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173 posts

Master Geek

#267987 22-Feb-2020 08:44
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Just switched business four mobiles from VF to 2D yesterday and so far I'm very impressed.


The switching process was easy - I did have an account manager who looks after one of my clients handle it so can't comment on who it would be to handle otherwise. But we booked the switch for 2pm and by 2:15 all mobiles were over and calling and data working.


Had one issue which needs to be mentioned but its common to any number porting between vendors but I wasn't aware of the issue and it can have ramifications. When your number is ported you will probably find that bulk SMS senders will not get through to you - This meant that we couldn't pay a couple of our vendors yesterday as the ASB netcode SMS messages weren't coming through - ASB were useless as they tried and failed to authorise the payments over the phone and just said "It can take up to a month when you switch mobiles" which was pretty unhelpful. As near as I can tell its like DNS Caching, the SMS bulk senders must end up caching the venders associated with numbers to lower the server workloads so you won't get a txt until they clear that cache - Thats just an analogy, I don't know exactly how the tech works. But this can cause some headaches for things like Office 365 2FA - If you have to get into something that needs a 2FA txt you are in trouble - Many offer options for a phone call so there can be work arounds but ASB were useless. By the next morning my Office 365 2FA and the automated SMS needed for iphone to link back to imessage properly are working again, haven't tried the bank yet.


On to the massive positives


1) Signal is way better at our house - I know this is just blind luck but at the end of the day I've looked at GIS.GEEK.NZ maps and the towers are very similar distances away, this is probably still blind luck with antenna direction and things but we have lived in this Street for 20 years now in two different houses about 200m apart and they have both always been in a dark spot for Vodafone through changes to 3g and upgrades to 4G, one lonely 2D cell tower up the road and I can get 25Mbit down on a speedtest and make calls without standing on one leg and not moving my phone a milometer for the length of the call.


2) The Cell tech seems more solid - I regularly ring my retired parents in Auckland on Facetime audio while driving home, I do it practically daily and I use facetime as they put the ipad on speaker and the call is clear and easy to hear, on mobile its no-where near as clear. The entire time I've been doing this for the last few years I've had regular dropouts and 5 - 10 second silences - Its happened on EVERY call usually in the same places, sometimes its as simple as a truck stopped in the lane beside me. Last night I called them using 2D data for the facetime call rather than Vodafone and the call NEVER dropped or had a seconds silence for the entire 25 minute drive. I suspect with vodafone it was handoff from one tower to the next as I would check signal strength and it always reported as solid and it was always in the same spots, sometimes I'd get extra silent periods but I'd always get them in the same spots so to me its got something to do with better handoff technology - Again, I'm not mobile tech geek but its a very simple test and although I've only done it once on the new network it was flawless and its NEVER been flawless on VF, far from it - We've just gotten used to it - Numerous times I'd hear my father saying "he's gone down a hole again, hello, hello" but he couldn't hear me at all.


I'm with them on broadband too and its the same there - 2 Degrees innovate, with snap its like it was an ISP run by geeks with a passion and its continued into 2 Degrees ownership. With Vodafone its by the competition to snap up users and cobble the network together and place a bandaid over things that brake. There are still parts of Paradise operating in a basement in Wellington on Vodafone broadband and they complete that purchase over 20 years ago - I had an email issue with a client, it turned out they had an old paradise DNS server in the list for MX lookups and said DNS server had old records for a domain that had been shifted years ago but still had the old VERY stale MX records - Partly our fault for having it in the list of DNS servers but I can't believe the servers are still running if they don't maintain them properly - They don't appear to have merged the networks properly to this day.

So if you are thinking of making the switch hopefully this will help - I can't yet comment on what its going to be like out of built up areas and I can imagine I'm going to be roaming on to the VF network on holiday but I can live with that for the improvement in signal where I live and work, the WAYYYY better pricing - After 20 years of my loyalty to VF mobile (wouldn't touch Broadband with a barge pole) they couldn't do ANYTHING to adjust my plan for more data without considerably more spent and some of the data they offered was a 1 year thing so I'd be battling again 12 month later. With 2D I've got unlimited data (OK 40GB but at least then although slowed down at that point essentials like Find-my-iphone and email etc will still work) and the newly announced free roaming to Australia.


P.S - I apologise for the blank post before - I started typing this on my Ipad and actually hit GO when I'd only half typed the subject - When back to edit it - Pecked away on screen for 10 minutes and hit update to find someone had already deleted the post so had to come down to a keyboard and start again :)

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6506 posts

Uber Geek

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  #2425265 22-Feb-2020 09:30
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Free roaming to Australia on the business plans is not new it's been in place for ages the $7 daily roaming on 2degrees is new!

173 posts

Master Geek

  #2425266 22-Feb-2020 09:32
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Linux: Free roaming to Australia on the business plans is not new it's been in place for ages the $7 daily roaming on 2degrees is new!


wow, surprised they didn’t market it more - it’s a killer feature. $7 a day per person for a group trip adds up pretty quick so to drop to free for Australia is a huge selling point for me. It’s not a deal breaker as I don’t go to Australia enough but as a string on the bow it’s a powerful addition.


618 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2425329 22-Feb-2020 11:50
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2degrees is indeed very good in areas where they've put in the effort. Much of Auckland has very good 2degrees service. It's interesting to observe where they've put in lots of coverage/capacity e.g. much of South Auckland had early 4G deployment (running ahead of Spark/Vodafone by years in some suburbs) and a fairly dense network of sites including heaps of new 3G/4G microcells installed in the past year to fill in gaps and provide more capacity.


Just be aware that out in rural areas they are pretty hit and miss. Where they operate their own network the QOS is fantastic. But there remains still lots of gaps. Waiheke Island has no 2degrees service in the western half of the island while Voda/Spark has good coverage. SH 1 between Auckland and Hamilton has poor coverage at certain locations. Near Hampton Downs raceway is a really bad spot which either sees phones handing over to Vodafone or muddling along with a near unusable 2degrees signal. Meanwhile Voda/Spark have multiple sites covering that area. Some gaps are covered by the Vodafone roaming agreement which suffers from issues with slow data speeds (due to restrictions imposed by 2degrees). Some gaps aren't covered at all.


Even urban areas can be a bit of a miss. There are places in Auckland (e.g. parts of Glendowie) where they have no service inside houses. One of my friends house has no service indoor on 2degrees, and very marginal (comes and go) service outdoors but has full bars on Voda/Spark due having a site up the road. Interstingly, despite building out what must be 50+ microcells, they still haven't bothered to close this particular gap which would be prefect for a little microcell.


I left 2degrees because while their QOS was very good at home, work, etc, the fact is I can rely on good WiFi at home/work so didn't really benefit from it. I arrived to the conclusion that it's more important that my mobile carrier has good overall coverage across all the places I travel to especially the locations where I don't have WiFi. Spark/Voda have much better service in the more rural locations I travel to. For example, I go up to Pouto every year where Spark/Voda has decent native coverage, whereas a 2degrees phone will oscillate between a poor 2degrees signal from a far-away site or roam on a good Vodafone signal from a nearer site but with poor data speeds.


YMMV of course. It sounds like that 2degrees is a great fit for your daily use. I'd be intersted though to see how they fare when you go on holiday etc.

173 posts

Master Geek

  #2425357 22-Feb-2020 12:52
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YMMV of course. It sounds like that 2degrees is a great fit for your daily use. I'd be intersted though to see how they fare when you go on holiday etc.



im already used to the fact when we holiday in a caravan between the metal skin and the fact camp grounds are always on the fringe we got terrible signal anyway. If I can roam to VF and manage 1mbit or below life won’t really be any different. I am picking that at best it’s going to be no better and sometimes worse but if I really need it I can get a spark sim and bang some data on for a hotspot.

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