Telecom launches national commercial WiFi networkSeptember 27 - 10am
Telecom New Zealand today announced its plans to rapidly expand and commercialise its national WiFi network.
The telco has already turned selected public phone boxes into WiFi hotspots, with 700 hotspots live by October 7 and more than 2,000 hotspots expected to be live by the middle of 2014.
Speaking in Auckland this morning, Telecom Retail CEO Chris Quin also announced that from the same date the company will offer WiFi free to all Telecom mobile customers on pay-monthly plans and on the $19 and $29 prepaid packs.
Quin says Kiwis are using their smartphones and tablets in more and varied ways every day, and this means they’re using more and more mobile data.
“We want to encourage our customers to use as much data as possible, because we know how the smartphone applications and services they’re using are at the very centre of the way people now live, work and play,” he says.
“Adding free WiFi to their plans and packs is just another way that Telecom is helping our customers to make the most of their devices and to stay seamlessly connected on their smartphone, tablet or laptop anywhere, anytime.”
The WiFi network has been developed and implemented by Telecom Digital Ventures, the lean incubator-style business unit at Telecom designed to develop new business opportunities.
Digital Ventures SVP Mobility Ed Hyde says Telecom has extensively trialled the WiFi service since last Christmas, with close to 175,000 people already registered to use the service.
“Our WiFi network has already attracted a huge number of smartphone users – both Kiwis and visitors – who have enjoyed the ability to do more things on the go,” Hyde says.
Telecom’s WiFi network is spread throughout the country, with a particular concentration in the main population centres of Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch and in key holiday spots.