First things first… who the hell is One NZ?
Are there not just three mobile operators in New Zealand: Spark, Vodafone & 2degrees?
Yes… but no. I assume you are reading this review in 2023.
In 2023, Vodafone New Zealand rebranded to One NZ (from global to local, as it says on its website).
When I was in New Zealand in December 2022, Vodafone New Zealand was still Vodafone.
But as I want this review to be somewhat future-proof, I will refer to Vodafone to One already (else I have to change its name in the future anyway – extra work!).
But this means that all the flyers, booklets & SIM cards I have still say Vodafone, so do not be worried when you see One NZ when doing research for Vodafone or seeing One NZ on the streets in New Zealand.
Okay, that is enough explanation for One NZ… for now.
When I was in New Zealand, I tested five New Zealand SIM cards, including One NZ, four travel eSIMs & one travel SIM card to be used here.
I went to three cities (or two if you do not consider Lower Hutt to be an independent city… even though it has its own council) on North Island (worry not, I will do tests on South Island in 2023 or 2024).
I did more than 35 speed tests with each SIM card and (travel) (e)SIM (card) – – going to tourist attractions and off the beaten track so that you can have a solid idea of how each SIM card or eSIM performs depending on your style of travel.
So I spent about 500 NZD for my New Zealand SIM card review series – yeah, I am crazy 🤪.
But I have to tell you that New Zealand is expensive in terms of data.
One NZ is the second-largest and the youngest mobile operator in New Zealand (known as Vodafone from 1998 to 2023 and BellSouth a very long time ago).
If you have read my other Vodafone-related reviews, you know that Vodafone can be great… but it is often mediocre compared to its local competitors.
Sure, Vodafone New Zealand is not a thing anymore, but it was.
So is One NZ any good?
I can only make a conclusion by (extensively) testing One NZ against its competition.
And as (travel) (e)SIM (cards) are also becoming rapidly popular, I also tried out Airalo (Nzcom – can be used in New Zealand only & Discover Global – can be used in 84+ countries), Holafly & Nomad + Orange Holiday World (from Holiday SIM Card)
Yeah… I went all out! But in this review, I will mostly focus on One NZ.
Let's get started, shall we?
Original publication: 15th of December 2022. Last updated: 19th of July 2023.
Table of Contents
Who is One NZ (formerly Vodafone)?
Vodafone New Zealand, just Vodafone, was the second-largest mobile operator in New Zealand.
It has, however, overtaken Spark New Zealand numerous times, so it could be the largest at any time.
Although previously using the famous Vodafone brand name, Vodafone New Zealand was not owned by Vodafone anymore.
Instead, the brand is run by a local investment firm.
And this local investment firm has decided to rebrand Vodafone New Zealand to One NZ in early 2023.
One NZ claims nothing will (initially) change in terms of offering and prices.
Although I hope it will either drop prices or increase data allowances because data-featured prepaid plans are expensive in New Zealand, including One NZ 🥲.
In New Zealand, you have three mobile operators and two Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) offering prepaid services easily accessible to tourists:
- Spark New Zealand
- One NZ (formerly Vodafone New Zealand)
- 2degrees New Zealand
- Skinny Mobile
- Warehouse Mobile
Let's talk about One NZ's coverage first, after these quick frequency details:
- 2G: 900 MHz & 1800 MHz
- 3G: 900 MHz & 2100 MHz
- 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (Band 28), 1800 MHz (Band 3) & 2600 MHz (Band 7)
- 5G NR: 3500 MHz (n78)
- VoLTE: Yes
- VoWiFi: Yes
Here you have One NZ's APN settings:
- Name: VFNZ Internet
- APN: vodafone
Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched. I suspect the APN name (VFNZ Internet) will change in the future, but the name can be whatever (even your name if you want) as long as the APN (vodafone) is set correctly.
One NZ (formerly Vodafone) Coverage + My Experience
You can have a mobile operator providing you 1 Gbps download speeds.
But it will be useless if it covers only one street in New Zealand.
So, how is One NZ (formerly Vodafone)'s coverage?
Regarding general availability, One has the worst availability, with an availability score of 98.2%. Behind 2degrees (98.7%) and Spark (99.2%).
But with a score of more than 98%, all New Zealand mobile operators have excellent availability anyway.
When looking at 5G NR availability, One NZ has the second-best availability (5.8%). Ahead of Spark (5.3%) but behgind 2degrees (6.2%).
Based on my experience, One NZ had a better 5G NR availability because it covered Lower Hutt while 2degrees and Spark did not.
Compared to most western nations, New Zealand started rather late with its 5G NR rollout, which is why the scores are so low.
So far, I have been talking about coverage from other reports but what was my coverage experience with One NZ?
It was excellent, honestly – I had nothing to complain about.
But reception was still alright when on the road and on trains (although you should not expect reception when passing tunnels, like on the Johnsonville Line in Wellington – great views on this though!).
Below is One NZ's coverage map produced by Speedtest:
How to Get a One NZ (formerly Vodafone) SIM Card (or eSIM) & Prices
Now that you have a basic understanding of One NZ (formerly Vodafone) and the telecom market in New Zealand, it is now time to talk about how to actually get a One NZ SIM card.
Unlike most countries in Oceania, I do not recommend visiting a One NZ store to get a One NZ SIM card.
Well, it is not that I discourage it; it is just not required.
That is because New Zealand does not have a SIM card registration scheme, unlike most Oceanian countries.
- Find out which countries have SIM card registration regulations and what is required from you (lookup tool)
That means you can pick up a SIM card from a reseller, like Countdown, New World & PAK'nSAVE, and it will be good to go without having to show your passport in person or register it online.
I got my One NZ SIM card at Auckland Airport (AKL).
But One NZ also sells SIM cards at Christchurch International Airport (CHC), Queenstown Airport (ZQN) & Wellington International Airport (WLG).
And as expected, only One NZ tourist SIM cards are sold at airports, called the Vodafone Travel SIM (at the time of writing – I will update the name once One NZ does so).
There are actually two places where you can get Vodafone Travel SIM at Auckland Airport: before passing immigration and customs in the duty-free area and in the arrivals hall.
If you buy your Vodafone Travel SIM in the duty-free area, the price is a bit cheaper because you will not be charged GST (15% in New Zealand).
For example, I got the 79 NZD Spark NZ Travel Pack and only paid 68 NZD.
I will list all the prices in NZD (New Zealand Dollar).
To convert NZD to your currency (let's say AUD – Australian Dollar) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.
My Vodafone Travel SIM cost me 69 NZD in the arrivals hall, which would have cost me 60 NZD if I had bought it in the duty-free area.
I actually was not aware that this discount only applied to the duty-free area and not the store in the arrivals hall, or I would have stood in the rather long line and saved 9 NZD. You can buy me a Ko-fi to help me fix my mistake 🤪.
Disclaimer: the SIM card prices mentioned in the review were current when I was in New Zealand – the offering and prices may have changed since then. To see One NZ's current starter packs, check out my New Zealand SIM card buying guide
Note that the main duty-free store is advertising the Vodafone Travel SIM as if it is selling them.
But it was not – I went to the salesperson asking for a SIM card because the Vodafone booth had a long queue, and she was just chilling.
She told me that while they advertise the Vodafone Travel SIM cards, they do not sell them 🥲 and recommended I get it at the arrivals hall instead (because there would be no queue there at 1 AM… yes, that is when I arrived in Auckland).
She was right… there was no queue at the store in the arrivals hall, but I was charged more for my SIM card.
Ah well – do not make the same mistake as me 😜.
Anyway, the following four (previously three) Vodafone Travel Plans/tourist SIM cards are available:
|Price 1||Data||Local Minutes||International Minutes 2||Local SMS||International SMS 2||Validity|
|29 NZD||2 GB||200 minutes||Combined with call allowance||200 SMS||Combined with text allowance||30 days|
|49 NZD||10 GB||Unlimited||200 minutes||Unlimited||200 SMS||60 days|
|69 NZD||40 GB||Unlimited||200 minutes||Unlimited||200 SMS||60 days|
|99 NZD||100 GB||Unlimited||250 minutes||Unlimited||250 SMS||60 days|
1 you will be charged 25 NZD, 43 NZD, 60 NZD, or 86 NZD, respectively, if you buy your Vodafone Travel SIM in the duty-free area of Auckland Airport (AKL)
2 to Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands (not for 29 NZD plan), Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan (not for 29 NZD plan), Thailand (not for 29 NZD plan), the United Kingdom & the United States
While these Travel SIM cards are available at airports, they can also be obtained at many Vodafone stores and even some resellers.
And all these tourist SIM cards allow for 5G NR access – free of charge.
Also note that some hotels, especially in Auckland, have free SIM cards for you to grab, such as the Ibis Budget hotel near Auckland Airport (15-20 minute walk from the international terminal).
Normally, you have to pay 5 NZD for a SIM card.
But those SIM cards left at hotels allow you to load regular prepaid plans besides the Vodafone Travel plans, which is neat.
I am not saying that you should enter that hotel, grab a SIM card, and walk away… but you could as they are left in the lobby…
- Find out how much SIM cards cost in every country, including data-only SIM cards and tourist SIM cards, offered by each mobile operator + information about starter benefits (lookup tool)
Initially, these Vodafone Travel SIMs look expensive… which they kind of are.
However, most plans are valid for 60 days (besides the 25/29 NZD plan – that one is valid for 30 days instead), which somewhat explains the high prices.
Unlike Spark, I do not actively encourage getting a Vodafone Travel SIM (but I do not discourage it either).
With Spark, the Spark NZ Travel Packs are (somehow) more affordable than data-featured prepaid plans.
With One NZ, the prices are similar, but you can save a couple of dollars (if you buy your Vodafone Travel SIM in the duty-free area at Auckland Airport).
But the savings will not be major (unlike with Spark, where the difference can be significant).
But if you do plan on visiting New Zealand for a month or two and would like your validity to be as long as possible, the Vodafone Travel SIM will be more cost-effective.
For example, if you normally use 20 GB a month, the 60/69 NZD Vodafone Travel SIM with 40 GB for 60 days will be a good option.
The cheapest way to get 20 GB of data with a One NZ data-featured prepaid plan would be getting a MyFlex Prepay plan with 25 GB of data and 100 local/Australia minutes for 57 NZD.
Multiply that by two (two months), and you would have spent 114 NZD (+5 NZD on a One NZ SIM card, making the total 119 NZD).
One thing I like about One NZ more than Spark is that it has way more data-featured prepaid plans (to be discussed later).
Now, let's say you do not want any tourist SIM card for some reason and want a regular Spark SIM card – what are your options?
At the international airports (Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown & Wellington), none – you would have to go to the city.
In the case of Auckland, if you do not mind walking for about 15 to 20 minutes or taking bus 38 (towards Onehunga and getting off at stop New Zealand School of Tourism and then walking for about five minutes), you can go to the Auckland Airport Shopping Center.
They have Countdown, one of the leading New Zealand supermarkets, and The Warehouse, a department store selling regular Vodafone SIM cards (or grab a free one from the Ibis Budget hotel).
One NZ SIM cards are sold for 5 NZD and include no credit (which is the standard in New Zealand… although The Warehouse has Warehouse Mobile for 1 NZD giving you 5 NZD credit instead. But it uses the 2degrees 4G/LTE network).
If you believe that is too much effort and you go to Auckland CBD by train (via bus to Puhinui Station), worry not – there is a One NZ store next to Britomart Station (basically Auckland's central station) called One NZ Britomart and one on Queen Street (the main shopping strip in Auckland).
And you can also get One NZ SIM cards from electronic stores (JB HiFi & PB Tech), gas stations (BP, Caltex & Z) & grocery stores (Countdown, New World & PAK'nSAVE).
Okay, that is enough talk about SIM cards – what about the new and sexy eSIM technology?
One NZ initially promised to launch eSIMs in mid-2022.
That was eventually postponed to Q3 of 2022, and it was eventually rolled out in October or November 2022.
Unfortunately, eSIMs are unavailable to prepaid customers, but I have been told they should be available to prepaid customers in early 2023.
However, the same people told me that it could take until mid-2023 before you can get a One NZ eSIM as a prepaid customer, so do not get too excited yet, lol.
Remember when I said that mobile data is expensive in New Zealand – also with One NZ?
There is a way to spend less for data if your phone supports eSIM – by getting a travel eSIM.
Using any of these eSIMs will be cheaper than getting a One NZ SIM card and a data-featured plan if you want more than 4 GB of data. Anything less than 4 GB and the local SIM cards will be more affordable.
The links above will get you to my in-depth reviews of those eSIMs.
But if you want a quick comparison of the travel eSIMs I recommend for New Zealand, you should read my New Zealand eSIM comparison guide – I also drop a few discount codes for you 😏.
One NZ (formerly Vodafone) Plans, Bundles & Offers
One NZ (formerly Vodafone) has five data-featured prepaid plans:
- Prepay Combo (combo)
- MyFlex Prepay (customizable combo)
- Prepay Boost Data Add-Ons (as the name suggests)
- Extra Data for Travel Plans (as the name suggests)
- Vodafone Pass (social media add-ons)
All One NZ plans can be activated on the My Vodafone New Zealand app (which has probably changed names by the time you are reading this).
Disclaimer: these were the available plans at the time I was in New Zealand – the offering may have changed since then (including whether 5G NR is available to prepaid customers or not). I will, however, change the plan names once/if One NZ changes the plan names. To see One NZ's current plans, check out my New Zealand SIM card buying guide (which gets updated regularly – at least four times a year).
I will list all the prices in NZD (New Zealand Dollar).
To convert NZD to your currency (let's say AUD – Australian Dollar) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.
The Prepay Combo plans are combo bundles with data (with 5G NR access), minutes & SMS.
The following Prepay Combo plans are available, which can be activated on the My Vodafone New Zealand app:
|Price||Data||Local Minutes 1||Local SMS 1||Validity|
|13 NZD||250 MB||100 minutes||100 SMS||28 days|
|15 NZD||1 GB||100 minutes||Unlimited||28 days|
|20 NZD||1.5 GB||200 minutes||Unlimited||28 days|
|25 NZD||2 GB||300 minutes||Unlimited||28 days|
|35 NZD||4 GB||300 minutes||Unlimited||28 days|
|45 NZD||5 GB||400 minutes||Unlimited||28 days|
|55 NZD||10 GB||Unlimited||Unlimited||28 days|
1 also to Australia
MyFlex Prepay is a customizable plan allowing you to set how much data (with 5G NR access) and how many New Zealand & Australia minutes you want.
Each MyFlex Prepay plan needs at least 250 MB of data and 100 minutes, costing 13 NZD.
With every configuration, unlimited New Zealand & Australia minutes can be added for just 1 NZD.
The following MyFlex Prepay options are available:
|Data/Minutes 1||250 MB||1 GB||1.25 GB||1.5 GB||1.75 GB||2 GB||3 GB||4 GB||5 GB||8 GB||10 GB||25 GB||40 GB|
|100 minutes||13 NZD||14 NZD||17 NZD||18 NZD||20 NZD||22 NZD||27 NZD||32 NZD||37 NZD||40 NZD||42 NZD||57 NZD||67 NZD|
|200 minutes||14 NZD||15 NZD||18 NZD||19 NZD||21 NZD||23 NZD||28 NZD||33 NZD||38 NZD||41 NZD||43 NZD||58 NZD||68 NZD|
|300 minutes||15 NZD||16 NZD||19 NZD||20 NZD||22 NZD||24 NZD||29 NZD||34 NZD||39 NZD||42 NZD||44 NZD||59 NZD||69 NZD|
|400 minutes||20 NZD||21 NZD||24 NZD||25 NZD||27 NZD||29 NZD||34 NZD||39 NZD||44 NZD||47 NZD||49 NZD||64 NZD||74 NZD|
|500 minutes||22 NZD||23 NZD||26 NZD||27 NZD||29 NZD||34 NZD||36 NZD||41 NZD||46 NZD||49 NZD||51 NZD||66 NZD||76 NZD|
|Unlimited||25 NZD||26 NZD||29 NZD||30 NZD||32 NZD||34 NZD||39 NZD||44 NZD||49 NZD||52 NZD||54 NZD||69 NZD||79 NZD|
1 also to Australia
Unused data and minutes will roll over when your plan auto-renews or when you renew your plan before it expires.
However, you can only carry over a total of 35 GB and 500 minutes.
And data and calls in your carryover balance can roll over for up to 360 days.
With MyFlex Prepay, you are automatically enrolled into the DataUp program.
With each renewal, you will get 10% bonus data that stacks up.
At your 10th renewal, you will get double the data allowance for the same price.
Prepay Boost Data Add-Ons
The Prepay Boost Data Add-Ons are, as the name implies, data add-ons. They cannot be purchased as standalone plans.
Prepay Boost Data Add-Ons can only be purchased on the My Vodafone New Zealand app:
|5 NZD||500 MB||1 day|
|10 NZD||750 MB||7 days|
|20 NZD||1 GB||28 days|
|25 NZD||1.5 GB||28 days|
|45 NZD||2.5 GB||28 days|
Extra Data for Travel Plans
The Extra Data for Travel Plans is, as the name implies, 2 GB data add-on valid for 60 days for the Vodafone Travel Plans, costing 20 NZD.
Activation is done by texting BUY EXTRADATA to 756.
|20 NZD||2 GB||60 days||BUY EXTRADATA|
The Vodafone (one NZ) Passes (Chat/Music/Social/Video Pass) are unlimited data add-ons for select chat, music streaming, social media & video streaming apps. They cannot be purchased as standalone plans.
Vodafone passes can be activated on the My Vodafone New Zealand app:
|1 NZD||Chat Pass 4||Unlimited||1 day|
|2 NZD||Music Pass 3||Unlimited||1 day|
|2 NZD||Social Pass 1||Unlimited||1 day|
|3 NZD||Chat Pass 4||Unlimited||7 days|
|5 NZD||Video Pass 2||Unlimited||1 day|
|5 NZD||Music Pass 3||Unlimited||7 days|
|5 NZD||Social Pass 1||Unlimited||7 days|
|5 NZD||Chat Pass 4||Unlimited||28 days|
|10 NZD||Video Pass 2||Unlimited||7 days|
|10 NZD||Music Pass 3||Unlimited||28 days|
|10 NZD||Social Pass 1||Unlimited||28 days|
|20 NZD||Video Pass 2||Unlimited||28 days|
1 for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok & Twitter
2 for Neon, Netflix, Sky Go, TVNZ OnDemand & Vodafone TV
3 for Apple Music, iHeartRadio, Rova, Spotify, SoundCloud & Tidal
4 for Facebook Messenger & WhatsApp
One NZ (formerly Vodafone) Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check
One NZ (formerly Vodafone) top-up vouchers are sold in One NZ stores (still links ot the Vodafone site – may automatically redirect to One NZ's site once live), grocery stores, corner shops & electronics shops throughout New Zealand.
To top up your One NZ SIM card, text the VoucherCode to 887 or call 777 and follow the instructions.
For example, if your voucher code is 123456, you would text 123456 to 887.
You can also recharge online with (international) debit and credit cards.
You may have to try multiple times or use a different debit or credit card (if you have those) if your initial top-up request gets denied – the New Zealand mobile operators officially only accept NZ-issued cards. Still, you may be lucky (like me after several tries) – do not try virtual (single-use) cards, though – they will not work.
Text BAL to 777 to check your One NZ balance.
You can also top up and check your balance on the My Vodafone New Zealand app (Android/iOS – which has probably changed names by the time you are reading this, but the links should still open up the new apps).
One NZ (formerly Vodafone) Speed Test Results (in Auckland, Lower Hutt/Hutt City & Wellington)
Alright, now it is time to talk about the speeds you can expect with One NZ (formerly Vodafone) after covering all the other essential topics like coverage.
But before I share my 37 speed test results in Auckland, Lower Hutt/Hutt City (part of Greater Wellington) & Wellington, I want to set the stage first and make a small comparison with One NZ's competition.
One NZ is regarded by Speedtest as the second-fastest mobile operator in New Zealand in Q3 2022.
With a median download speed of 62.97, One NZ is ahead of Spark (59.51 Mbps) but behind 2degrees (63.81 Mbps).
The same applies when looking at 5G NR speeds; One NZ is the second-fastest with a median download speed of 342.45 Mbps, ahead of Spark (307.21 Mbps) but behind 2degrees (479.71 Mbps).
But do not get too excited yet… my results with One NZ was… interesting.
While One NZ has the best 5G NR coverage (having even 5G NR reception in Lower Hutt/Hutt City, while its competitors did not have 5G NR there), its speeds were not impressive.
Anyway, the fastest mobile download speed can be found in Hamilton, with a median download speed of 96.39 Mbps.
Auckland, Christchurch & Wellington have median download speeds of around 60 Mbps (62.03 Mbps, 75.22 Mbps & 64.35 Mbps, respectively)
And of course Hamilton was the city I did not go to on this trip .
As of somewhere in early 2022, the Big Three (Spark, One NZ & 2degrees) allow prepaid customers to use 5G NR free of charge, regardless of the plan you choose.
Yes, this includes the One NZ travel/tourist SIM cards, such as the one I used this on trip.
So I have plenty of 5G NR results to share with you.
I did speed tests with the Speedtest app in three cities on North Island.
So I will go city to city, allowing you to just read the results of the city/cities/state you plan to visit.
For reference, I consider an average download speed of 25 Mbps and an average of 10 Mbps upload speed fast enough.
Preferably, download speeds should be 100 Mbps+ on 4G/LTE… but we are not there yet 🗿.
But why these averages?
A download speed of more than 25 Mbps is enough to video stream content @ 4k resolution.
Social media sites that allow for live streaming, like Facebook Live, recommend an upload speed of at least 10 Mbps.
So, that is why – but that does not mean that a download speed of less than 100 Mbps excited me 😏.
But Australia spoiled… everything slower than 300 Mbps is slow now 🤣.
One NZ (formerly Vodafone) Speed Test Results in Auckland
Auckland, or Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland's Māori name), is New Zealand's largest city.
It is often confused with being the nation's capital, but that would be Wellington (which I visited too on this trip).
The main gateway to New Zealand is through Auckland Airport, so there is a big chance you will visit the city – even if you do not plan on staying.
Anyway, as I am not a regular travel blog, I do not have must-sees for you for Auckland (that would be a blog on its own 🤪), but I am sure you will not be bored in this city.
Let's see how One NZ performed in Auckland:
Very fast speeds with One NZ (formerly Vodafone) in Auckland!
But One NZ had the second-slowest absolute download speed and slowest absolute upload speed in Auckland.
I had an average download speed of 128.52 Mbps and a median download speed of 93.50 Mbps with One NZ: it passed the 4K video streaming test in Auckland.
The same counts for the HD live streaming test in Auckland – One NZ had an average upload speed of 16.08 Mbps and a median upload speed of 7.05 Mbps (both the slowest of all the mobile operators).
One NZ's slowest download speed was at Ibis Budget hotel near Auckland Airport (1.55 Mbps on 5G NR).
This was way too slow to pass the 4K video streaming test (minimum of 25 Mbps). This also made One NZ the worst performer at this location (with Spark being the second-slowest (10.64 Mbps on 4G/LTE)).
When we also look at the travel eSIMs and the Orange Holiday World I tested, One NZ was only slower than the Orange Holiday World SIM card (4.34 Mbps on 4G/LTE – on the One NZ 4G/LTE network) and the Nomad eSIM (13.57 Mbps on 4G/LTE – on the Spark 4G/LTE network).
It was quite surprising that a SIM card roaming on the One NZ network performed better than One NZ itself (and then on the 4G/LTE network)… but it happens every now and then.
One NZ's worst upload speed performance was also at the Ibis Budget hotel near Auckland Airport (0.31 Mbps on 5G NR), making it fail the HD live streaming test (minimum of 10 Mbps).
I cannot fully blame One NZ because almost all SIM cards and travel eSIMs I tested struggled at this location (except for Warehouse Mobile, with an upload speed of 20.83 Mbps on 4G/LTE – on the 2degrees 4G/LTE network).
One NZ (formerly Vodafone) Speed Test Results in Lower Hutt (Hutt City)
Lower Hutt, or Te Awa Kairangi ki Tai (Lower Hutt's Māori name), is one of the four cities part of the Wellington metropolitan area (or Greater Wellington).
The reason why I separated Lower Hutt, administrated by Hutt City, from the Wellington results is (1) I did quite some tests in Lower Hutt and (2) most mobile operators, excluding One NZ (formerly Vodafone), do not have 5G NR access in Lower Hutt (yet), while Wellington does have 5G NR.
Should you visit Lower Hutt? You could – the nature is stunning there.
And being in Hutt Valley, also referred to as The Hutt, is remarkable too (if you can go on one of the hiking trails, you should!).
But if all of that sounds too boring to you, you can go to Queensgate Shopping Center, which may be the largest shopping mall in greater Wellington.
Let's see how One NZ performed in Lower Hutt:
Decent speeds with One NZ (formerly Vodafone) in Lower Hutt!
In fact, One NZ had the third-fastest absolute download speed but the second-fastest absolute upload speed in Lower Hutt.
Unlike its competitors, One NZ did have 5G NR access in Lower Hutt… but it was not impressive 🗿.
I had an average download speed of 49.27 Mbps and a median download speed of 38.82 Mbps with One NZ: it passed the 4K video streaming test in Lower Hutt.
The same counts for the HD live streaming test in Lower Hutt – One NZ had an average upload speed of 25.61 Mbps and a median upload speed of 25.48 Mbps (both the fastest of all the mobile operators).
One NZ's slowest download speed was at Noah's Ark Teahouse Lower Hutt in Hutt Central (4.13 Mbps on 5G NR).
This was way too slow to pass the 4K video streaming test (minimum of 25 Mbps). This also made One NZ the worst performer at this location (with Warehouse Mobile being the second-slowest (26.82 Mbps on 4G/LTE – also on the 2degrees 4G/LTE network)).
When we also look at the travel eSIMs and the Orange Holiday World I tested, One NZ was the worst performer.
Only the Nomad eSIM, using the Spark 4G/LTE network, was slower, with a download speed of 1.29 Mbps on 4G/LTE.
The Orange Holiday World travel SIM card had a download speed of 103.22 Mbps (on 4G/LTE).
So you will be better off turning 5G NR off in Hutt City if you want better speeds 😅.
One NZ's worst upload speed performance was also at Queensgate Shopping Center in Hutt Central (4.47 Mbps on 4G/LTE), making it fail the HD live streaming test (minimum of 10 Mbps).
Surprisingly, One NZ had the best performance here because every other SIM card and eSIM were significantly slower 🗿.
One NZ (formerly Vodafone) Speed Test Results in Wellington
Wellington, or Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington's Māori name), is New Zealand's capital.
It is the third-largest city in the country (behind Auckland and Christchurch).
While I believe Wellington is more exciting than Australia‘s capital, Canberra (yes, not Melbourne or Sydney), it is certainly not New Zealand's most exciting city.
It does remind me a little bit of Melbourne, Australia… but significantly smaller (and with way fewer trains 🗿).
Let's see how One NZ performed in Wellington:
Fast speeds with One NZ (formerly Vodafone) in Wellington!
But One NZ had the second-slowest absolute download speed and slowest absolute upload speed in Wellington.
I had an average download speed of 102.01 Mbps and a median download speed of 63.75 Mbps with One NZ (both the slowest of all the mobile operators): it passed the 4K video streaming test in Wellington.
The same counts for the HD live streaming test in Wellington – One NZ had an average upload speed of 17.34 Mbps and a median upload speed of 9.38 Mbps.
One NZ's slowest download speed was at Kumutoto Community Orchard in Te Aro (13.39 Mbps on 4G/LTE).
This was way too slow to pass the 4K video streaming test (minimum of 25 Mbps). This also made One NZ the worst performer at this location (with Spark being the second-slowest (48.15 Mbps on 4G/LTE).
When we also look at the travel eSIMs and the Orange Holiday World I tested, One NZ was the worst performer too.
Almost all the travel eSIMs I tested, Airalo (Nzcom & Discover Global) and Nomad, and the Orange Holiday World travel SIM card, use the One NZ network… and they all performed (significantly) better than One NZ itself .
One NZ's worst upload speed performance was also at Kumutoto Community Orchard (1.30 Mbps), making it fail the HD live streaming test (minimum of 10 Mbps).
Same story – One NZ was the worst performer at this location, and every other travel eSIM and the Orange Holiday World SIM card were faster.
My Overall Experience with One NZ (formerly Vodafone) – Is It Any Good?
I would recommend One NZ, but it would not be my top recommendation for anyone wanting to buy a New Zealand SIM card.
Getting a One NZ SIM card is easy because many resellers sell them.
And once you insert your One NZ SIM card into your phone, activation is quick.
While One NZ has the worst 4G/LTE availability, you will have reception almost everywhere in New Zealand (but do not expect any coverage around and in the mountains).
One NZ's 5G NR availability seems to be the best because it covered Hutt City while its competitors did not, but the speeds were not even 5G NR worthy.
One NZ's data-featured prepaid plans are expensive by regional standards.
Its One NZ Travel SIM cards are of good value if you stay in the country for more than a month.
If not, you will not be saving (a lot) of money when getting those SIM cards.
I had fast speeds with One NZ, also on 5G NR, which is available for free for prepaid customers too.
But they were not exceptional.
Taking all 37 speed tests into account, I had an average overall download speed of 96.36 Mbps and a median download speed of 52.43 Mbps with One NZ.
When looking at upload speeds, I had an average upload speed of 19.17 Mbps and a median upload speed of 9.47 Mbps with One NZ (both being the slowest of them all).
As expected, One NZ's 5G NR speeds were significantly faster than 4G/LTE (122.27 Mbps average download speed on 5G NR vs. 48.52 Mbps on 4G/LTE).
Spark's 5G NR average download speed was 239.44 Mbps, while 2degrees' was 348.90 Mbps.
So yeah… One NZ's 5G NR network is slow, even though it has the widest reach.
Although the Airalo eSIMs would randomly disconnect from the network, even in Auckland and Wellington CBD, which did not happen with the One NZ SIM card itself, which was odd.
With extensive coverage, relatively expensive data-featured prepaid plans & fast speeds, there is nothing crazy to complain about One NZ.
New Zealand SIM Card Reviews
As mentioned earlier, I also tried out Spark, 2degrees, Skinny Mobile & Warehouse Mobile when I was in New Zealand.
You should read those reviews too.
Later, I will make a comparison post of the five New Zealand SIM cards I tried… but that will take a while (I have many reviews of other countries that I still need to write, so they are prioritized).
But you can still make an educated purchased after reading the New Zealand SIM card reviews.
I also tried out various travel eSIMs + a travel SIM card that work in New Zealand: Airalo (Nzcom & Discover Global), Holafly, Nomad & SimOptions + Orange Holiday World (SIM card).
You should also read those reviews.
>>> Airalo Nzcom New Zealand eSIM Review | Airalo Discover Global eSIM Review | Holafly New Zealand eSIM Review | Nomad New Zealand eSIM Review | Orange Holiday World Travel SIM Card in New Zealand Review <<<
Check out my reviews page if you want to read all the other reviews I have written, including other Oceanian SIM cards.
New Zealand SIM Card Buying Guide
There are four other SIM cards to choose from in New Zealand besides One NZ (formerly Vodafone).
I analyze and discuss them in-depth in my New Zealand SIM card buying guide.
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