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 switches off the old PSTN in your area.
To prepare for the PSTN retirement your options are:
- Move to an alternative phone and broadband service
- Disconnect your phone service if you don’t need it anymore
- Do nothing – if you choose to do nothing we will disconnect your phone service from the end of the notice period included our letter/s to you, and you will not be able to access the phone line services you currently use.
What does this mean for you?
You’ll need to be off the PSTN network by the date included in your letter/s from us, in order to avoid being left without your phone service at your place. But don’t worry, we’ve got broadband and phone solutions that we can switch you to that do not use the PSTN network, instead the voice calls will run over your broadband connection. Fibre, HFC, Wireless, or Copper broadband may be Vodafone options available for you to choose from at your address. Wireless Broadband runs over our 4G/5G mobile network (it’s the mobile aspect that makes it wireless), so the voice calling will run over our mobile network. You’ll be able to keep your phone number on the broadband and phone service you choose.
What do you need to do?
It’s important you give us a call on 0800 000 047 before the reply date we included in our letter/s to you (between 11am and 7.30pm, weekdays) so that if you choose to take up an alternative voice service, we have enough time to ensure your phone service is set up and running before the connectivity on the PSTN is lost. Even if you don’t think you need your phone service anymore, please call us to let us know. You’ll be put through to our specialist team based here in NZ who will tell you all about our broadband and phone services and will get you switched over to one that suit your needs the most. They’ll also be able to answer any questions you might have.
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 your chosen service.
- As your new phone service will run over your broadband connection rather than the copper network, you’ll need power to make a phone call which means your phone line won’t work in a power cut. If you or someone you live with, don’t have another means to call 111 in a power cut and qualify as a Vulnerable Consumer, we’ll supply you with an alternative means to call 111 (eg mobile phone), free of charge. You can find out more about the register and apply online at vodafone.co.nz/vulnerability/.
- You’ll be able to keep your phone number when you move to voice calling over broadband or Wireless Broadband.
When will my local PSTN service no longer be available?
Spark is taking an area by area approach to move people off the PSTN. Below are the areas where PSTN services are being retired at some addresses:
Note: These dates are subject to change.
|Switch||Exchanges||Closure date (note: these dates are subject to change)|
|15 December 2020|
|23 April 2021|
|18 April 2022 (revised date) - paused from 30 September 2021 due to Covid-19|
|18 April 2022 (revised date) - paused from 15 November 2021 due to Covid-19|
|25 April 2022|
|29 August 2022|
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.
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.