Which provider has the best mobile coverage in my region?

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5G might be the latest thing in mobile phone technology coming to New Zealand’s big cities, but a number of the regions miss out on the coverage. So who offers the best mobile coverage in your region? We go through the major providers area-by-area.

There are three main mobile phone providers in New Zealand: 2degrees, Vodafone and Spark – each with their own network. 2degrees offers good coverage in general with its “3G boosted” and 4G networks. Vodafone is the only network that still offers the older 2G network, but it also has good coverage with its 3G network and it offers 4G in the main centres. Spark, which also provides a network for popular mobile phone provider Skinny, offers 3G and 4G coverage.

So which provider offers the best coverage in your region? Unfortunately, there are a lot of similarities between the three network providers, with some troublesome areas not covered by any of the providers. We take a look in detail at the regions:

North Island regions

Northland

  • 2degrees: Fair coverage through both its ‘3G boosted’ and 4G networks. Black spots include Cape Reinga to Te Hapua, Herekino to Mitimiti, Waimamaku to Waipoua Forest, some parts of Pouto peninsula.
  • Vodafone: Fair coverage with old 2G network providing a good base and 3G covering many parts. 4G coverage is more limited. Black spots in coverage include the very top of the region including Cape Reinga and down 90 Mile Beach, the Herekino and Broadwood area, Waimamaku and Waipoua Forest, the west side of the Pouto peninsula.
  • Spark: Coverage is limited, with most of the coverage being through its 3G network. There are large black spots including Cape Reinga to Te Hapua, much of the Far North’s west coast from Ahipara to Kaihu and across almost to Kaikohe (aside from Hokianga Harbour), Rawhiti, the broader Pipiwai area, Glenbervie Forest, Waiotira to Taipuha, Pouto peninsula and Tinopai.

Auckland

  • 2degrees: Excellent cover. The few black spots include the western side of South head, Karekare and the Hunua Ranges. Good sea coverage in both the Hauraki Gulf and Manukau Heads.
  • Vodafone: Excellent cover. The few black spots include the west side of South head, Makarau, Bethells Beach and Karekare, and the Hunua Ranges. Good sea coverage in both the Hauraki Gulf and Manukau Heads.
  • Spark: Good coverage. Black spots include South Head, Matakana Hill, Kawau Island, Tapora, Waitakere Ranges, the Hunua Ranges. Good sea coverage in both the Hauraki Gulf and Manukau Heads.

Waikato

  • 2degrees: Fair Coverage. Black spots includes Port Charles and patches of the Coromandel Peninsula, Port Waikato to Waikaretu, Makomako and Te Anga to Awakino, Pureora Forest Park.
  • Vodafone: Fair coverage. Black spots include Fletcher Bay and the centre of the Coromandel Peninsula, Port Waikato to Te Akau, Pureroa Forest Park.
  • Spark: Limited coverage. Black spots include the north and centre of the Coromandel peninsula, Port Waikato to Te Akau, Ngatira, Pirongia Forest Park, Taharoa to Waikawau, Pureora Forest Park.

Bay of Plenty

  • 2degrees: Limited coverage outside the main centres. Black spots include patches through Tarawera Forest, all of Te Urewera, Kaingaroa and Rangitaiki, Whirinaki Forest Park, from Toatoa to Te Kaha.
  • Vodafone: Limited coverage outside the main centres. Black spots include Ngawaro, patches through Tarawera Forest, all of Te Urewera, Kaingaroa and Rangitaiki, Whirinaki Forest Park, from Toatoa to Te Kaha.
  • Spark: Limited coverage with large areas of no cover. Black spots include Tarawera Forest, Kaingaroa and Rangitaiki, Toatoa to Cape Runway.

Gisborne

  • 2 Degrees: Limited to patchy coverage. Black spots include the area south-east of East Cape, patches through Raukumera Forest Park, Motu, Matawai, Tiniroto.
  • Vodafone: Limited coverage outside of Gisborne and a number of patchy areas. Black spots include East Cape, patches through Raukumera Forest Park, patches from Watatutu to Tologa and down to Pouawa, Motu, Ngatapa, Tiniroto, patches through Wharerata.
  • Spark: Limited coverage. Large black spots include Potaka to East Cape, Raukumera Forest Park, pateches through Waipiro Bay and Te Puia Springs, Watatutu to Tologa and down to Pouawa, Motu, Ngatapa, Tiniroto, Wharerata.

Hawke’s Bay

  • 2degrees: Coverage limited with patches outside the main centres. Black spots include the south-east side of Mahia Peninsula, Te Urewera, Putere, Mohaka to Tutira, Kaweka Forest Park to Whanawhana, Waimarama to Black Head.
  • Vodafone: Coverage limited to patchy. Black spots include the south-east side of Mahia Peninsula, Putere, patches from Mohaka to Tutira, patches from Kaweka Forest Park to Whanawhana, Kairakau to Black Head.
  • Spark: Limited coverage. Black spots include the southern half of Mahia peninsula, Whakaki, Te Urewera down to Tangoio, Te Haroto, Kaweka Forest Park to Ruahine Forest Park, patches from Waimarama to Black Head.

Taranaki

  • 2degrees: Fair coverage aside from the east side of Mount Taranaki. Black spots include the area from Ahititi into Makahu and down to Paparangi.
  • Vodafone: Fair coverage aside from the east side of Mount Taranaki. Black spots include the area from Ahititi into Makahu and down to Paparangi.
  • Spark: Fair coverage aside from the east side of Mount Taranaki. Black spots include the area from Ahititi into Toko and down to Paparangi.

Manawatu-Wanganui

  • 2degrees: Limited coverage, with areas of no coverage outside the main centres. Black spots include a large area around Whanganui National Park, Tongariro Forest Park, Ngamatea, Parinui to Paparangi and Mangamahu, and Papanui Junction.
  • Vodafone: Limited coverage, with patchy coverage outside the main centres. Black spots include a large area around Whanganui National Park, Ngamatea, Parinui to Paparangi and Mangamahu, and Papanui Junction.
  • Spark: Limited coverage with large areas of no coverage outside the main centres. Black spots include a large area around Whanganui National Park, Ngamatea to Ruahine Forest park, Parinui to Paparangi and Mangamahu, and Papanui Junction.

Wellington

  • 2degrees: Limited to fair coverage concentrated around the main centres. Black spots include a large area from Herbertville to Cape Palliser and across to Aorangi Forest park, the Tararua ranges, Akatawara Forest and patches through the Rimutaka ranges.
  • Vodafone: Fair coverage but limitations around southern Wairarapa and the Tararua ranges. Black spots include Flat Point to Cape Palliser and across to Aorangi Forest park, patches through the Tararua ranges, patches through Akatawara Forest and patches through the Rimutaka ranges.
  • Spark: Limited to fair coverage with large areas of no coverage. Black spots inlcude patches from Weber to Flat Point, Flat Point to Cape Palliser and across to Aorangi Forest park, the Tararua ranges, Akatawara Forest, the Rimutaka ranges and Pakuratahi Forest.

South Island regions

Tasman

  • 2degrees: Fair coverage in main towns, limited coverage outside that and through the ranges. Black spots include Rakopi to Anatori and all of North West Nelson Conservation Park and Kahurangi National Park and all of Abel Tasman National Park, patches through Nelson Lakes National Park.
  • Vodafone: Fair coverage in main towns but limited coverage outside that and through the ranges. Black spots include Anatori to Bainham and all of North West Nelson Conservation Park and Kahurangi National Park, all of Abel Tasman National Park, patches through Takaka, patches through Nelson Lakes National Park.
  • Spark: Fair coverage in main towns but limited coverage outside that and through the ranges. Black spots include Anatori and all of North West Nelson Conservation Park and Kahurangi National Park, Patches from Salisbury Falls to Te Waikoropupu Springs, and all of Abel Tasman National Park, Nelson Lakes National Park.

Nelson

  • 2degrees: Good coverage with some patches through the ranges. Black spots include patches from Whangamoa to Maitai.
  • Vodafone: Good coverage with some patches through the ranges. Black spots include Cable bay to Whangamoa, with patches through Hira Forest to Maitai.
  • Spark: Good coverage with patches through the ranges and limitations inland. Black spots include patches around Cable Bay, all of Whangamoa, with patches inland from Maitai.

Marlborough

  • 2degrees: Fair coverage in main centres but limited coverage outside of main centres. Large areas of black spots including Okiwi Bay, patches through the Marlborough Sounds, all of Mount Richmond Forest Park, all of Awatere Valley.
  • Vodafone: Fair coverage in main centres but limited coverage outside of main centres. Large areas of black spots including patches through the Pelorus Sounds, all of Mount Richmond Forest Park, all of Awatere Valley.
  • Spark: Fair coverage in main centres but limited coverage outside of main centres and through the Marlborough Sounds. Large areas of black spots including D’Urville Island, Okiwi Bay, all of Mount Richmond Forest Park, all of Awatere Valley.

West Coast

  • 2degrees: Limited coverage, with coverage hugging the west coast and large areas of black spots inland and through the alps. Black spots include patches around Inangahua, Perpendicular Point, Paparoa National Park, Dunganville, Kakapotahi to Pukekura, Karangarua south including all of Haast.
  • Vodafone: Limited coverage outside of main centres, with coverage hugging the west coast and large areas of black spots inland and through the alps. Black spotw include patches around Inangahua, Charleston to Perpendicular Point, all of Paparoa National Park, patches around Dunganville, Kakapotahi to Pukekura, Karangarua south including all of Haast.
  • Spark: Limited coverage outside of main centres, with coverage hugging the west coast and large areas of black spots inland and through the alps. Black spotw include Kahurangi Nationa Park to Seddonville, Paparoa National Park, Dunganville, Kakapotahi to Pukekura, Karangarua south including all of Haast.

Canterbury

  • 2degrees: Fair coverage through the region, with a concentration around main centres. Black spots include Hanmer Forest Park, Lyford, Lake Sumner Forest Park to Lake Pearson, Ashburton Lakes, Dobson Valley to Hobson Valley, patches through Akaroa Peninsula.
  • Vodafone: Fair coverage through the region, with a concentration around main centres. Black spots include Hanmer Forest Park, Lake Sumner Forest Park to Lake Pearson, Ashburton Lakes, Dobson Valley to Hobson Valley, all but the centre of Akaroa Peninsula.
  • Spark: Fair to limited coverage through the region, with a concentration around main centres. Black spots include Hanmer Forest Park to Lyford, Lake Sumner Forest Park to Lake Pearson, Mount Hutt, Ashburton Lakes, Dobson Valley, all but the centre of Akaroa Peninsula.

Otago

  • 2degrees: Patchy coverage throughout the region. Black spots include Ahuriri Conservation Park, Lindis Valley, Manorburn to Paerau and down to Clarks Junction.
  • Vodafone: Patchy coverage throughout the region. Black spots include Ahuriri Conservation Park, Lindis Valley, Manorburn to Paerau.
  • Spark: Patchy coverage throughout the region. Black spots include Ahuriri Conservation Park, the northern part of Lindis Valley, Manorburn to Paerau, Waipori Falls.

Southland

  • 2degrees: Limited coverage through the region, although main centres are covered. Black spots include patches through the Catlins, north of Colac Bay, all of Fiordland National Park and all of Milford Sound.
  • Vodafone: Limited coverage through the region, although main centres are covered. Black spots include patches through the Catlins, patches north of Colac Bay into Longwood Forest, the remote western and southern areas of Fiordland National Park and all of Milford Sound.
  • Spark: Limited coverage through the region, although main centres are covered. Black spots include the Catlins, patches north of Colac Bay into Longwood Forest, the remote western and southern areas of Fiordland National Park and all of Milford Sound.

What if my area is not covered?

If your area is not covered by any mobile phone provider, the mobile black spot programme may help. This is a government programme to build more towers which will be accessible by all networks.

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