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Bill Bennett


Telecom adds gigabit Wi-fi to hotspot network

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.

Giga-this, giga-that

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.



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