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

IndustryMobile telecommunications, internet
HeadquartersAuckland, New Zealand
Key people
Tex Edwards (founder)
Stewart Sherriff (CEO)[1]
Eric Hertz (CEO, 2009–2013)
Mike Reynolds (CEO, 2009)
ProductsGSM and UMTS (3G) LTE (4G) mobile networks and retail
ParentTrilogy International Partners

It has spent over NZ$550 million building its mobile network, which as of 2016 covers Ashburton, Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Hamilton, Hastings, Invercargill, Levin, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Oamaru, Palmerston North, Queenstown, Rotorua, Taupo, Tauranga, Timaru, Wanganui, Wellington and Whangarei. The network works with UMTS-900 and UMTS-2100, and LTE Band 3, 8 and 28 mobiles. In areas without 2degrees coverage, handsets roam on Vodafone NZ's GSM and UMTS network. 2degrees refers to areas where it has its own 3G coverage as "mobile broadband zones".

2degrees is majority owned by US-based Trilogy International Partners.[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. 2degrees launched its 4G network in 2014.


2degrees initially did not have nationwide mobile coverage, but its own 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 however 2degrees now has coverage of 98.5% of places New Zealanders live and work.

Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI): 2degrees mobile phones can roam onto RBI cell sites. These 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.[5][6]

2degrees towers have been deployed in these locations with 2G (shut down in March 2018)[7] and 3G coverage (additionally 4G where noted):

Date Area Notes
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 Birkenhead 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.[10]
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, Feilding 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 Havelock 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.
January 2016 4G LTE Otaki, Te Horo, Waikanae, Porirua, Johnsonville.

2degrees also operated a Wi-fi network in Wellington city. The network was on a 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.[11]

2degrees shut down the 2G network on 15 March 2018.[7]

Vodafone National RoamingEdit

In some places where 2degrees has no telecommunications towers, users can roam on the Vodafone New Zealand 3G (UMTS) network. While roaming on the Vodafone network, users cannot use broadband "zone data packs" or "data clock"; but minutes, text messages and included "NZ carryover plan data", and "NZ data packs" can be used.

Standards and technologiesEdit

Technology Frequency Speed
2G GSM-900 and GSM-1800 Shutdown on 15 March 2018.[7]
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[12] LTE (band 3) 1800 MHz (rolled out to large cities in 2014).

LTE (band 28) 700 MHz (has very long range) (2x10MHZ has been won in the 700 MHz auction for $44 Million[13])

LTE (band 8) 900MHz 3Mhz (Roll out nationwide after 2G shutdown)[14]

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).[15]

The company provides mobile services on its own cellular network. With support for 3G (UMTS 900MHz and 2100MHz) and 4G (LTE 700MHz, 900 MHz and 1800 MHz). WiFi Calling is also supported (handset dependent).

New featuresEdit

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
  • WiFi calling.

MNC and dialing codesEdit

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.[16] New Zealand has mobile number portability, so customers switching from other networks may keep their existing mobile number.

Inbound roamingEdit

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.[17] 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.[18]

2degrees have an ongoing network expansion in place, having recently secured financing to further expand its network and roll out a 4G LTE network.[citation needed]


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.[19][20][21] In February 2001, Simon "Tex" Edwards, a former banker, established NZ Communications Limited.[21] Later in 2001, NZ Communications received further financial backing from Strive Masiyiwa's Econet Wireless, which Edwards also owns shares, and then a 30% stake from the Hautaki Trust, which is the trading arm of the pan-Maori trust Te Hauarahi Tika.[20][21][22][23] In 2007, NZ Communications Ltd began building towers for New Zealand's third mobile network.[21]

In June 2008, Trilogy International Partners, which was established in 2005 by Strive Masiyiwa, John Stanton, Bradley Horwitz and others, purchased the 26% stake from Econet Wireless in NZ Communications Ltd.[20][24][25]

In 2009, NZ Communications changed its name to 2degrees and began 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.[26] Also in 2009, Trilogy increased its stake from 26% to 52% while the Hautaki Trust stake was reduced from 20% to 13%, and Eric Hertz replaced Mike Reynolds as CEO in July.[20][27]

In mid 2009, 2degrees was owned by Trilogy International Partners, a US venture capital firm specializing in mobile networks (58.66%),[28] Communication Venture Partners, a London-based company that invests in telecommunications and related software businesses (27.13%), Te Huarahi Tika Trust (10.17%)[29] and KLR Hong Kong (0.50%).[27] In July 2009, General Enterprise Management Services, a Hong Kong-based private equity fund,[30] sold its 25.76 percent shares to Trilogy.

In 2012 when Tex Edwards stepped down as strategist, Trilogy owned a 58% stake in 2degrees, the Netherlands' Tesbrit BV owned a 32%, and the Hautaki Trust owned a 10% stake.[23]

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.[31][32] The plane was found at the bottom of the sea off the coast of Kawhia, 56 metres underwater, on 2 April.[33] In a statement, Hertz' family thanked New Zealanders for their support.[34] Hertz was succeeded as CEO of 2degrees by chairman Stewart Sherriff and Bradley Horwitz became chairman.[1][35]

In 2016, Tex Edwards sold his remaining stake in 2degrees.[21]

In early 2017, 2degrees has 23% of the wireless market in New Zealand and Trilogy International Partners owned a 73.2% stake in 2dregrees.[24][25] Then, Canada's Trilogy International Partners sold its 63% stake to a new entity in which Trilogy International owns a 51% stake.[36] Later, in mid 2017, Tesbrit BV was allowed to purchase up to a 49.9% stake in 2degrees.[36]

August 2018, CEO Stewart Sherriff announced his retirement from 2degrees.[37]

The company is part of New Zealand Telecommunications Forum.


A 2degrees store in central Wellington
A 2degrees store in Nelson

2degrees has 56 retail stores,[38] including fifteen throughout Auckland, one in Wellington City, one in Paraparaumu, four 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 1,523,741 supermarkets, petrol stations and convenience stores.[39]


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.[40] 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.[41]

Mobile Zone Data became available after 3G coverage was turned on. In regards to SIM swapping, it is worth noting that the customer must have a blank SIM card which may only be purchased from the following retailers: 2degrees Mobile (walk-in & online purchases), Harvey Norman, Noel Leeming, Warehouse Stationary and JB Hifi. 2degrees SIM cards purchased from stores such as supermarkets are not blank. 2degrees now also provides an online SIM swap option in which the 18-digit SIM number is required which can be found inscribed on the SIM itself.

Phone numbersEdit

2degrees auctioned 85 special numbers on New Zealand auction website TradeMe for charity, raising over $65,000.[42] The highest selling number was 022 888 8888, likely due to the number eight being considered lucky in some Asian cultures.[43] New customers can choose their own number, on the 2degrees website.


2degrees has run commercials featuring Rhys Darby, a comedian known for making jokes and sketches about New Zealand life.[44] They were filmed on location by Film Construction Ltd,[45] a television commercial and digital content production house in Auckland.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "2degrees chairman Sherriff to act as CEO". 3 News NZ. 2 April 2013. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Tesbrit gets greenlight to buy up to 49.9% of 2degrees". The National Business Review. 31 July 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2018.
  3. ^ "2degrees snaps up telco". Stuff. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
  4. ^ Jenny Keown & Tom Pullar-Strecker (11 May 2009). "Wellington, Manukau frustrate 2degrees". 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. ^ "Our Rural Network". Vodafone.
  6. ^ "The Government's Rural Broadband Initiative". Telecom.
  7. ^ a b c "2degrees shuts down 2G network". 15 March 2018. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Telco gets 10 phone towers". Fairfax NZ. 25 August 2012.
  9. ^ Fletcher, Hamish (8 September 2014). "2degrees turns on Wgtn 4G". New Zealand Herald.
  10. ^ "Coverage". 2degrees.
  11. ^ "Hamilton LTE Press Statement".
  12. ^ "2degrees 4G Network". 2degrees. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
  13. ^ "Three bidders successful in 700 MHz 4G spectrum auction".
  14. ^
  15. ^ "How fast can my LTE Smartphone Go".
  16. ^ "Third mobile telco rebrands as 2degrees". Television New Zealand. 11 May 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  17. ^ "Three - Help & Support - International - Going abroad - Pay Monthly - Destination Details". Archived from the original on 30 September 2011.
  18. ^ "2degrees invests in network and future growth". Archived from the original on 18 March 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2011./
  19. ^ " - 3gnewsroom Resources and Information". Archived from the original on 6 January 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2009.
  20. ^ a b c d "2degrees shareholder eyes growth in NZ". The National Business Review. NZPA. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  21. ^ a b c d e "A little about us". website. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  22. ^ "Strive Masiyiwa Zimbabwe Businessman". Zimbabwe Today. 23 April 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  23. ^ a b "2degrees founder ousted". Otago Daily Times. APNZ. 10 July 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  24. ^ a b "2degrees (New Zealand)". Trilogy International Partners. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  25. ^ a b Willis, Andrew (1 November 2016). "Telecom company Trilogy coming to Canada in Alignvest deal". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  26. ^ "NZ Communications inks roaming deal". NZPA. 1 January 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2015.
  27. ^ a b Keall, Chris (15 July 2009). "2degress boss quits just ahead of launch". National Business Review. Archived from the original on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
  28. ^ "Trilogy International Partners". Archived from the original on 18 July 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
  29. ^ "Te Huarahi Tika Trust". Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  30. ^ "Asian independent direct investment - GEMS". Archived from the original on 19 July 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
  31. ^ "Police confirm 2degrees couple on plane - Story - NZ News - 3 News".
  32. ^ "2degrees boss and wife's bodies trapped |".
  33. ^ "Object confirmed as crashed plane". 3 News NZ. 2 April 2013. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  34. ^ "Hertz family thanks NZ". 3 News NZ. 3 April 2013. Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  35. ^ "Bradley Jay Horwitz". Bloomberg. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  36. ^ a b "Tesbrit gets greenlight to buy up to 49.9% of 2degrees". National Business Review. 31 July 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  37. ^ "Company Overview of Two Degrees Mobile Limited". Bloomberg. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  38. ^ "2degrees - Store Locator". Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  39. ^ "2degrees announces nationwide network of channel distribution partners" (PDF).
  40. ^ "Pre-pay charges halved as 2degrees unveils prices". The New Zealand Herald. 4 August 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  41. ^ "2degrees - Magic Top Up". Archived from the original on 23 March 2010.
  42. ^ "2degrees Mobile - Thanks for all your number suggestions.... | Facebook".
  43. ^ "022 888 8888". Trade Me. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  44. ^ YouTube. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  45. ^ "Film Construction". Retrieved 17 July 2015.

External linksEdit