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Compare wireless broadband deals

If you're unable to get a physical broadband connection, 4G or 5G wireless broadband could be option a strong option.

Name Product Prices from (per month) Max Download Speed (Mbps) Minimum Contract (Months) Unlimited Data Option?
Wireless Nation Home Wireless
$59
36
No contract
No
Plug and play wireless broadband plans with no installation needed. Data plans ranging from 60GB to 600GB.
Wireless Nation RBI Rural Wireless
$89.90
36
24
No
RBI wireless broadband plans for those in rural locations. Data plans range from 115GB to unlimited (during off-peak hours).
Vodafone Wireless Broadband
$55
40
12
Yes
DISCOUNT OFFER: Get $10 off your plan price each month if you have a Pay Monthly mobile plan with Vodafone. Unlimited Wireless data plans from $65.
Spark Unplan
$65
900
No contract
Yes
Spark Naked Broadband
$84.99
70
No contract
Yes
Unlimited data and download speeds of up to 70Mbps.
Skinny Wireless Connection
$35
N/A
No contract
No
Sign up offer: Get a free Skinny wireless modem and your first month free on a 12-month contract.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How does wireless broadband work?

Wireless broadband uses the same wireless networks that mobile telephone networks use to deliver a connection between the nearest cell tower and a modem in your home. As a connection can be made if you live in proximity to a cell tower, there is no need for cables and wires to be installed like with other broadband types. In most cases, wireless broadband can be set up relatively easily by plugging in a modem and connecting your devices. Sometimes a range extender is needed to boost your network range.

In New Zealand, wireless broadband is delivered over 3G, 4G and 5G. 3G is the older technology that has been overtaken by 4G in many areas, and 5G is the next generation of wireless broadband currently only available in a few select parts of the country.

Only a small number of providers have their own network to provide wireless internet, and while some other ISPs piggyback of these networks, there are fewer wireless providers than other broadband connection types.

How fast is wireless broadband?

Wireless broadband speed is highly relative because it’s a shared spectrum, meaning it’s dependent upon multiple factors: how much broadband other users in the same area are taking up, what your device’s technology capabilities are and the network itself.

As an example, Vodafone’s 4G network is capable of download speeds up to 100Mbps, which is comparable to some fibre plans. Vodafone also states that its fastest 4G available in some areas has download speeds of up to 300Mbps. Both speeds are quoted as “up to” figures because they’re theoretical maximums that can vary a lot depending on location, local usage figures and device compatibility.

When it comes to 5G, which is expected to be rolled out further across New Zealand in 2020 and 2021, speeds get even faster than 4G. Spark is currently the only provider with 5G plans, and states that expected speeds are up to 3Gbps, with the potential for 10Gbps or higher.

Where is wireless broadband available?

Even though the availability of wireless broadband is not restricted by wires or cabling, it is not available everywhere in New Zealand.

4g is available is now currently available to almost all Kiwis (around 97%). 5G coverage is much less widespread currently, but it is accessible in some of the more populated areas, such as downtown Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, and so on.

If you are unsure whether wireless broadband is available at your house, you can enter your address in the Broadband Map.

How can I compare wireless broadband plans?

Speed

Wireless broadband speed is always referenced with the qualifier of “up to”and depends upon the network, infrastructure and equipment modifiers. Typically speaking you should get better data throughput via a 4G connection than via a 3G connection.

Both 3G and 4G are available in many parts of New Zealand, so you will be able to connect to the best available. Keep in mind that there may be times that your connection drops from 4G to 3G, although this seems to be rare.

If you’re lucky enough to be in an area with 5G, this will be your fastest option.

Data

Wireless broadband plans usually come with a data cap of some kind, but unlimited data plans have now started emerging.

It’s common to see plans offering 60, 120 and 200GB of data, so you’ll need to take a look at how much data you typically use or make an estimate. If you need some help in doing this, you can check out our data usage calculator.

Cost

The cost of wireless broadband plans varies provider to provider, although you can expect to see prices in a similar range for comparable data allowances.

Other than the per month plan cost, you also need to factor in if there are additional costs for your modem, and for early exit fees if you decide to leave your contract early.

Contract terms

No-term or open-term contracts are becoming more common these days, although you may find that it is less cost-efficient than signing on for a 12- or 24-month contract. While opting for no-term gives you greater flexibility, you may be required to pay more per month or pay for a new modem upfront. One and two year contracts often come with signup bonuses, which are not available on open-term.

Signup bonuses

As a way of enticing you to signup, some wireless broadband providers offer a bonus or incentive. This could be something like half-price broadband for 12 months, free media streaming for a year, or a joining reward such as a laptop, fridge or TV. Deals like this usually run for a few months or more, so keep an eye out on what’s available. However, don’t forget that opting for a plan with these types of bonuses will lock you into a longer contract, and early exit fees will apply if you decide to cancel.

Bundling discounts

There are energy providers in New Zealand that also offer broadband to their customers. Trustpower is currently the only one that has wireless, but you may be able to save on its broadband and power bundle.

Which New Zealand providers offer wireless broadband?

There are a handful of ISPs in New Zealand that offer wireless broadband plans. Take a look at the list of providers below and click on the links to find out more information.

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