The older analogue network (known as PSTN), which connects calls over copper lines is operated by Spark but used by some Vodafone customers. Spark has announced that PSTN technology is reaching end-of-life – they started decommissioning this network in 2017 and are taking an area by area approach with the aim of completing the work by 2023. This means that if you have a home phone using the copper network, it will stop working once Spark discontinues PSTN services in your area.
To make sure our customers are up and running on more modern technology before then, we’ve started moving our customers off PSTN and onto alternative services like voice calling over broadband (VoIP) or Wireless Broadband to ensure they have a home phone that still works after the older analogue telephone network (PSTN) shuts down.
Important things to know
- If you have a monitored security or medical alarm that relies on your phone line it’s important that you call the company that monitors your alarm to ask if their services will work with voice calling over broadband/Wireless Broadband. If not, you’ll need to find an alternative before you switch to one of these services.
- You’ll be able to keep your phone number when you move to voice calling over broadband or Wireless Broadband.
What is the PSTN network?
Since then, phone calls have been connected through the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) which is operated by Spark. It’s a network of switches that automatically connect calls from one person to another over copper lines. The parts needed to keep it going aren’t being made any more, so Spark is retiring the PSTN network.
When will my local PSTN service no longer be available?
In Auckland: Devonport, Takapuna, Forrest Hill, Birkenhead, Birkdale and Tamaki.
In Wellington: Miramar, Hataitai, Wellington South (including Brooklyn, Kingston, Newton, Melrose, Berhampore, Mornington and Vogeltown) and Kilbirnie.
We have also moved Vodafone customers off the PSTN network in the following areas:
In Auckland: Albany, Browns Bay, Glenfield, Greenhithe, Kumeu, Red Beach, Torbay, Warkworth, and Whenuapai.
From 20 September 2021 PSTN services will no longer be available in these areas:
- In Wellington: Alicetown, Eastbourne, ,Porirua, Stokes Valley, Tawa, Wainuiomata
- In Kapiti Coast: Paraparaumu, Raumati
- In Christchurch: Burwood, New Brighton
- In Asbhurton: Ashburton
- In Dunedin: Halfway Bush, Mornington, Port Chalmers
- In Auckland: Beachlands, Greenhithe, Mt Roskill, Mt Wellington
While we don’t know which areas Spark will discontinue PSTN services next, we want to make sure our customers are up and running on more modern technology before then, so we’ll continue moving more Vodafone customers off the PSTN network. During mid 2021 we’re focussing on approximately 300 other areas throughout New Zealand.
How do I know if I have a traditional phone line?
Can I still use my phone jack in the wall after the change?
I’m not good with change – how can I get extra support to help me through this?
Can I talk to someone about this?
What if I don’t want my home phone anymore?
What if I don’t want to change anything?
If you still need a phone service, here are your options:
- Your phone line moves to voice calling over broadband;
- Your phone line moves to run over Wireless Broadband; or
- You only use a mobile phone instead.
What if I don’t get in touch with Vodafone in time?
- You won’t be charged for your phone line from the date given in the letter/email from us (or we’ll give you a credit if your bill had already been sent to you).
- You’ll lose your phone number and if you have Vodafone voicemail or call divert set up these will be cancelled.
- If you have a monitored security or medical alarm that relies on your phone line this will also stop working.
- These phone line changes will not impact your Broadband services with us.
Do I need to do anything right now?
If you have a monitored security or medical alarm that relies on your phone line, it’s important that you call the company that monitors your alarm to ask if their services will work with voice calling over broadband/Wireless Broadband. If not, you’ll need to find an alternative before you switch to one of these services.
Do you have a monitored security or medical alarm that relies on your phone line?
Do you have a way to call 111 during a power cut?
If you qualify, Vodafone will provide you with a means to call 111 for emergency services in the event of a power cut. This will be provided at no cost.
To learn if you or someone you live with is eligible see our Vulnerable Customer or Medical Dependency Registration.