Just to make it clear: mobile phones sold in New Zealand through mobile operator stores are not locked, except the ones sold by Skinny.
If you buy a mobile with support for at least three 3G bands (850/900/2100 MHz WCDMA) then you should be covered to use those in all mobile operators around the country. That's because Telecom New Zealand runs a 850 MHz WCDMA network, while Vodafone and 2degrees Mobile have the use of the 900/2100 MHz WCDMA bands.
Make sure you look at the WCDMA (3G) specs. If you buy a mobile with 850 MHz 2G it will not work on Telecom as Telecom runs a 100% 3G network.
Do not rely on Phone Arena to check if the phone is suitable, as most of the times the bands listed do not take in consideration different models sold in different markets.
Stay away from any mobile phone seller advertising phones with "Works on 2degrees only". In special if you see this on Trade Me close the page and walk away. They are most likely reported stolen or lost and blocked from working on Telecom and Vodafone (hence the "works on 2degrees only" in the ads).
If you have a locked Skinny mobile you can get a free unlock code after nine months or pay $30 to get the code. Check the Skinny page about phone locking.
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