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Spark's 3G network closure

Read more about our 3G network closure and what it means for you in our FAQs.  



Questions about the network change

3G was first introduced back in 2009. Today, it only makes up 4% of the total data across
all our networks.  

Our 3G network currently uses limited radio frequencies that are needed to roll out 5G in rural areas. So, just like many mobile network operators around the world, we’ll be closing down our 3G network so we can focus on bringing more 5G to more areas around New Zealand. 

Our 4G network already reaches 98% of New Zealanders. We’ll be working on a
range of network improvements to provide 4G coverage in more places before we
close down 3G.  

We’ll be closing down the 3G network towards the end of 2025. So if you have any mobiles or other devices that won’t work on our 4G network, you’ll need to make a change before then to
make sure you stay connected. 

With more improvements being made to both our 4G and 5G networks ahead of the 3G closure, most people won’t notice any change.
But it will be important to make sure your device doesn’t rely on 3G in any
way. To check your device is 4G-ready, go to 4G ready page

Our 3G coverage will still be available everywhere it is today, until we switch it off nationwide towards the end of 2025. But for the best mobile experience, it’s a good idea to make sure you have a 4G-ready device sooner rather than later so you can make the most of our faster 4G

We’re giving our customers plenty of notice about the change and any actions they need to take ahead of the 3G network closure. If there’s anything you need to do before we close 3G, we’ll be in touch to let you know.




Questions about network coverage

Our goal is to make sure everyone has the same coverage as they do today - or even better.

While both our 4G and 3G networks reach 98% of New Zealanders, there are a small number of rural areas where only 3G is available. We're working to enhance 4G coverage in those areas before 3G is closed. 



Questions about mobiles and devices

‘4G-ready’ is a device that can connect to the 4G network for calls, texts and data and doesn’t rely on 3G. Most modern devices already do and some may also be capable of using 5G networks. Find out if your device is 4G-ready at 


We recommend buying a 4G-ready device that has been tested on our network. We have a great range of 4G-ready devices online or in-store. If you buy your device elsewhere, we can’t guarantee it will be compatible with our network. So be sure to ask before you buy. 

Most people are already using 4G-ready devices, but it’s a good idea to check. You can find out if your device is 4G-ready at

If you have a 5G capable device from Spark, then you are good to go. 

No. Any Spark devices that are currently sold in-store and online are 4G or 5G ready. This means they don't rely on 3G for calling, texting or data. 

Our 4G-ready devices start from as low as $129. 

If you need to replace your device, you may need a new SIM card if yours doesn’t fit. If you buy your new device from us, we’ll replace this for you free of charge. 

Your mobile will need to connect over 4G to be able to make calls. So it’s important to check that it’s 4G-ready


Some mobile phones are ‘4G capable’ for data and SMS, but may not be capable of
making voice calls over 4G (known as VoLTE) and instead rely on 3G for calling.
This means that once the 3G network is closed, it will continue to work for data and SMS, but not for traditional mobile voice calls. So we'd highly recommend replacing it with a 4G-ready device


VoLTE stands for ‘Voice over LTE’ (LTE is the technical term for 4G). It’s technology that allows voice services to connect over our 4G network. Being ‘VoLTE enabled’ is part of having a 4G-ready device. Read more at 


We’re encouraging everyone to recycle their old devices by popping them into our device recycling bins. You can find these at any Spark store. We’ll then pass them on to our partners at RE:MOBILE to make sure all reusable parts are recycled. Find out more at 


Some phones purchased overseas or from local importers have different specifications, so we can’t guarantee they will work on our network. If you have trouble connecting to 4G on your device, try downloading the latest software update and if this doesn’t help, you may need
to replace it. 


While our 3G closure won’t impact roaming overseas, many of our international roaming carrier partners have also started retiring their 3G and 2G networks. So before going overseas, it’s a good idea to check if your mobile VoLTE roaming capable. Read more at


We’re working with our international carrier partners to launch VoLTE roaming for those visiting New Zealand. Most modern mobiles will be able to roam on our 4G and 5G networks, but it’s a good idea to check with your home mobile provider before travelling to New Zealand.  




Questions about vulnerable consumers and medical dependents

If you’re on our Vulnerable Consumer Register, there's nothing you need to do right now. Our dedicated care team will support you and make sure your Spark provided Vulnerable Consumer mobile is up to date.  

If you have any questions get in touch with our team at or 0800 33 77 22 

There may be some medical or security alarms still using technology that relies on 3G. We have contacted alarm providers so that they have plenty of time to work with customers to get ready for our 3G closure. If you are worried about your alarm, you can also check with your
provider to make sure it’s 4G-ready 

Didn’t find the answer you were looking for?

Find out more about 3G network closure here

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