Thinking about mobile phones: Vodafone Smart vs 2degrees Pay Monthly vs Skinny (aka Telecom)

With Telecom releasing their new brand ‘Skinny’ (I’m not sure when this actually was released, but I’ve only just noticed it), I’ve decided to run with a comparison of Vodafone’s Smart prepaid plans, 2degrees Pay Monthly plans and Skinny’s weekly plans.

For the purposes of the data, I said there are 4 weeks in a month in order to get Skinny’s weekly payments in line with Vodafone and 2degrees’ monthly payments. It is important to note, I saw the NZBestMate extras as a free extra, and therefore did not add them into the calculations.

Before we start, I want to explain my process. If you want, you can skip this. There’s a line of ——— where that finishes so you can find the end of the process easier.

STEP ONE: I got the standard rates, that is the amount it would cost for you to buy one minute, one text and one MB of data outside of your plan allowances. I then converted the total of these three figures into an equivalent of $1. So, for example, Skinny has $0.39/min, $0.09/text, $0.39/MB. This amounts to $0.87. I want this to equal $1 to make the figures easier, which made it become $0.45/min, $0.10/text, $0.45/MB when adjusted.

STEP TWO: I found the cost per month, and the amount of minutes, texts and calls you get for that. Probably the easiest part.

STEP THREE: I found what I called the Nominal Cost. It’s basically the cost you would be paying for the package if you purchased it outside of the package.

STEP FOUR: Using the total Nominal Cost, I found how much you save by getting the package rather than paying the standard rates. To rank the packages, I turned that into a percentage saving – the higher the percentage, the better the package.


So, I’m guessing you want to know the rankings. To be honest, I was a little bit surprised. The format of the rankings is Company/Plan Name/Plan Cost/Plan Allowances/Savings %

  1. Skinny/Busy Fingers/$16/40 mins, 3000 texts, 40 MB/95.38%
  2. Skinny/Busy Fingers with Data Add-on/$32/40 mins, 3000 texts, 520 MB/94.30%
  3. Vodafone/Prepay Smart $25/$25/50 mins, 2500 texts, 100 MB*/94.12%
  4. Vodafone/Prepay Smart $35/$35/50 mins, 2500 texts, 150 MB*/92.00%
  5. Vodafone/Prepay Smart $45/$45/100 mins, 2500 texts, 250 MB*/90.86%
  6. Skinny/Loose Lips with Data Add-on/$32/$120 mins, 400 texts, 520 MB/90.25%
  7. 2degrees/Pay Monthly $29/60 mins, 2500 texts, 50 MB/89.19%
  8. 2degrees/Pay Monthly $39/120 mins, 2500 texts, 100 MB/87.75%^
  9. Skinny/Loose Lips/$16/120 mins, 400 texts, 40 MB/85.85%
  10. 2degrees/Pay Monthly $59/$59/210 mins, 2500 texts, 150 MB/84.51%
  11. 2degrees/Pay Monthly $129/$129/600 mins, 2500 texts, 500 MB/82.02%
  12. 2degrees/Pay Monthly $89/$89/360 mins, 2500 texts, 250MB/81.97%

* Plus NZBestMate, not included in calculations
^ 2degrees is current doing a deal on their $39 plan where you get 1GB of bonus data every month for a year. If this was taken into account, the savings percentage would increase to 95.22%, putting it in second.

The thing that surprised me the most was that as you pay more, you don’t get more for your money. Whatever happened to Economies of Scale? Pretty difficult to argue the bottleneck effect here…

Obviously, this is just raw data that’s been analysed to a very minimal degree. What’s better for you will depend on your usage of calls, texts and data. I must say though, it looks like Vodafone and Telecom have managed to catch up to 2degrees here. These plans weren’t around when I got my 2degrees Pay Monthly plan, but I think they’ve got the upper hand at the moment (once again, not taking into account their bonus 1GB deal they have at the moment)

I will do another post another time with a detailed breakdown of what’s better for callers, texters and data-users. Not doing that now because it’s after 2am. I also want to do this with all deals of all mobile companies. Here, I just did the plans that looked cheapest for each each of the major three on first glance.

For details on Skinny Mobile, visit www.skinny.co.nz
For details on 2degrees Pay Monthly, visit www.2degreesmobile.co.nz/PayMonthly
For details on Vodafone Prepay Smart, visit www.vodafone.co.nz/prepay-smart

You can download the full set of data that I used for this at http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7357712/The%20House%20of%20Faz/2012-02-06-MobilePlanComparisons.xlsx

EDIT: Also thanks to @aaron_pearce for pointing out an error in my calculations (I put the Skinny Data Add-on as 120MB a month when that’s actually per week). All fixed now though.


7 comments on “Thinking about mobile phones: Vodafone Smart vs 2degrees Pay Monthly vs Skinny (aka Telecom)

  1. Confused, why did you compare them with 2degrees monthlyplan instead of per-pay? How much would that have changed the results?

  2. […] Post navigation ← Thinking about mobile phones: Vodafone Smart vs 2degrees Pay Monthly vs Skinny (aka Tele… […]

  3. I never new Skinny is an off shoot of Telecom? Seems weird, it’s like Telecom are shooting their own brand in the foot. My Telecom contract ends in January. I will be getting on the Skinny bus. Cheers for the info. Rob

    • Yes, Skinny is the same as Telecom. They’re after the youth market with Skinny, and they’re not doing too badly in achieving it, to be honest.

      This information is a little out of date. There’s a lot of new stuff available, particularly for prepaid users. You might want to research a little further.

      Thanks for the comment.


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