Free WiFi is here for the summer after Telecom installed
public hotspots throughout the country.
Launched yesterday, the initiative is part of a New
Zealand-wide trial involving more than 100 Telecom WiFi
hotspots in popular summer holiday regions.
The company is activating the service through existing
Telecom telephone boxes, and in some cases by building WiFi
access points into shops and surf clubs.
There will be nine hotspots at telephone boxes in Rotorua,
three in Whakatane and one in Ohope. There will also be a
hotspot installed at Whakatane Surf Lifesaving Club, so
people can surf the web from the beach.
Despite being a popular holiday location, Taupo is not part
of the scheme at this stage, according to Telecom media/PR
adviser Holly Linnell.
"We have selected the regions where we were able to leverage
existing infrastructure to support," she said.
Ed Hyde, Telecom general manager - mobile product, said all
that was needed to connect to the service was a New Zealand
mobile number, with any provider. Users will be taken through
a short online registration process before their device
automatically connects to the service each time thereafter.
"Whether it's searching for a nearby cafe, uploading a few
holiday snaps to your Facebook page, or, in my case, checking
work emails, Kiwis and visitors can get online for free
without having to leave their deckchair."
Ms Linnell said 80 to 90 per cent of hotspots were activated
yesterday with all expected to be operational within the next
She said a fair-usage policy would limit use to one gigabyte
per day per device, which should be more than enough for most
The trial would initially run until the end of February, with
Telecom keen for feedback through its Facebook and Twitter
"It might well be something we roll out wider from March next
year," she said.
Meanwhile, Vodafone has announced it has increased its
capacity, installed new cell sites and is rolling out COWs
(cell sites on wheels) to popular holiday destinations.
COWs will be installed in Hahei, Pauanui, Mount Maunganui,
Russell, Mangawhai Heads, Whangamata and Whitianga, while
capacity will be boosted to cope with crowds attending summer
Vodafone's chief network officer Tony Baird said the company
monitored network performance year on year to balance the
traffic over peak periods.
"Ahead of each year's holiday season, Vodafone boosts its
network capabilities to manage the high volume of calls,
texts and data. Not everyone wants to race back to work in
the New Year, so we aim to boost capacity in the busiest
holiday spots to ensure smartphone and mobile broadband users
can still get access to their apps and information from the
bach or camping ground."
The 44 holiday hotspots where capacity has been improved
include Coromandel, Gisborne, Hahei, Kinloch, Omaha, Opotiki,
Ohope Beach, Taupo, Turangi, Waihi Beach, Whangamata and
- By Katie Holland of The Daily Post