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Industry Mobile telecommunications, internet
Founded 2009
Headquarters Auckland, New Zealand
Key people
Stewart Sherriff (CEO)[1]
Eric Hertz (CEO, 2009–2013)
Mike Reynolds (CEO, 2009)
Products GSM and UMTS (3G) LTE (4G) mobile networks and retail
Website 2degreesmobile.co.nz

2degrees is a telecommunications provider operating in New Zealand. The mobile network launched on 4 August 2009 after 9 years of planning. 2degrees offers prepaid and pay monthly monthly mobile services as well as fixed-line phone and broadband services.

It has spent over NZ$250 million building its mobile network, which now covers Ashburton, Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Hastings, Invercargill, Levin, Napier, Nelson, 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 United States, British and New Zealand owned.[2]

In March 2015, 2degrees announced it had acquired Snap,[3] a broadband-based ISP, and from 28 July began offering broadband and home phone services (in addition to existing mobile services).


The name of the company refers to a local variation of the six degrees of separation concept.[4]


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.[citation needed]


2degrees initially did not have nationwide mobile coverage, but the network has been extended to many towns, cities and rural areas. 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.[citation needed]

Including roaming on Vodafone, 2degrees claim to have coverage in "97.5% of the places that Kiwis live and work."[5]

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.[6][7]

2degrees towers have been deployed in these locations with 2G and 3G coverage (additionally 4G where noted):

Date Area
From Launch Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.
  • Wellington included Wellington, Hutt City, Porirua and Kapiti.
  • Initially these areas were 2G only, then 3G a year later, then 4G as below.
August 2010 Piha, Muriwai. Holiday beaches near Auckland.
Mid 2011 Hamilton and Tauranga
April 2012 Whangarei, Rotorua, Taupo, Napier, Hastings, Whanganui, Palmerston North, Levin, Nelson, Ashburton, Dunedin and Invercargill
June 2012 Burnham
September/October 2012 Timaru[8]
November 2012 Rolleston
Early 2013 Tokoroa, Putaruru, Opotiki, Picton, Cromwell, Westport, Temuka, Bluff, Blenheim, Motueka and Nelson.
Mid 2013 Hawera, Wairoa, Marton, Feilding, Greymouth, Hokitika, Hanmer Springs, Wanaka, New Plymouth, Gisborne and 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. 4G LTE Service in Wellington City: including Miramar Peninsula, Wellington 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).[9]
22 September 2014 4G LTE Christchurch coverage from airport to CBD, including: Shirley, Sydenham, Wigram, Yaldhurst, Harewood, Papanui. Excluding: Hornby, Bishopdale, New Brighton and Woolston.[5]
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 Fergusson Drive (Hutt River bridge). 4G LTE Hamilton, extended coverage: East to: Puketaha, Matangi and Tamahere. West to: Rotokauri and 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, Blenheim, Rangiora (including Kaiapoi and Pegasus), Ashburton and Queenstown. 3G UMTS in Methven, Windwhistle, Sheffield, Hinds and Rakaia.
June 2015 4G LTE Greater Tauranga.
July 2015 3G UMTS in North Island: Kaitaia, Kerikeri, Kaikohe, Wellsford, Huntly, Otorohonga, Katikati, Maketu, Shannon, Takaka, Takapau, West Melton, Waipukurau and Waipawa. In the South Island: Waipara and Waikari.
16 October 2015 4G LTE Paraparaumu, Kapiti.

2degrees also operates a Wi-fi 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 Auckland; 700 MHz ought to be able to penetrate large buildings.[10]

Vodafone tower coverage[edit]

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 July 2015, 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
Tologa Bay

Standards and technologies[edit]

Technology Frequency Speed
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 (band 01) urban, usually in town centres.

UMTS-900 (band 08) has longer range in rural situations.

7.2Mbit/s in some locations, 21 Mbit/s HSPA+, 42 Mbit/s DC-HSPA+

4G[11] 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[12])

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).[13]

The company provides services on its own cellular network, which supports EDGE.[14] The network has a few hundreds of cell sites installed, which initially cost approximately NZ$250 million to develop (up to 2009).[15] 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.[16]

New features[edit]

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[edit]

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.

The native STD prefix for the network is 022.[17] New Zealand has mobile number portability, so customers switching from other networks may keep their existing mobile number.

Pay Monthly[edit]

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.

Inbound roaming[edit]

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.[18] 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[19] 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.[20]

In 2009, it was announced that NZ Communications (as 2degrees was called then) had signed a roaming deal with Vodafone New Zealand. The deal allowed NZ Communications' customers to automatically roam onto Vodafone's 2G network. At the time the deal was announced, it was suggested the deal might also be expanded to include roaming on Vodafone's 3G network too at NZ Communications' request.[21]

Currently, 2degrees is owned by Trilogy International Partners, a US venture capital firm specializing in mobile networks (58.66%),[22] Communication Venture Partners, a London-based company that invests in telecommunications and related software businesses (27.13%), Te Huarahi Tika Trust (10.17%)[23] and KLR Hong Kong (0.50%).[24] In July 2009, General Enterprise Management Services, a Hong Kong-based private equity fund,[25] 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.[26][27] The plane was found at the bottom of the sea off the coast of Kawhia, 56 metres underwater, on 2 April.[28] In a statement, Hertz' family thanked New Zealanders for their support.[29] Hertz was succeeded as CEO of 2degrees by chairman Stewart Sherriff.[1]

The company is part of New Zealand Telecommunications Forum.


2degrees offers mobile phones from Apple, Alcatel, Huawei, LG (including Nexus 5), Nokia and Samsung.


2degrees has 47 retail stores,[30] 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.[31]


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.[32] 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.[33] 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 SIM card and packaging

Phone numbers[edit]

2degrees auctioned 85 special numbers on New Zealand auction website TradeMe for charity, raising over $65,000.[34] The highest selling number was 022 888 8888, likely due to the number eight being considered lucky in some Asian cultures.[35] New customers can choose their own number, on the 2degrees website.


2degrees has run commercials featuring Rhys Darby, a comedian who tends to make jokes and sketches about New Zealand life.[36] They were filmed on location by Film Construction Ltd,[37] a television commercial and digital content production house in Auckland.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "2degrees chairman Sherriff to act as CEO". 3 News NZ. 2 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Twose, Helen (16 July 2009). "Telco in shake-up weeks from launch". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "2degrees snaps up telco". Stuff. Retrieved 2015-10-13. 
  4. ^ Jenny Keown & Tom Pullar-Strecker (11 May 2009). "Wellington, Manukau frustrate 2degrees". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 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. 
  5. ^ a b "Coverage". 2degrees. 
  6. ^ "Our Rural Network". Vodafone. 
  7. ^ "The Government's Rural Broadband Initiative". Telecom. 
  8. ^ "Telco gets 10 phone towers". stuff.co.nz. Fairfax NZ. 25 August 2012. 
  9. ^ Fletcher, Hamish (8 September 2014). "2degrees turns on Wgtn 4G". New Zealand Herald. 
  10. ^ "Hamilton LTE Press Statement". 
  11. ^ "2degrees 4G Network". 2degrees. Retrieved 2014-07-12. 
  12. ^ "Three bidders successful in 700 MHz 4G spectrum auction". 
  13. ^ "How fast can my LTE Smartphone Go". 
  14. ^ "Forums " 2degrees " Do 2degrees have EDGE on their 2G network?". Geekzone. 23 Jul 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  15. ^ Daniels, Chris (11 May 2009). "NZ's 3rd mobile network launched: 2degrees". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  16. ^ http://www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/company/news#118
  17. ^ "Third mobile telco rebrands as 2degrees". Television New Zealand. 11 May 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  18. ^ "Three - Help & Support - International - Going abroad - Pay Monthly - Destination Details". Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. 
  19. ^ "2degrees invests in network and future growth". 2degreesmobile.co.nz. /
  20. ^ "3gnewsroom.com - 3gnewsroom Resources and Information.". 
  21. ^ "NZ Communications inks roaming deal". Stuff.co.nz. NZPA. 1 January 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
  22. ^ Trilogy International Partners
  23. ^ "Te Huarahi Tika Trust". Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  24. ^ Keall, Chris (15 July 2009). "2degress boss quits just ahead of launch". National Business Review. Retrieved 15 September 2011. 
  25. ^ "Asian independent direct investment - GEMS". 
  26. ^ "Police confirm 2degrees couple on plane - Story - NZ News - 3 News". 
  27. ^ "2degrees boss and wife's bodies trapped | Stuff.co.nz". 
  28. ^ "Object confirmed as crashed plane". 3 News NZ. 2 April 2013. 
  29. ^ "Hertz family thanks NZ". 3 News NZ. 3 April 2013. 
  30. ^ "2degrees - Store Locator". Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  31. ^ "2degrees announces nationwide network of channel distribution partners" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 July 2009. 
  32. ^ "Pre-pay charges halved as 2degrees unveils prices". The New Zealand Herald. 4 August 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  33. ^ "2degrees - Magic Top Up". Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. 
  34. ^ "2degrees Mobile - Thanks for all your number suggestions.... | Facebook". 
  35. ^ "022 888 8888". Trade Me. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  36. ^ YouTube. Retrieved 17 July 2015. 
  37. ^ "Film Construction". Retrieved 17 July 2015. 

External links[edit]