Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Telecom NZ Wi-Fi move disrupts mobile data market

Turning phone boxes into Wi-Fi hotspots is a smart disruptive move by Telecom NZ. It gives the company something to offer customers that rivals can't easily match. It also stops phone boxes - useful in emergencies - from becoming white elephants.

The company says 700 hotspots will be live by October 7. By the middle of next year there will 2000 hotspots around the company.

At the moment the service is free to all-comers. Starting on October 7 the service will stay free for many, but not all, Telecom NZ mobile customers. They will be able to download 1 GB of data per day - that's a generous limit considering most mobile data plans only offer 1 or 2 GB of data a month.

Everyone else will have to pay $10 a month to use the service. Telecom says there will be other price plans.

Wi-Fi stretches mobile data


Telecom Retail chief executive Chris Quin says the network will help to make customers’ mobile data go further. It also means customers are less likely to defect from Telecom NZ to a rival phone carrier. In some cases the deal will be enough to woo customers away from rivals.

The Telecom NZ phone box Wi-Fi network began operation last summer when the company established hot-spots in holiday locations around New Zealand. I found one in a small waterside village while driving from Picton to Havelock North.

Telecom's Digital Ventures is behind the project. The business unit has been charged with developing innovative ideas and creating new opportunities.

Good in practice


To use the service you need to register. Smartphones automatically connect when it range of a hot-spot if their Wi-Fi is switched on. I've registered smartphones and an iPad and use the service often as a way of stretching my pre-paid mobile data allowance.

It's particularly handy when I'm at my local cafe which is just 30 metres or so from the neighbourhood phone box. Sadly there appear to be few hot-spots close to decent cafes in the Auckland CBD - although many good cafes have their own networks so this is not a problem for my work. I'd dearly love to find hotel or motel accommodation in other centres in easy reach of the hot-spots so I can avoid the ridiculous gouging on internet access.

Overall I find performance comparable with home Wi-Fi, in my local neighbourhood I rarely have to share the bandwidth with other users. Connections tend to be stable. Even in town I've found it works fine for straightforward applications like mail and web browsing.

Competitive edge


The service is good enough and will shortly be widespread enough for it to be a major drawcard helping Telecom NZ entice a certain class of user away from rival networks. While Vodafone currently has the edge on Telecom with its faster 4G mobile network, the truth is that for many users New Zealand's relatively small mobile data caps are a bigger barrier to mobile productivity than network speed.

By making it available to customers of rival carriers, Telecom NZ does two smart things. First, it has an opportunity to market its products and services to people who currently shop elsewhere for communications services. It also sends a clever message, that its service includes $10 a month of value that you can't buy elsewhere.

It's hard to see how rivals can compete using their own resources. On the other hand they could cut deals with the Tomizone network to offer a similar service. Eventually when the UFB fibre network is established it may be economic for Telecom NZ's rivals to install their own small, low-cost Wi-Fi hotspots. But for now, the service gives Telecom NZ a useful market differentiator.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Syed Atiq ul Hassan: Eye-Opener For Islamic Community

An event of siege, terror and killing carried out by Haron Monis in the heart of Sydney business district has been an eye-opener for the Islamic Community in Australia. Haron was shot down before he killed two innocent people, a lawyer and a manager ... More>>

Jonathan Cook: US Feels The Heat On Palestine Vote At UN

The floodgates have begun to open across Europe on recognition of Palestinian statehood. On 12 December the Portuguese parliament became the latest European legislature to call on its government to back statehood, joining Sweden, Britain, Ireland, France ... More>>

ALSO:


Fightback: MANA Movement Regroups, Call For Mana Wahine Policy

In the wake of this years’ electoral defeat, the MANA Movement is regrouping. On November 29th, Fightback members attended a Members’ Hui in Tāmaki/Auckland, with around 70 attending from around the country. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: The Mockingjay Of Palestine: “If We Burn, You Burn With Us”

Raed Mu’anis was my best friend. The small scar on top of his left eyebrow was my doing at the age of five. I urged him to quit hanging on a rope where my mother was drying our laundry. He wouldn’t listen, so I threw a rock at him. More>>

ALSO:

Don Franks: Future Of Work Commission: Labour's Shrewd Move

Lunging boldly towards John Key, shouting 'Cut the crap!' - Andrew Little was great, wasn't he? Labour's new leader spoke for many people fed up with Key's flippant arrogant deceit. Andrew Little nailing the Prime minister on lying about contacting a rightwing ... More>>

Asia-Pacific Journal: MSG Headache, West Papuan Heartache? Indonesia’s Melanesian Foray

Asia and the Pacific--these two geographic, political and cultural regions encompass entire life-worlds, cosmologies and cultures. Yet Indonesia’s recent enthusiastic outreach to Melanesia indicates an attempt to bridge both the constructed and actual ... More>>

Valerie Morse: The Security State: We Should Not Be Surprised, But We Should Be Worried

On the very day that the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released her report into the actions of people the Prime Minister’s office in leaking classified Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) documents to right-wing smearmonger Cameron ... More>>

Ramzy Baroud: PFLP Soul-Searching: Rise And Fall Of Palestine’s Socialists

When news reports alleged that the two cousins behind the Jerusalem synagogue attack on 18 November were affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a level of confusion reigned. Why the PFLP? Why now? More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news