|Industry||Mobile telecommunications, internet|
|Headquarters||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Stewart Sherriff (CEO)
Eric Hertz (CEO, 2009–2013)
Mike Reynolds (CEO, 2009)
|Products||GSM and UMTS (3G) LTE (4G) mobile networks and retail|
2degrees is a mobile phone provider operating in New Zealand. The network launched on 4 August 2009 after 9 years of planning. 2degrees currently offers prepay and pay monthly mobile services. It has spent over NZ$250 million building its network, which now covers Ashburton, Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Hastings, Invercargill, Levin, Napier, Oamaru, Palmerston North, Queenstown, Rotorua, Taupo, Tauranga, Timaru, Wanganui, Wellington and Whangarei. The network works with GSM-900, UMTS-900 and UMTS-2100 mobiles, similar to the competing Vodafone network. In areas without 2degrees coverage, handsets roam on Vodafone NZ's GSM and UMTS network. Areas where 2degrees has their own 3G coverage are known as "mobile broadband zones". 2degrees is U.S., British and New Zealand owned.
As of Monday, 23 March 2015, 2 degrees announced they had bought the Snap ISP, meaning it can offer broadband services along with its existing mobile services now.
2degrees was formerly known as NZ Communications and previously as Econet Wireless. Planning began in 2000 but details were not revealed until 11 May 2009 and pricing was announced a day before launch. 2degrees accepted its first customers 4 August 2009 for 2G calling/txting only. A year later on 3 August 2010 3G was turned on and new data plans announced for use in areas where 2degrees has its cell towers. Smaller data packs that last a month are available when roaming on Vodafone.
2degrees initially did not have nationwide coverage, but the network has been extended to many towns, cities and rural areas. In most populated areas of New Zealand users can seamlessly roam onto Vodafone's network in places where 2degrees has no cell towers. This occurs invisibly to the user, calling and sms rates remain the same everywhere. Broadband zone data plans (2 or 6 month expiry) can only be used in areas where 2degrees have their cell towers. 3G National Data Packs (expire monthly) and monthly plan data (lasts up to a year) can be used on Vodafone cell towers. Initially (2009 to 2013) data could only be used on 2Degrees towers, with more expensive per megabyte data being nationwide on Vodafone towers.
Including roaming on Vodafone, 2degrees claim to have coverage in "97% of the places that Kiwis live and work."
Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI): 2degrees mobile phones can roam onto RBI cell sites. Theses rural cell sites are open access for all internet providers in New Zealand to buy wholesale packages and retail them to rural customers for household and business use. 2Degrees mobile phones automatically roam to these cell sites were available due to the roaming agreement with Vodafone. RBI has Vodafone installing 154 new rural cell towers and upgrading 265 towers to provide 3G and later 4G services, between 2011 and 2017.
2degrees towers have been deployed in these locations with 2G and 3G coverage (additionally 4G where noted):
|From Launch||Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown.
|August 2010||Piha, Muriwai. Holiday beaches near Auckland.|
|Mid 2011||Hamilton, Tauranga|
|April 2012||Whangarei, Rotorua, Taupo, Napier, Hastings, Whanganui, Palmerston North, Levin, Nelson, Ashburton, Dunedin, Invercargill|
|Early 2013||Tokoroa, Putaruru, Opotiki, Picton, Cromwell, Westport, Temuka, Bluff, Blenheim, Motueka, Nelson.|
|Mid 2013||Hawera, Wairoa, Marton, Feilding, Greymouth, Hokitika, Hanmer Springs, Wanaka, New Plymouth, Gisborne, Oamaru.|
|2014||Culverden, Oxford (rural Canterbury). Featherston, Martinborough (rural Wairarapa). Inglewood, Te Awamutu, Te Aroha Kawerau, Waihi, Whangamata. Dannevirke and Woodville.|
|30 June 2014||4G LTE Service in Auckland isthmus, including Auckland Airport, Mangere and Otahuhu in the south, to Devonport and Berkenhead in the north and Te Atatu in the West.|
|5 September 2014||4G LTE Auckland, expansion of coverage out to Henderson, Kumeu, Albany and Torbay, in the west and north.|
|5 September 2014||4G LTE Service in Wellington City: including Miramar peninsula, airport, Thorndon, Te Aro down to Island Bay and north along the harbour to Ngauranga. Most of the harbour water and beaches across to Eastbourne beachfront and Petone beachfront (The Esplanade).|
|22 September 2014||4G LTE Christchurch coverage from airport to CBD, including: Shirley, Sydenham, Wigram, Yaldhurst, Harewood, Papanui. Excluding: Hornby, Bishopdale, New Brighton, Woolston.|
|26 September 2014||4G LTE Hamilton, coverage over the urban area.|
|7 December 2014||4G LTE Tauranga CBD and Otumoetai. Coverage over the urban area from Mount Manganui through Papamoa beach.|
|January 2015||4G LTE Lower Hutt, Petone, Stokes Valley, Wainuiomata, up to Furgusson Drive (Hutt river bridge).
4G LTE Hamilton, extended coverage:East to Puketaha, Matangi, Tamahere. West to: Rotokauri, Burbush.
|April 2015||4G LTE Levin and rural surround, Fielding to Bunnythorpe, Te Awamutu, Ashburton, Dunedin City and harbour. Late April: Hastings.|
|May 2015||4G LTE Whangarei, Whangamata, Katikati, Rotorua, Gisborne, Napier (including Clive and Havlock North), Whanganui, Palmerston North, Nelson city, Blenheim, Rangiora (including Kaiapoi and Pegasus), Ashburton, Queenstown.
3G UMTS in Methven, Windwhistle, Sheffield, Hinds and Rakaia.
2Degrees also operates a WIFI network in Wellington city, this is on trial with some selected members of the public about 20,000 people.
As of 2014 4G LTE services are on (band 3) 1800 MHz, in addition (band 28) 700 MHz is on trial in central Auckalnd, 700 MHz ought to be able to penetrate large buildings.
Vodafone tower coverage
Where 2degrees has no telecommunications towers, users can roam on the Vodafone New Zealand network. While roaming on the Vodafone network, users cannot use broadband "zone data packs", but minutes, text messages and included "NZ carryover plan data", and "NZ data packs" can be used.
As of February 2015[update], the following towns have no 2degrees telecommunication towers (2degrees have purchased a licence to build a tower in towns in bold):
|North Island||South Island|
Standards and technologies
|2G||GSM-900 and GSM-1800.||EDGE 236 kbit/s for four timeslots, theoretical maximum is 473.6 kbit/s for eight timeslots.|
|3G||UMTS-2100 (urban, usually in town centres).
UMTS-900 (has longer range in rural situations).
7.2Mbit/s in some locations, 21 Mbit/s HSPA+, 42 Mbit/s DC-HSPA+
|4G||LTE (band 3) 1800 MHz (rolled out to large cities in 2014).
LTE (band 28) 700 MHz (has very long range) (on trial in Auckland) (2x10MHZ has been won in the 700 MHz auction for $44 Million)
|100Mbit/s on CAT3 4G devices in 1800 MHz coverage.
150Mbit/s on CAT4 4G devices in 1800 MHz coverage.
For 10 MHz wide channel that has been won in the 700 MHz spectrum auction, a class 3, 4 or 5 LTE device can achieve a maximum of 36.9Mbit/s, or 79.2Mbit/s (2x2 MIMO) download, class 1 (10Mbit/s) and 2 (39.6 or 51Mbit/s 2x2 MIMO).
The company provides services on its own cellular network, which supports EDGE. The network has a few hundreds of cell sites installed, which initially cost approximately NZ$250 million to develop (up to 2009). Since 2009, 3G was rolled out to the main centres and then to regional cities and towns. Then in 2014 4G LTE to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Hamilton and Tauranga / Mt Maunganui . 2Degrees said they had spent $550 million developing the network as of 21 February 2014.
2degrees have a number of new features not found on other New Zealand mobile phone networks, including:
- Using USSD (*100#) to check and top up account balance. The quickcode *100*1# can be added as a speed-dial to most phones to quickly check balance.
- Using *101# to display the phone number of the sim.
- Using *110# to display the number of minutes and data left until the end of the billing period.
- The ability to get settings from the SIM menu
- EDGE data services on 2G. The only other 2G provider, Vodafone, supports GPRS but not EDGE.
MNC and dialing codes
The mobile network code is 530-24. NZ-24 or NZ Comms may be displayed on the mobile phones network list. On modern phones, with recent firmware 2degrees will be displayed.
2degrees launched Pay Monthly in September 2010 and had a considerable impact on the marketplace. In February 2013 they retired the Pay Monthly Plans and launched new Carryover Plans. Since launch the value included in Carryover Plans has increased and they are now the only Plans in New Zealand to offer Shared Data and Carryover Minutes and Carryover Data that last a year, not a month. Calls and texts to Australian mobiles and landlines are included in the Plan minutes and texts. Plans start from just $29 a month and are available on a month to month, 12 or 24-month term. If a customer takes up a 12 or 24-month term they are given a Plan Bonus which they can use towards the purchase of a new Smartphone.
2degrees (still called NZ Communications on the Three website and Telstra roaming site) is open to customers with handsets from some foreign networks, including Three, Telstra and Orange UK. These foreign customers can place calls using 2degrees cell sites in cities, towns and localities New Zealand described as broadband zones by 2degrees.
In February 2011 2degrees announced that they had obtained financing for a further $100 million network expansion.
2degrees have an ongoing network expansion in place, having recently secured financing to further expand its network and roll out a 4G LTE network.
In 1999, the New Zealand Government auctioned off 3G spectrum radio spectrum licence. Rangiaho Everton claimed that the auction breached the Treaty of Waitangi because she believed radio spectrum is taonga and the government has no right to sell it. Everton lodged a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal, which was upheld. It was not until Labour won the 1999 election that Māori were allocated one of the four 2 GHz 3G spectrum licences at a discounted price plus $5 million to develop it.
Currently, 2degrees is owned by Trilogy International Partners, a US venture capital firm specializing in mobile networks (58.66%), Communication Venture Partners, a London-based company that invests in telecommunications and related software businesses (27.13%), Te Huarahi Tika Trust (10.17%) and KLR Hong Kong (0.50%). In July 2009, General Enterprise Management Services, a Hong Kong-based private equity fund, sold its 25.76 percent shares to Trilogy.
On 30 March 2013, 2degrees CEO Eric Hertz and his wife Kathy were killed when their twin-engine Beechcraft Baron, which was flying from Auckland to Timaru, ditched in the sea near Raglan at about 12:30pm after reporting engine failure. The plane was found at the bottom of the sea off the coast of Kawhia, 56 metres underwater, on 2 April. In a statement, Hertz' family thanked New Zealanders for their support. Hertz was succeeded as CEO of 2degrees by chairman Stewart Sherriff.
2degrees offers mobile phones from Apple, Alcatel, Huawei, LG (including Nexus 5), Nokia and Samsung.
2degrees has 47 retail stores, including fifteen throughout Auckland, one in Wellington City, one in Paraparaumu, two in Hamilton, two in Tauranga, two in Christchurch and one in Dunedin. The company also runs several smaller kiosk stores, which tend to be located in shopping centers. They also offer their products at 1,741 supermarkets, petrol stations and convenience stores.
2degrees halved the prevalent pricing for prepay mobile in the New Zealand market, with voice calls costing 44 cents. SMS messages are charged at 9 cents. Customers will receive 300 to 500 free SMS messages per $30–$50 prepay top-up. Also, customers will receive a special rate of 22 cents for on-network and landline calls, as well as 2 cents per on-network SMS, provided they have topped up within the last 30 days. On 25 May 2010, 2degrees announced several new plans; $10 txt ($10 for 500 any network text messages; later upgrading to 1000, 2000, and now 2500 texts). $6 Data Bundles, $6 for 50 MB of mobile data, $10 for 100 MB of mobile data, and some calling plans. In 2015 2Degrees started offering a plan with 2.5GB data, unlimited calling and sms to New Zealand and Australia for $49 per month.
Mobile Zone Data became available after 3G coverage was turned on. Broadband data packs for use on 2degrees coverage areas: $50 for 3GB expires after two months, $99 for 12GB expires after six months. These packs can be used with prepay or added onto a monthly plan.
2degrees SIM cards are available for as low as $5, however, these only come with $1 credit. 2degrees has also sold $2 SIM cards with $2 credit. They gave away free SIMs as part of their Chinwag & launch week campaigns and SIM cards come with most new handsets.
2degrees auctioned 85 special numbers on New Zealand auction website TradeMe for charity, raising over $65,000. The highest selling number was 022 888 8888, likely due to the number eight being considered lucky in some Asian cultures. New customers can choose their own number, on the 2degrees website.
2degrees is currently running commercials featuring Rhys Darby, a comedian who tends to make jokes and sketches about New Zealand life. They were filmed on location by Film Construction Ltd, a TVC (television commercial) and digital content production house in Auckland.
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2degrees is a play on the 'six degrees' of separation that are said to separate people on Earth, reflecting the closeness of the New Zealand community.
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