GB contract are reduced by $10 if Home/Business broadband plan.  The table above shows this.  Also they offer the same “$29.95 for to double data for the month” as they do with Pre-Pay.

My recommendations on plans (updated 26th July 2010)

For light users:

  • The 29.95 XT pre-pay plan is best.
  • If you only use 20MB, that’s 10cx20 = $2, if you use 100MB, that’s $10, and so on up to 295MB (anything between 295MB and 500MB is $29.95).

For heavy users:

  • The XT 2GB plan (on pre-pay or contract, whatever is easier for you).   The double up to 4GB for a further $29.95 makes this plan very flexible (and good value).     Same apples to the 4GB plan – but I would be hard pressed to use 4GB, let alone 8GB, on an iPad.
  • If you insist on Vodafone and are only in the major metros most of the time, their 3GB for $50 plan is quite good, but know that Vodafone does NOT have a 3G network in all of NZ, and that even where it does XT is heaps faster most of the time.

UPDATE 27th July 2010:

Check out my new iPad pricing graphs for data here – it shows all the cross over points right up to 10GB or all pre-pay plans.

Other useful related links


Black and White Version: XT is still the way to go for the iPad (better coverage, and better conditions on plans) but at least there is a choice of three carriers now.

Update 26th July 2010: Made some corrections in line comments below – thanks Reuben! Removed some XT casual plans, and updated notes on XT and Voda.

Updated 29th July 2010: Updated 2Degrees info on micro-sim availability and pricing.


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2degrees logo

2Degrees goes 3G

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2 Degrees  (the third mobile company in NZ with a network) announced their 3G network is ready in the NZ Herlad.

Mobile phone company 2degrees will start using its 3G network next week, putting it on a par with rivals Telecom and Vodafone.

Specialists are completing the final network testing, so it will be available only to a select group of customers.

But company spokeswoman Bryony Hilless said the 3G network would be available to all “sooner rather than later”.

While at present the data plans on 2Degrees aren’t that appealing for any moderate to heavy users.

What’s quite interesting here is 2Degrees are doing a very soft launch, with this 3G Launch news just slipping in, rather than Vodafone that announces things with a big song and dance, but actually says nothing (see post here).

For iPhone 4, and iPad users, this will mean a 3rd network can now offer an alternative, but for iPhone 3g and 3Gs users, XT is still the only option (IMHO) due to the frequency issues (as explained in this post about the iPad).  While there are other providers in NZ (like Slingshot, Orcon etc) these are just resellers of others networks – 2Degrees actually has its own infrastructure and network, albeit that it only covers 50% of the country for now.

Black and White Version: Competition hotting up in the 3G space in New Zealand, hopefully prices will start to fall soon (esp for data).

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