The National Finance team has signed a new contract with Spark which will reduce our overall telecommunications costs and improve efficiency of our mobile workforce by providing fast, reliable and accessible mobile and data coverage.
To help you with this roll-out, please check out the FAQs. If your question is not covered, please email [email protected] and we will be happy to assist.
Spark have announced that it is grandfathering its copper line services. The process is starting in August and two Centres have been identified in the immediate impact with more following in September. We need to get services transitioned to Spark as soon as possible to avoid any possible disturbance.
Centres will hotspot off the new mobile phone
There will be unlimited mobile data until the end of December. (31.12.20)
During this time, we will monitor usage through our online portal so we can get a better understanding of Centres’ monthly data usage and then decide on a fair and reasonable cap, based on actual usage and number of sessions held in each Centre
Data is allocated on the 1st of every month and expires on the last day of the month.
Yes – over time there would be a low signalling use of data while the phone is running. Individually, this would be very low. However, this may add up over time across all Centres. It would be good practice for Centres to switch off or power down the phone when not in use to reduce any latent data usage.
The mobile phones need to be kept in a static place as it is also your internet connection and phone for emergencies.
The first mobile phone will be free of charge. Any subsequent replacement phones will be on-charged to Centres at a cost of $250 + GST.
Your phone has call minder on it, go to this web page for instructions on how to set it up. Your centres landline will be diverted to your mobile, at the moment there is no extra cost to your centre for this service but this may change in the future.
Spark will send the new equipment directly to the Centre Presidents to avoid the issue of Centres not being open when couriers arrive
Centres are required to return the Vocus Hardware Return Sheet (see below) together with the modem, adsl cable, power cable and splitter (if they have them) to:
18C David McCathie Place
Note: These courier expenses can be claimed back from the National Office using the usual expense claim process.
Centres are required to return the Spark Hardware Return Sheet (see below) together with the broadband unit and power plug (or preferably the whole box if you have it) to:
42-52 Willis Street
Wellington CBD 6011
Note these courier expenses can be claimed back from National using the usual expense claim process.
Centres can keep their existing landlines which will be ported from Vocus over to Spark. Any incoming calls will be automatically re-routed to the new mobile phone.
Once you have notified [email protected] that your new mobile phone is operational, we ask that you use the mobile phone for all internet activity so we can ensure everything is working correctly. Your broadband connection will not be disconnected for a couple of weeks after your mobile phone has been activated to enable Spark to resolve any issues before disconnecting (NB: your landline will not be disconnected if it is monitoring an alarm). Your landline number will be diverted to your cellphone.
Some Centres will already have a mobile phone that belongs to them rather than to Vocus. In this case Spark will just send a SIM card to be inserted into the existing mobile.
No – Spark will allocate all new mobile numbers. We realise this is not ideal however because we are dealing with such a large number of Centres it’s the only way to ensure we don’t incur charges from both providers. Please contact us if you want to keep your existing number.
We will work with Spark to provide Centres who are in black areas or with weak internet with boosters.
We are leaving all centres with monitored lines with the current provider and will look at migrating them early in 2021.
When moving away from copper lines, alternative monitoring methods will need consideration. Alarm Monitoring companies can provide a 4G System that sends the alarm over a dedicated mobile connection, the SIM for this connection is normally provided by the Alarm Monitoring company as part of the solution and sits in the Alarm Box at site. As this isn’t a single service provided by Playcentre Aotearoa but rather by accredited monitoring companies the ability and option available at different Playcentres may differ based on which monitoring company provides their services.
Alarm Monitoring send a notification via the phone lines to the monitoring company/system to notify them when an alarm is triggered. This is the case for both burglar and fire alarms although often with fire alarms (depending on who provides the service) they often like to have a backup phone line in case the mobile connection drops. Some monitoring companies have units that use Dual SIM Cards so they can use the VF Mobile Network if the Spark Network is down and vice versa. If your Centre has a signal you can ask your monitoring company to provide a 4G option. If there isn’t a signal the security company can utilise Spark’s alternative IP link. This could be copper phone line, DSL or UFB.
The Regional Managers will be collating the information required by Spark over the next couple of weeks and feeding it through to Spark so nothing for the Centres to do until the new mobile phone arrives complete with instructions on how to activate
Spark will be rolling out 20 new mobiles per day so we hope to have the migration completed within 2-3 months
Mobile phones have been sent to the pilot group of 19 Centres and the process of porting landlines numbers from Vocus to Spark will begin next week (mid Sept). Spark will resolve any issues as they arise and we will review results on 21/9/20 prior to rolling out to the wider organisation. We hope to have the majority of Centres migrated across to Spark within two months.
Yes, every mobile phone will have unlimited calling and texting in NZ/Australia
Please email [email protected] and provide the name of your Playcentre, your name and your contact number as well as the issue
Centres will need to source any accessories required for the phone themselves and at their cost. Click on links below to see what screen protectors are available and at what cost.
https://www.lx2001.co.nz/products/samsung-galaxy-a11-flex-case-w-inserts-clear $20.73 ex GST (306pcs in stock in NZ – lead time for remaining cases – 2-3 weeks)
https://www.lx2001.co.nz/products/lx2001-samsung-galaxy-a11-full-screen-glass-protector-clear @$20.78 ex GST (190pcs in stock in NZ – lead time for remaining cases – 2-3 weeks )
YES PLEASE! This is very important as we need to disconnect the old Vocus number so we are not charged by both providers.
YES PLEASE! This is very important so we can ensure we are not being charged by either provider for non-returned equipment.
Direct connection from the laptop or Smart device over wifi or Bluetooth depends on the model of the printer. Alternatively, it should have a standard printer cable which can plug into a usb port on a laptop or tablet. Most personal printers connect via USB cable or Wifi. The connection is usually direct from device to printer, so shouldn’t be impacted. Although print files can be large they won’t consume mobile data as the files are only moving locally.
Think of your phone as a modem.
A portable hotspot taps into 3G and/or 4G cellular networks from your Smart phone. Once it zeros in on cellular data collection, a mobile hotspot can share that connection via Wifi with nearby devices.
The vast majority of Playcentres who have been migrated over to the cellular network have not experienced any issues with connectivity or quality. Any issues reported have been resolved promptly by Digital Island with the exception of a couple of Centres who will remain connected to their existing services until the issues have been resolved
We need to identify the Centres that have a coverage issue and isolate these while Spark work towards a solution that will work for them. Centres can do a quick address check by visiting here and searching for your Centre address. If the result is that you don’t have good signal please let your Regional Manager know as soon as possible so Spark can look at alternatives.
Fibre is expensive and 5g doesn’t have the coverage at the moment but we will be monitoring the contract as we go forward
Please be assured that the finance team have worked very hard over the last five months negotiating with Spark to secure the best possible deal for our Centres. We have signed a 12 month contract with Spark and we will be working with the company very closely to ensure Playcentre is receiving the best coverage for our Centres at the best price while providing excellent service.
Yes. Playcentre consulted with Vocus and Spark and both providers recommended moving from broadband to cellular network given that the copper lines are being grand-fathered which will affect the entire country as New Zealand converts from copper to fibre networks.
Yes although we recommend you download rather than stream, this will require Spotify Premium. There are many other ways you can reduce your data usage (data saver mode, set limits and automatically turn off data, restrict app background data, optimise account sync settings etc)
No we would prefer you to stay connected to the school’s internet if it’s free. However, we will still send you the Playcentre in a Box package as the new Spark cellphone will be your “official” phone for the Centre.
Please let your RM know asap if you are connected to the neighbouring school’s internet.
Change the timeout settings, see the instructions below:
There are products you can buy which will boost the WiFi signal and have ethernet ports on them. Click this link to see an example.