Tomizone says it has enabled the first fully integrated city wi-fi system in world, with the launch of its free roaming wi-fi access on Auckland’s transport system in time for the Rugby World Cup.
Executive director Steve Simms says travellers on all Link buses and some trains will be able to access the internet for free. Passengers will be entitled to three sessions a day that last for up to 30 minutes each session. Simms says the average bus trip in Auckland is around 12 minutes.
The wi-fi is sponsored by Localist and users will see the Localist logo and find a direct link to the website when on the access page. Simms says sponsorship is a viable business model as the click-through rate is around 15-22 percent.
The technology is enabled by Tomizone Chauffer, a product built in Auckland and has been a year and half in development, and which has already been trialled in Sydney.
He says Tomizone is using fibre assets around Auckland as backhaul, with a combination of point-to-point links from Sky Tower and from the building that Tomizone is located in (1 Queen Street). There’s also 3G infrastructure in place for the out of the way places using the XT network.
“We’re just a customer of Telecom, it’s in our cost structure,” Simms says.
“The telcos love the fact that we’re aggregating 3G smartphones through one channel. As opposed to having 30 phones talking to their cellsites, they’ve only got one 3G device talking to their cellsite, so its making their cellsite slightly more proficient.”
The wifi network is being deployed in partnership with the Auckland Council and Auckland Transport. In addition to buses and trains, Tomizone’s Auckland wi-fi network has been deployed across over 90 sites and areas in the city including Party Central Queens Wharf, the Viaduct and new Wynyard Quarter of North Wharf. Other venues include Rugby training areas such as Onewa Domain and suburban business centres such as Takapuna and Devonport.
Simms says it won’t be available to those attending games at Eden Park, because of agreements that the organisers have with their sponsors, but he says he respects other peoples “site rights”.
He says post- world cup, Tomizone hopes to retain the sponsorship model to ensure the continuation of free wi-fi.
CallPlus and Slingshot have also announced they will be providing fee wi-fi access for the world cup in the CBD, Viaduct, Ponsonby, Grey Lynn , Herne Bay and Freemans Bay.
CallPlus CEO Mark Callander says the service is being delivered over its 4G wireless network, and so is independent of other initiatives. “The wi-fi access points have been offered to all bars, restaurants, hotels, motels and any place where large numbers of people are expected to meet.”