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536 posts

Ultimate Geek


# 36555 28-Jun-2009 11:53

(I couldn't decide which forum was best for this so please move if appropriate).

I am going to buy an iPhone 3GS when they come out from Vodafone but I'm unsure which carrier to put it on. I'll be going Prepaid regardless as I want the freedom that entails. Below are the setups I'd have on either carrier:

XT
- TXT600 ($12)
- 120MB Data ($12)

Vodafone
- TXT2000 ($10)
- 100MB Data ($10)


XT: Works well for me since I get TXTs to every carrier in NZ, not just the same one. I have contacts on both 027 and 021. The 120MB data is nice too because it gives me a little extra incase without having to flow onto $1/day*. Topping up will be inconvenient as I'll have to buy a $40 (I don't think $30's are available?). HOWEVER, this is remedied by the free bonus credit for topping up in larger amounts ($60 +$20). I also get free twitter (and sent tweets go through TXT600).

Vodafone: 2000 TXTs is a lot, and would be helpful if I want to have TXT "conversations", or if I'm bored. However, being restricted to only Vodafone for these TXTs is inconvenient. The data is OK, but a little more would be nice*. It ends up being less overall credit being needed but I miss out on XT's bonus credit. It will be free to receive tweets but is likely to cost 20c per tweet to send (correct me if I'm wrong).

*: Vodafone have recently deactivated the "dummy" APN which used to work to block data. This was ideal for me and significantly puts me off Vodafone. XT doesn't have one either but @TelecomNZ informed me they were looking into it. Vodafone (johnr) has also said they are considering a purpose-built dummy APN but of course no promises.


As you can see I'm quite torn. Both have thier advantages and disadvantages.

I'm not going to be a massive data hog, just want to check the occasional e-mail or look up a news site. 100MB-120MB is sufficient (100MB would be entirely fine if the dummy APN's worked). Being able to stop data being used is quite important since it can't be blocked at phone level by a setting. If one of the carriers does have a dummy APN and the other doesn't, I'll most certainly go with them.

It may be noteworthy that I am currently on Telecom (Prepaid).

Please post your opinions about what I should do and any advantages/disadvantages I have not seen.

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  # 228913 28-Jun-2009 12:25
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Is it just price that concerns you, or do things like 3G coverage and customer service come into it as well? Using the iPhone on Vodafone can be very frustrating (take a look at other posts on this) as it drops back to 2G very quickly and very easily regardless of the strength of the 3G signal, and also has poor building penetration. XT doesn't have this problem as it's an entirely 3G network, but the flipside is that no signal = no service whereas on Vodafone it would drop to 2G, but anecdotally it appears that XT may have better coverage anyway. Not sure if that will help with your decision.



For me I'm just waiting to see exactly what is happening with the iPhone 3GS (new plans, if Telecom will officially support it, etc) before deciding whether to move to XT or not, as I would personally rather pay a bit more per month and know that wherever I go I will always have 3G, which is important for me because I use a fair bit of data per month so I need/want consistent speed, which I certainly don't get with Vodafone.

66 posts

Master Geek


  # 228916 28-Jun-2009 12:36
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Would have to recommend XT - particulalry if you TXT (and/or call) to both networks. TXT2000 is useless if you end up sending half to other networks - if you send just 50 in a month that is an extra $10.

 
 
 
 




536 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 228918 28-Jun-2009 12:46

Coverage is somewhat important to me, but I would value price over it.

The speed of the 3G (internet) is important... Obviously if they're all in the same threshold there isn't an issue.

A person at the Telecom shop in Dunedin strongly hinted at Telecom officially carrying the iPhone, which I presume is just the "we're in talks with Apple" idea.

Also I'd highly value an easily accessible usage page (website) to monitor my balance/TXT/calling/data.

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 228927 28-Jun-2009 13:39
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I have a connection on both XT and Vodafone as well as owning an iPhone. If the price is not too different and you are going to buy the phone, then I would definitely recommend XT.

On Vodafone it isn't uncommon for someone to ring me and go straight to voicemail, which is hugely frustrating as it makes people think my phone is off (I'm on call to some clients, does not look good when the cellphone is off).

There are also benefits of how XT bills the data on prepaid, so if you sign up for a plan but don't use much data that month, you may end up saving money.

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 228946 28-Jun-2009 14:33
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Also I'd highly value an easily accessible usage page (website) to monitor my balance/TXT/calling/data.

XT has that. [edit](although it doesn't update in real time, esp for data)

I find that if I only use a few KB's a day (say checking bus arrival times at wap.metroinfo.org.nz) then I don't get charged the $1 a day on the default $1/10MB a day plan. Very useful as I do my internet thing at home, and can check bus arrival times at stops that don't have the button things.



536 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 228947 28-Jun-2009 14:39

PaulBags:
Also I'd highly value an easily accessible usage page (website) to monitor my balance/TXT/calling/data.

XT has that. [edit](although it doesn't update in real time, esp for data)

I find that if I only use a few KB's a day (say checking bus arrival times at wap.metroinfo.org.nz) then I don't get charged the $1 a day on the default $1/10MB a day plan. Very useful as I do my internet thing at home, and can check bus arrival times at stops that don't have the button things.


It would be interesting to know the threshold before getting charged the $1 (and what can be done within that).

183 posts

Master Geek


  # 228951 28-Jun-2009 14:54
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With the bonus top up credit $20 becomes $25 which will cover the $24 in XT charges and make you $1 better off (larger top ups give more bonus credit).  This makes XT the cheaper option. 

I would recommend you go with vodafone if you expect to send more than 605 text messages to vodafone mobiles, or regularly make phone calls longer than 2.5 minutes to vodafone mobiles between 7pm and 7 am, otherwise XT will give you lower monthly costs, 20mb of extra data and better 3g coverage.


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Ultimate Geek
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  # 228977 28-Jun-2009 17:32
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maknz: It would be interesting to know the threshold before getting charged the $1 (and what can be done within that).

Since it doesn't gauge the low useage, and the recent activity also shows the free useage from portal data, it would be a bit awkward to figure out. I could try loading more and more pages each day until it charges me, but I honestly don't have a use for it. Could also create files of specific sizes and load one each day until it charges, but I can't be bothered.

From a quick check on my computer (loading then saving each page, then checking size) the bus info I was looking up comes to ~4kB for a stop, looked at 3 to 4 times a day (but usually twice). On top of that I also searched for and loaded gmail, but didn't log in as I couldn't remember my password without a keyboard in front of me (I remember the path more than the characters).

Like most things telecom I bet they'll eventually clap down on free useage.

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