Telecom NZ is about to push the accelerator on its nationwide Wi-fi hotspot network.
It will add gigabit Wi-fi sites in high traffic locations.
The company says the so-called hero sites will be in railway stations, airports and other places with high data demand.
Gigabit Wi-fi coming to a town near you
Telecom NZ says it will reward towns with the fast Wi-fi hotspots as the prizes in a competition like the Chorus’ Gigatown promotion.
It hasn’t decided the competition details yet. But it will coat-tail the GigaTown brand as GigaWiFi. The competition aims to create more user interest in the company’s wi-fi network.
As the name suggests, there is a link between the two campaigns
Ed Hyde from Telecom Digital Ventures — the business unit handling the wi-fi hotspot network — says the two are complimentary because Wi-fi expands the fibre network’s reach.
He says the benefits run both ways: “Having good fibre connectivity is essential to realising the full potential of Wi-fi.”
Singing from the Chorus song sheet
Chorus’s Gigatown promotion increased user interest in the company’s fibre network. It gives Chorus a positive news story at a time the company faces criticism over the so-called ‘copper tax’.
Telecom NZ says the GigaTown winner will also get a GigaWiFi hotspot.
Until recently mobile carriers regarded public Wi-fi networks as a competitive threat. Two things changed that. First, carriers realised Wi-fi does a great job offloading heavy-duty data traffic.
Second, wi-fi is a low-cost network add-on. Hotspots are cheaper to equip than cell towers and involve less planning paperwork. Cellular equipment makers are now adding wi-fi to their kit.
Telecom NZ says the 1 Gbps Wi-fi delivers data faster than existing hotspots. It uses fifth generation Wi-fi. This is the 802.11ac standard which is backwards compatible with existing 802.11n devices. Some recent phones – although not iPhones – support the new standard and will be able to use the faster speeds.