Will a 5s or 5c purchased in the US work in NZ?

iRacer

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 18, 2010
37
0
Ia m thinking of purchasing an unlocked 5s or 5c in the US to take back to New Zealand to use with a local GSM carrier (Vodafone or 2degrees).
Will there be any issues using the iPhone in NZ?
Will the iphone be compatible with NZ's data network and frequencies they work with. In NZ we use a GSM based system.

Does anyone have any experience with using an unlocked US iPhone in NZ?
 

iRacer

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 18, 2010
37
0
From what I can see on the spec sheets - the frequencies on the 5s between the US GSM model and the Asia/Pacific model are pretty much the same except for some TD-LTE bands.

Model A1533 (GSM)*: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 19, 20, 25).
LTE band 3 = 1800MHz

The main frequencies for Vodafone NZ are 4G LTE - 1800MHz, GSM 900MHz and 1800MHz and UMTS (3G) - 2100MHz.

Without having the physical phone, it looks like it should work.
 
Last edited:

Shift Option K

macrumors regular
Nov 26, 2013
128
0
I've successfully used an unlocked GSM 4S in Australia and Canada before, was purchased in the US too. Not sure about NZ though...
 

iRacer

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 18, 2010
37
0
Thanks Shift Option K. I guess if the 4s works, then the 5s should work as well?

NZ and Australia use similar networks, as phones from NZ work fine in Aus.
 

dictoresno

macrumors 601
Apr 30, 2012
4,197
465
NJ
i believe the Verizon 5S, which is fully unlocked to boot, is what you need for a truly capable world phone (including LTE).
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,697
1,186
New Zealand
At present, band 3 is all you need for 4G. Band 28 will also be used here but neither company is using it at present, and no iPhone supports it. Telecom also has a licence for band 7 but I don't believe that it's critical for your phone to support it.

You're fine with 3G in any case.
 

iRacer

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 18, 2010
37
0
Thanks guys
It looks like a US iPhone should be fine to use in NZ.

I'm not really a fan of Telecom with all of their issues ;)

You can buy an unlocked, contract-free and sim-free iPhone from Apple, which would suit me as I don't need a US sim. It's full price but does the trick.

Is the Applecare on the US iPhones international? I can't seem to find anything about it on the Apple site
 
Last edited:

PDFierro

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2009
3,932
111
Any iPhone nowadays, or smartphone for that matter, will work pretty much anywhere in the world. You just won't get 4G.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
48,003
16,273
Any iPhone nowadays, or smartphone for that matter, will work pretty much anywhere in the world. You just won't get 4G.
Not necessarily true. Verizon iPhone 4 won't work pretty much anywhere aside from Verizon, and their 4S will work in most international markets, but within US will only work on Verizon. Various other smartphones can be even more limited, especially from Verizon or Sprint. And if they are not unlocked then that's definitely a much bigger blocker to it all.
 

PDFierro

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2009
3,932
111
Not necessarily true. Verizon iPhone 4 won't work pretty much anywhere aside from Verizon, and their 4S will work in most international markets, but within US will only work on Verizon. Various other smartphones can be even more limited, especially from Verizon or Sprint. And if they are not unlocked then that's definitely a much bigger blocker to it all.
Yeah, that's true. But pretty much any iPhone from the 4S on is ready for worldwide use. I think all Verizon phones sold at this point have to be GSM unlocked.

I'm also going to AU/NZ on a permanent basis, and the only real bummer is not getting 4G. Unless you just buy the phone locally or get the region-specific model imported beforehand.
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
48,003
16,273
Yeah, that's true. But pretty much any iPhone from the 4S on is ready for worldwide use. I think all Verizon phones sold at this point have to be GSM unlocked.

I'm also going to AU/NZ on a permanent basis, and the only real bummer is not getting 4G. Unless you just buy the phone locally or get the region-specific model imported beforehand.
I think since 5 they have to be unlocked for Verizon. As for 4G/LTE generally the Verizon 5S or 5C should support most international versions as well, aside from maybe China, unless perhaps AU/NZ has something similar where they have different versions like China does.
 

iRacer

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 18, 2010
37
0
Model A1533 (GSM)*: UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz); GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz); LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 19, 20, 25).
LTE band 3 = 1800MHz

The main frequencies for Vodafone NZ are 4G LTE - 1800MHz, GSM 900MHz and 1800MHz and UMTS (3G) - 2100MHz.
The frequencies for a US 5s unlocked GSM phone are above.
Vodafone NZ uses LTE band 3 (1800MHz) for it's 4G network, as Nermal has also mentioned
So the US 5s GSM should work on 4G in NZ.

----------

Yeah, that's true. But pretty much any iPhone from the 4S on is ready for worldwide use. I think all Verizon phones sold at this point have to be GSM unlocked.

I'm also going to AU/NZ on a permanent basis, and the only real bummer is not getting 4G. Unless you just buy the phone locally or get the region-specific model imported beforehand.
A 16GB 5s is NZ$1049 (= US$880) without a carrier or plan.
There are plans where you can get the phone for free but they have quite a high monthly fee.
 

PDFierro

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2009
3,932
111
You can always check http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/, clearly lists which models support 4G. Otherwise, 3G will work on any model anywhere.

----------

The frequencies for a US 5s unlocked GSM phone are above.
Vodafone NZ uses LTE band 3 (1800MHz) for it's 4G network, as Nermal has also mentioned
So the US 5s GSM should work on 4G in NZ.
You will not get 4G in NZ on any iPhone model sold in the US. Check out the link I posted. You will, however, get 3G and be able to use the phone as normal.
 

aneftp

macrumors 601
Jul 28, 2007
4,254
467
You can always check http://www.apple.com/iphone/LTE/, clearly lists which models support 4G. Otherwise, 3G will work on any model anywhere.

----------



You will not get 4G in NZ on any iPhone model sold in the US. Check out the link I posted. You will, however, get 3G and be able to use the phone as normal.
Are you sure?

http://lteworld.org/news/vodafone-launches-4g-lte-new-zealand


Looks like Vodafone supports 1800 frequency (band 3) which is clearly on the Verizon/ATT/tmobile version of the iPhone 5S and 5C.
 

PDFierro

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2009
3,932
111
I did some digging and a US iPhone 5s (or 5/5c) will work on 4G networks in AU/NZ. Pretty awesome. I never realized they used the same 4G bands.
 

iRacer

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 18, 2010
37
0
I can confirm that a US iPhone 5s (A1533 ME296LL/A) does work in NZ. And it also works on Vodafone NZ's 4G network.

Just insert the Vodafone sim and you're good to go :)
 
Last edited:

aneftp

macrumors 601
Jul 28, 2007
4,254
467
I did some digging and a US iPhone 5s (or 5/5c) will work on 4G networks in AU/NZ. Pretty awesome. I never realized they used the same 4G bands.
USA verizon/ATT/tmobile iPhone 5s are the same. They don't use the same lte bands as NZ/AU. Verizon and ATT both use 700 bands (band 13 on verizon and bands 4/17 on ATT).

Rather the phones support a wife variety of lte bands that includes the 1800 frequency used in AU/NZ.
 

PDFierro

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2009
3,932
111
USA verizon/ATT/tmobile iPhone 5s are the same. They don't use the same lte bands as NZ/AU. Verizon and ATT both use 700 bands (band 13 on verizon and bands 4/17 on ATT).

Rather the phones support a wife variety of lte bands that includes the 1800 frequency used in AU/NZ.
Wait, so a USA iPhone would or would not work on 4G in AU/NZ? It supports the LTE band needed.
 

iRacer

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 18, 2010
37
0
I can confirm that a US iPhone 5s (A1533 ME296LL/A) does work in NZ. And it also works on Vodafone NZ's 4G network.

Just insert the Vodafone sim and you're good to go :)
I just received my USA iPhone 5s in NZ. Changed my plan to a Vodafone NZ 4G plan and as a default the iPhone is showing as being connected to the 4G network.

Apart from the 'Voda NZ 4G', is there anyway of knowing you are connected to the 4G network?

Under the mobile Settings>Mobile>Enable 4G is swtiched on.
When I switch it off, the display changes to 'Voda NZ 3G'.
 
Last edited:

watchthisspace

macrumors 6502a
Apr 11, 2010
618
30
I just received my USA iPhone 5s in NZ. Changed my plan to a Vodafone NZ 4G plan and as a default the iPhone is showing as being connected to the 4G network.

Apart from the 'Voda NZ 4G', is there anyway of knowing you are connected to the 4G network?

Under the mobile Settings>Mobile>Enable 4G is swtiched on.
When I switch it off, the display changes to 'Voda NZ 3G'.
Speedtest and yes you will be connected to Voda 4g.
 

iRacer

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 18, 2010
37
0
I just ran speed test (Ookla - host Vodafone NZ) and the results seem a little off. (these results were from home).

On 3G I got 28ms ping, 15.31Mbps down and 1.88Mbps up. 4 dots on signal strength.
On 4G 29ms ping, 7.77Mbps down and 2.04Mbps up. 2 dots on signal strength.

I re-ran the Speed Test at work where I have a better 4G connection

On 3G 48ms ping, 10.0Mbps down and 1.0Mbps up. 4 dots on signal strength.
On 4G 28ms ping, 23.64Mbps down and 0.53Mbps up. 3 dots on signal strength.
 
Last edited:

PDFierro

macrumors 68040
Sep 8, 2009
3,932
111
I just received my USA iPhone 5s in NZ. Changed my plan to a Vodafone NZ 4G plan and as a default the iPhone is showing as being connected to the 4G network.

Apart from the 'Voda NZ 4G', is there anyway of knowing you are connected to the 4G network?

Under the mobile Settings>Mobile>Enable 4G is swtiched on.
When I switch it off, the display changes to 'Voda NZ 3G'.
Thanks for sharing. I can't believe I never realized before that the US iPhones had the 1800 band.