Unlimited Data: NZ’s Best Phone Data Deals

A third of all mobile users in NZ have unlimited data plans. But with so many plans and providers out there, how do you know which offers the best value? Canstar explores the options.

According to Canstar Blue’s latest research, we’re increasingly staring into our phones. But rather than making traditional calls, we’re chewing through data. These days data allowances are the major concern for most of us when trying to decide on a mobile plan.

A third of us already have unlimited data plans, often referred to as “endless data”. These types of data-on-tap plans are the perfect way to handle heavy online activity. Stuff like mobile music and video streaming, and the increasing use of apps such as Messenger and WhatsApp, in place of traditional calling and messaging. But with so many plans and providers out there, which to choose?

To help you choose the right unlimited data plan for your phone use and pocket, we’ve put together the following guide. In it we take a look at how endless data plans are structured, key features to keep an eye out for, and give a rundown of some of the plans currently on offer from providers.


Unlimited Data: NZ’s Best Phone Data Deals. In this article we cover:


What to look for: two-speed data

As a starting point, keep in mind that endless data plans include two types of data:

  • Maximum speed data – this is the headline data offering of the plan, comprising an allocation of maximum speed data
  • Endless data – this is the data that is applied once the maximum speed allocation has been exhausted, typically reduced to a speed of around 1.2mbps

At max speed, you’ll be able to get the most out of your device, with all the streaming and surfing you could hope for. On endless data, everything will keep on working, but you may experience some delays. For instance, loading web pages may be slower than usual, or you may encounter buffering when streaming videos.

In this sense, endless data acts as a backup in the event that you exceed your maximum speed allocation. So it’s important to weigh up how much maximum speed data you need each month. If you’re going to be ploughing through 20GB of data a month, and your plan has only 4GB of max data allowance, you’ll be spending a lot of time at that slower speed cap.

Other features to keep in mind include:

  • Group plans – allows you to team up with family and friends by pairing a primary plan with companion plans, lowering the per-person cost per billing period
  • Bundles – allow you to bundle your mobile deal with other offers, such as home broadband, to achieve additional savings
  • Hotspot – is it free or does an additional charge apply to use your smartphone as a wi-fi hotspot?
  • Add-ons – from data, to international calling and roaming add-ons, what are providers offering?
  • Additional incentives – are providers offering any sign-up incentives or added extras with their plans, such as Spotify or Netflix?

endless data person scroling on mobile phone

Endless data plans: what’s on offer?

Below you can see a comprehensive breakdown of the endless data mobile plans currently* offered in New Zealand. For further details, you can visit the individual retailer’s website.

*At time of writing – 22/02/2022

spark_logo

Spark

Spark packages three open-term pay monthly plans with endless data: one with a 12GB maximum speed allocation, one with a 40GB allocation and the other with 100GB. Endless data reduces speeds to a maximum of 1.2mbps.

Plan Data Talk Text Cost (per month)*
Endless Mobile – 12GB 12GB max speed, then endless Unlimited NZ/OZ Unlimited NZ/OZ $59.99
Endless Mobile – 40GB 40GB max speed, then endless Unlimited NZ/OZ Unlimited NZ/OZ $79.99
Endless Mobile – 100GB 100GB max speed, then endless Unlimited NZ/OZ Unlimited NZ/OZ $99.99

Plan features:

  • Group plans – up to three companion plans can be added to the 100GB plan at a cost of $29.99 each. The primary plan receives 100GB maximum speed data and Spotify Premium, with companion plans receiving 40GB maximum speed data and 50% off Spotify Premium.
  • Entertainment – the 12GB plan includes half-price Spotify Premium, while the 40GB and 100GB plans include a free Spotify Premium account
  • Hotspot – can be added to the 12GB plan at a cost of $10 per month, while the 40GB plan comes with 5GB of hotspot data, and the 100GB plan 10GB of hotspot data
  • 5G – is included with all Spark plans
  • Airpoints – You can earn airpoints upon sign up: 120 points (12GB plan), 160 points (40GB plan), 200 points (100GB plan)

Spark also offers an endless data prepaid value pack with a 40GB maximum speed data allocation, with maximum endless data speeds of 1.2mbps.

Plan Data Talk Text Cost (four weeks)*
Prepaid value pack – 40GB 40GB max speed, then endless Unlimited NZ/OZ Unlimited NZ/OZ $79

Plan features:

  • Data Stack – receive 100MB of stackable data each month you stay on an eligible Prepaid Value Pack
  • Entertainment – 50% off Spotify Premium
  • 5G – is included with all Spark plans until at least July 2021 at no extra cost

2degrees logo

2degrees

2degrees’ open-term pay monthly endless data plans comprise a choice of two plans: one with a 12GB maximum speed allocation and the other a 40GB allocation. Endless data reduces speeds to a maximum of 1.2mbps.

Plan Data Talk Text Cost (per month)*
Pay Monthly – 12GB 12GB max speed, then endless Unlimited NZ/OZ Unlimited NZ/OZ $60
Pay Monthly – 40GB 40GB max speed, then endless Unlimited NZ/OZ Unlimited NZ/OZ $80

Plan features:

  • Group plans – you can add up to two people to the 12GB plan, and three to the 40GB plan, at a cost of $30 per month per person (each person shares the maximum speed data allocation)
  • Bundle – if you bundle with a 2degrees broadband plan, you will receive a $10 monthly discount on your broadband plan
  • Free data hour – all data used during an hour of your choosing is free every day. Until 31st March 2022, the free data hour has doubled, to 2 free hours per day.
  • Hotspot – is included with all plans
  • Wi-fi calling – allowing you to make and receive calls, using minutes (no data)

2degrees also offers an endless data prepay plan with 40GB of maximum speed data, with endless data speeds reduced to a maximum of 1mbps.

Plan Data Talk Text Cost (per month)*
Prepay – 40GB 40GB max speed, then endless Unlimited NZ/OZ Unlimited NZ/OZ $85

 Plan features:

  • 7.5GB of free carryover data – when you join now
  • Hotspot – is included
  • Wi-fi calling – allowing you to make and receive calls, using minutes (no data)

vodafone_logo

Vodafone

Vodafone’s open-term pay monthly endless data plans span four plans: 5GB maximum speed allocation, 12GB, 40GB and 100GB. Endless data reduces speeds to a maximum of 1.2mbps.

Plan Data Talk Text Cost (per month)*
Small – 5GB 4GB max speed, then endless Unlimited NZ/OZ Unlimited NZ/OZ $45
Medium – 12GB 12GB max speed, then endless Unlimited NZ/OZ Unlimited NZ/OZ $60
Large  – 40GB 40GB max speed, then endless Unlimited NZ/OZ Unlimited NZ/OZ $80
Extra Large – 100GB 100GB max speed, then endless Unlimited NZ/OZ Unlimited NZ/OZ $100

Plan features:

  • Group plans – up to three companion plans can be added to the Medium, Large or Extra Large plans at $30 each, with each companion plan receiving the entire primary plan (be it 12GB, 40GB or 100GB of maximum speed data)
  • Bundle – you can save $10 per month on a Vodafone broadband plan if you have a pay monthly mobile plan
  • Hotspot – is included with all plans
  • 5G – plans are 5G ready

Skinny

Skinny’s prepay mobile plans encompass four endless data plans: a seven-day plan with a 10GB maximum speed allocation, and three four-weekly plans with respective allocations of 4.5GB, 12GB and 40GB. Endless data reduces speeds to a maximum of 1.2mbps.

Plan Data Talk Text Cost*
Weekly – 10GB 10GB max speed, then endless Unlimited NZ/OZ Unlimited NZ/OZ $20 (seven days)
Four-weekly – 4.5GB 4.5GB max speed, then endless Unlimited NZ/OZ Unlimited NZ/OZ $36 (four-weekly)
Four-weekly – 12GB 12GB max speed, then endless Unlimited NZ/OZ Unlimited NZ/OZ $46 (four-weekly)
Four-weekly – 40GB 40GB max speed, then endless Unlimited NZ/OZ Unlimited NZ/OZ $70 (four-weekly)

Plan features:

  • Bundle – save $10 per month on selected Skinny 4G wireless broadband plans while you have an active eligible mobile plan (a $16 or above 4-weekly plan)
  • Hotspot – is included
  • 5G – access available on all mobile plans

*Further information on pricing can be found at individual retailer websites. This should be used as a starter guide and not considered an actual quote.

Whether you’re considering an unlimited data plan, or a fixed data plan, Canstar’s free comparison tool can help, just click on the button below.

Compare phone providers


About the author of this page

 Martin KovacsThis report was written by Canstar author Martin Kovacs. Martin is a freelance writer with experience covering the business, consumer technology and utilities sectors. Martin has written about a wide range of topics across both print and digital publications, including the manner in which industry continues to adapt and evolve amid the rollout of new technologies


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