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

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by iRacer, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. iRacer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    #1
    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?
     
  2. iRacer, Mar 3, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014

    iRacer thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 18, 2010
    #2
    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.
     
  3. Shift Option K macrumors regular

    Shift Option K

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    Nov 26, 2013
    #3
    I've successfully used an unlocked GSM 4S in Australia and Canada before, was purchased in the US too. Not sure about NZ though...
     
  4. iRacer thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 18, 2010
    #4
    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.
     
  5. watchthisspace macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 11, 2010
    #5
    My friend has a 5s from the US. Works on Vodafone fine.
     
  6. dictoresno macrumors 601

    dictoresno

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    Apr 30, 2012
    Location:
    NJ
    #6
    i believe the Verizon 5S, which is fully unlocked to boot, is what you need for a truly capable world phone (including LTE).
     
  7. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #7
    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.
     
  8. iRacer, Mar 4, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014

    iRacer thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 18, 2010
    #8
    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
     
  9. PDFierro macrumors 68040

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #9
    Any iPhone nowadays, or smartphone for that matter, will work pretty much anywhere in the world. You just won't get 4G.
     
  10. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #10
    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.
     
  11. PDFierro macrumors 68040

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #11
    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.
     
  12. C DM macrumors Westmere

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    Oct 17, 2011
    #12
    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.
     
  13. iRacer thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 18, 2010
    #13
    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.

    ----------

    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.
     
  14. PDFierro macrumors 68040

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #14
    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.
     
  15. aneftp macrumors 68040

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    Jul 28, 2007
    #15
    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.
     
  16. PDFierro macrumors 68040

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #16
    Well that's very interesting. Would save me some trouble if they were compatible.
     
  17. PDFierro macrumors 68040

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #17
    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.
     
  18. iRacer, Mar 9, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014

    iRacer thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 18, 2010
    #18
    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 :)
     
  19. aneftp macrumors 68040

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    Jul 28, 2007
    #19
    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.
     
  20. PDFierro macrumors 68040

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #20
    Wait, so a USA iPhone would or would not work on 4G in AU/NZ? It supports the LTE band needed.
     
  21. iRacer, Mar 9, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014

    iRacer thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 18, 2010
    #21
    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'.
     
  22. watchthisspace macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 11, 2010
    #22
    Speedtest and yes you will be connected to Voda 4g.
     
  23. iRacer, Mar 9, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014

    iRacer thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    #23
    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.
     
  24. PDFierro macrumors 68040

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    Sep 8, 2009
    #24
    Thanks for sharing. I can't believe I never realized before that the US iPhones had the 1800 band.
     

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