Learn how to manage your data while you're travelling overseas. You can control the amount of data you use while you're travelling by setting data caps.
How roaming data caps work
- If you're a Pay Monthly, Prepaid or business customer, a default cap of $150 will be set for your mobile number. This excludes Spark Digital customers.
- This cap is for casual roaming data rates only and doesn’t apply to roaming pack usage
- If you reach that cap, you'll no longer be able to do anything that uses data. We'll text you to let you know that you've reached your cap. The text will have a link you can select to increase your data cap.
- The cap only applies to data that you use when you're roaming. Restrictions don't apply to calls you make or texts you send while overseas.
How mobile plans affect roaming packs and roaming data caps
- All plans have a default data cap of $150, and you can change the data cap on these Spark plans:
- Mobile plans of $39.99 or higher
- Mobile Broadband
- Smart One Bill
- Smartphone / open smartphone plans have a data plan by default
- If you're on a Pay Monthly plan, you'll receive an alert when you reach 80% of your data cap. This alert will let you know how much you've spent on roaming data to date.
- If you're on a Prepaid plan, you'll get charged on a pay-as-you-go basis. The amount of credit you have on your phone will determine the data you can use.
- On a Pay Monthly plan, the start of the billing month signals a reset in your data cap
- On a Prepaid plan, the start of the next calendar month signals a reset in your data cap
Reaching your roaming data cap
We'll send you a text to let you know you've reached your data cap. You'll no longer be able to use anything that uses data. This includes:
- Browsing the internet
- Syncing email
- Downloading or uploading files
- Sending or receiving MMS. You'll still get notifications.
Note: You may be able to access zero-rated websites. These websites work like toll-free calls, and you don't get charged to use them. Remember, when you're outside New Zealand there may be a charge to use some zero-rated websites.
Not sure how much data you need?
- This information is a guide only
- Estimates in the table below are based on average device data usage on a 3G network, doing one activity at a time
- On a 4G network, the average device data usage may be more than double what's shown in the table below
- Data usage varies depending on many factors including, but not limited to the:
- Device used
- Network used
- Device settings
- Applications on the device
- Get an idea of your potential roaming data needs by looking at how much mobile data you're using in New Zealand. Many devices show how much data you use on different apps. Note: your data use may change while travelling. For example, you might use Google Maps more often while overseas than at home.
- Manage your data use when roaming by:
- Using local WiFi networks
- Avoiding streaming movies, videos and music
- Turning off mobile data or roaming data services when not in use
- Turning on data-saving settings in applications where they're available
- Disabling background data services in the device or apps
- Finding out how to turn mobile and roaming data on or off in the mobile device help section. Search for your device and follow the instructions provided. Go to device help
||Data used in 15 mins
||Data used in 30 mins
||Data used in one hour
|Video streaming (YouTube)
|Skype (video chat)
|Email (without attachments)
||1MB per 40 emails
Source: New Zealand Telecommunications Forum Inc (TCF) International Mobile Roaming Guide, 2018.
Increasing or decreasing your roaming data cap
- To set your data cap before you leave New Zealand, head to m.spark.co.nz/rsc on your mobile and follow the steps. Go to m.spark.co.nz/rsc
- If you got a data usage text from us, select the link in the text and follow the steps
Note: You can increase your data cap at any time. You can only decrease it if you haven't reached your current data cap.
You can also set your data cap by following these steps:
- Go to spark.co.nz/myspark
- Sign in using your mobile number and password
- Note: If you're not registered for MySpark you will need to register before you're able to sign in
- Select View plan and extras
- Select My settings
- Select Open
- Scroll down to Roaming data limit. Select Change.
- Select Update data limit
- A pop-up box will appear. You will need to confirm the changes and agree to the terms and conditions. Select Yes. This will update your changes.
- Select OK on the message that appears
Note: After you've changed your data cap, you'll need to restart your device. If you don't, it can take up to an hour to update.
See how much data you've used
There are two ways to check how much data you’ve used:
- Use the Spark App on your mobile phone.
- Sign in to MySpark on your mobile's web browser:
- Go to m.spark.co.nz/yt
- Sign in using your mobile number and password.
- If you're not registered for MySpark you'll need to register before you're able to sign in.
- On the screen that appears, you'll be able to see how much of your data cap you have used.
Data usage alerts
- We'll text you to let you know when you've used 80% of your data cap. We'll also text you if you're using more data than usual.
- You can't turn off these texts. They're sent based on New Zealand time.
- If you're using an iPad or tablet the default data smart caps apply. These devices can't receive text alerts. If you want to receive the text alerts, set them up to go to your mobile number or an email address. Visit MySpark on your iPad or tablet to do this. Go to spark.co.nz/myspark
- The device you are using must be able to send text messages in order for you to receive the roaming data cap alerts.
Other types of alerts
While you're roaming, we'll send you text alerts to tell you about the data, texts or minutes you're using. The alerts you may get from us include:
- A welcome text, which you'll get when you arrive at your destination.
- A text with helpful tips and links to assist you when roaming.
- Up to three casual data usage alerts. These alerts will let you know when you reach 2MB, 60MB and 100MB.
- Roaming Pack usage alerts. If you're in a place covered by Spark's Roaming Pack, you'll get a text when you reach 80%, 95% and 100% of your pack inclusions.