Vodafone NZ fleeces travellers: buy new SIM for iPad 2

By John Walton, March 28 2011
Vodafone NZ fleeces travellers: buy new SIM for iPad 2

Planning a business trip to New Zealand, and expecting to use the Vodafone MicroSIM card from an original iPad with an iPad 2?

Vodafone in New Zealand has all blocked MicroSIM cards they sold for the first generation iPad from working with the new iPad 2. Travellers will now need to buy a brand new MicroSIM card for their iPad -- at NZ$20 (just under A$15).

The story, which broke at iPhonewzealand, is bound to irritate frequent travellers to New Zealand.

More than the price, it's the bother of having to buy, fit and set up a new SIM card. And if you want to transfer your balance from the old card to the new, you'll need to ring Vodafone on 0800 456 021.

That's fifteen minutes that a business traveller really doesn't need to spend.

Previously, Vodafone had been a popular choice for business travellers arriving in New Zealand, with their kiosk just outside the arrivals door in Auckland Airport a useful spot to pick up a local SIM.

Other options for iPad MicroSIMs in New Zealand are XT, which has better 3G coverage nationwide, and 2degrees, which is focussed mainly on the larger cities, making it another good choice for business travellers.

Alternatively, follow our instructions to turn your iPhone into a WiFi hotspot and connect your iPad to your iPhone via WiFi -- but remember that if you use your home SIM card you'll be charged global roaming fees. A better idea is picking up a local SIM for your iPhone (iPhone 4 users will need a MicroSIM) from one of the telcos above.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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