Posts tagged XT
I have blogged about how XT is way faster than Vodafone on several occasions. This particularity applies in areas outside of the major metro areas (since Vodafone drops to 2G there for the iPad, iPhone 3G and iPhone 3Gs).
Anyway, someone has done a nice wee video test of it and put it on YouTube.
I think the better part of each test is the real word usage with an App. The speed test is useful to show how much difference there is, but at the end of the day we use Apps in everyday life, not downloading 1meg test files
Black and White Version: As we knew, XT rocks on the iPad.
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!)
(only have coverage in 50% of NZ)
Yes, but not 3G in all of NZ for the iPad1
|Available now||Available now||Available now|
$6 for 50MB2
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
|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.
- 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
- 2Degrees data all expires 30 days after purchase. 50c/MB over 50MB.
- 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)
- 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)
- 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
- If you don’t yet quite understand what a Micro Sim is, or want to know more about using one, see this previous post.
- Check out www.iphonewzealand.co.nz – a great resource for iPad / iPhones in NZ
- My full iPad review for Kiwis.
- Why it’s important to be able to covert micro-sims back to normal sized sims (and how to do it!)
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.
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).
Anyone looking into getting an iPhone 4 will hopefully know you need a micro sim for it. The same applies for the 3G iPad, and for that matter many other high end phones/mobile devices coming out in 2010/11.
Just in case you didn’t know – a micro sim is smaller than a normal sim (called a mini sim). The good news is you can make one by cutting bits of the edge of your existing mini sim (as I explain in my earlier post) AND for Kiwis, both Vodafone and Telecom have announced they will have micro sims available for their networks soon.
HOWEVER, this needs some thinking about, and I have some advice: If you you are thinking about an iPad, iPhone or indeed any device that uses micro sims the issue is LESS about cutting up old sims or getting the new micro sim and MORE about how to convert it back to a full size mini sim in case you want to use it in some other (older) device. Cutting stuff off is (relatively) easy. Adding bits on less so.
So here’s how it works. If you are going to have an iPhone 4 or iPad 3G then:
- Get yourself a micro sim (or make one as I explained here)
- Get yourself a micro sim to mini sim adapter (basically a piece of plastic that bulks out the micro sim back to full size). Costs less than $5 if you buy a few of them.
Now you have the best of both worlds. You can take use your sim in ANY device.
To get the micro sim to mini sim adapter you could order one from here (that’s where I got mine, I got the five pack, and they arrived in the post within a week) or in New Zealand buy one off trade me, (it shows $20 for one when I searched just now – a tad pricey!) or anyone could order a micro sim adapters from here.
In Australia (and I am sire other places) there some extra advantages. Vodafone actually offer BETTER data plans for the iPad (the only device in OZ as of today that uses the micro sim) than they do for mobile phones ($14.95 for 1GB, compared to $19 for 500 MB on other devices). You could take your micro sim from your iPad and put it in your normal phone or mobile data stick using the adapter and then access the lower rates. Even without the lower rates, you can still swap between ANY device with it this way. You can also share data amongst more than once device (useful in NZ if you have, for example, a 4GB data plan on an iPad, but also get to use it in a data stick).
Black and White Version: Converting a mini sim to micro sim is easy, but converting back required an adapter. If you have an devices using the new smaller micro sim its a good idea to trim them all so you have flexibility with what sim you put where.
Acknowledgment: The image above is from gomircorsim’s web page (the people I ordered my adapters off).
- Vodafone made a non news announcement that they would offer data plans for the iPad (dumb Vodafone!)
- Telecom made a PROPER news announcement on new data plans (iPads can use these of course – THAT’S how you do it Vodafone!). 2GB and 4GB now on casual prepay too. And 500MB on postpay/contract.
- Vodafone made an announcement that they will have micro sims (the smaller ones iPads and iPhone 4 needs)
- Telecom announced they will have micro sims by August (Telecom had already confirmed they were getting micro sims back in April, but just not when).
- Parallel Imports offers wifi iPads at WAY inflated prices (almost $1900 for the 64Gb wifi model, for what should be around $1300-1400 when it launches later this month)
- Parallel Imports offer iPhone 4′s for .. well we don’t know. They are just taking “offers of interest” and a $500 deposit. Not sure what the point is, because unless it’s way cheaper than the NZ legit version why would anyone buy one? At least with the iPad its a get it now not later thing. With the iPhone its highly unlikely they will get any before Vodafone/Magnum Mac does.
The good news is there are two serious players in the mobile broadband/ iSpace (ie iPhone, iPad etc). Not only have Telecom (XT) kept in the game by offering micro sims, but also their new data plans are at least in the right direction price wise (still expensive compared to most places, but getting there!). With the new iPhone 4, and the iPad being able to fully take advantage of both XT and Vodafones 3G networks, it means we have choice. Choice is good.
Black and White Version: Mobile broadband is still expensive in New Zealand. At least we have two players and not one (and XT still kicks Vodafones ass IMHO).
Post to come: I intend to outline how to have ONLY a micro sim these days is the way to go, even if the device you have uses the older mini sims. (Update: The micro-sim post is here)
This brings the known issues for iOS4 to:
- Voicemail for XT users
- Integrated car stereo links no longer working
- Reception issues (many say this will be able to fixed with a software patch)
The good news is that a fix is coming as explained on the iPhonewzealand site (basically Telecom needs to update its sim cards).
In the meantime XT users can simply set up a contact called Voicemail with the number 083210 and then set this up as a favourite for easy access. Sure not quite as easy as pressing the Voicemail button, but almost.
Btw I also found this EXCELLENT resource on iOS4, which I highly recommend reading. The best summary on the web I have found.
Black and White Version: XT voicemail busted for now under iOS4, but easy fix for now and a permanent one coming.
Hat tip: Image from iphonewzealand
Let’s cut to the chase here – I like the iPad 3G (a lot) and it works well on NZ mobile networks (especially XT). There are however a few things to bear in mind, and this applies to when you order a US based iPad (or one from another country).
- For now, you will need to trim a sim card to use the 3G part (WiFi work rights out of the box)
- You need a US based iTunes account to use the App store (since the iPad isn’t in NZ yet, there is no NZ store)
- Everyone will want to play with your new toy!
Lets deal with this in three parts:
- Part 1: More details for each of the three points above
- Part 2: A full review of the iPad 3G in New Zealand
- Part 3: HOW you get an iPad into NZ (as Apple wont deliver outside of the country you order it from – and only the US have them for sale as of today)
Anyway .. the boys over at iphonewzealand.co.nz have made an EXCELLENT GUIDE for cutting up your sim and getting your new shiny iPad 3G working in NZ, so rather than me re-hash it, follow the link! I was actually researching this today, so it saved me a bunch of work PLUS means I don’t have to write up my own guide here
It even includes a cool wee template so you can trim your sim card to fit (sample shown on the right). I am not gonna plagiarise their work – so go to the site and read.
Black and White Version: XT is the network of Choice for the iPad in New Zealand, and yes it works, you just need a pen-knife and a new sim card (for now)
In my earlier post I incorrectly said that unlike the iPhone, the iPad wouldn’t play well with Vodafone’s network in NZ.
Well I was wrong.
The iPad 3G and the iPhone 3Gs frequency specs are the same. See below for a cut and paste from apple’s web site for each device. (Note the only difference is the iPad supports “n” on Wi-Fi, but the iPhone doesn’t).
iPad: Wi-Fi + 3G mod
iPhone: Cellular and wireless
So what does this mean? In New Zealand both Vodafone and Telecom (through their XT network) support the iPad. HOWEVER two important notes on this:
1) Only Telecom has announced micro-sims. Although they haven’t actually got any yet (I checked today), so looks like will need the pen knife tick to cut down a sim card to make it fit for now (see my earlier post on trimming sim cards for the iPad)
2) More importantly: While the iPad 3G will run on both networks, just like the iPhone, its FAR better on the XT network as the faster UMTS/HSDPA runs on 850 not 900 (XT uses 850, Voda 900 nationwide), meaning that outside of major cities (where Vodaphone uses 2100MHz as well as 900), Vodafone is way slower than XT on an iPhone (it drops back to GPRS speed, which is more or less like fast dial up!). PLUS it’s been shown by HEAPS of times on forums and tech reviews alike that XT is wasy faster in the metro areas too.
So, I was wrong (no debate there)
Black and White Version: XT will still be better for the iPad, for the same reasons it is better for the iPhone (i.e 3G coverage everywhere and a way faster network).
In an announcement via Twitter today, Telecom announced that MIcro-SIms for XT are on the way.
This is quite interesting news (exciting even, but I think saying that may make me sound geeky). Not only does this mean in New Zealand we won’t have to cut our sim cards in bits to get one to fit into an iPad, BUT Telecom beat Vodafone to the party with the announcement AND as I have already blogged about, XT are actually a FAR superior network to run the iPad on (far more so than even the iPhone – and that’s saying something, coz everyone has reported that already!)
In case anyone reading this is going WTF?, the Apple iPad (only) uses micro-sim cards (far smaller than the standard sim) for the 3G version and it wasn’t certain that anyone in NZ would offer them until now – so this is GOOD news. Micro-sims are explained more in my earlier post on this.
Black and White version: XT may still be like the Ferrari that keeps breaking down (you know: ultimately better, but kinda quirky) but their 3G frequencies and micro-sim means they are getting the jump on Vodafone for the iPad.
HatTip: iphonewzealand.co.nz (a great site for NZ based iPhone related stuff).