A new unlimited mobile plan from 2degrees can be yours for as little as NZ$40 a month if you are on a shared account. If only one person pays the bill it’s NZ$85. This makes it the best bang-for-buck mobile plan in the country, but there are fish-hooks in the small print.
Unlike rival unlimited offers from Spark and Vodafone, the new 2degrees unlimited plan allows hotspots and tethering.
Yet a sensible journalist might suspect something is up when a press release comes with a footnote attached to the word unlimited.
That’s because unlimited has a non-standard meaning in the 2degrees English dialect. While you may think the word means all-you-can-eat data, at 2degrees it stands for 40GB then the data hose becomes a dripping 1mbps tap.
On top of that, the small print warns: “hotspotting speeds may be reduced further during periods of network congestion”.
So, it’s not unlimited in any usually accepted sense.
That said, the new 2degrees unlimited plan is generous. It is also a better deal than you’ll get from the big mobile carriers.
A monthly 40GB data cap, that’s what we’re really talking about here, is more than you’re likely to need if you use your phone for mail, browsing the web and running everyday apps.
It’s also plenty if you hotspot or tether for similar use. Laptops and iPads can often get through more data than phones.
The 40GB cap is not going to get you far if you watch a lot of streaming video. Even if you stick to modest resolution video, you’ll get through your entire month’s allowance in a couple of days. Choose high-definition video and 2degrees will throttle your connection before the sun goes down on day one.
Small print aside, the 2degrees unlimited mobile plan is beyond competitive. Assuming you get decent coverage on the network, it’s a bargain. The deal is especially good for families sharing a single account. That 40GB cap is per person. Which means you can get all the phone and mobile data four family members need for NZ$160.