Telecom New Zealand began this week rolling out prepaid or credit card access to its extensive network of wireless hotspots. Previously only Xtra customers could use the Telecom wireless hotspots which enable those with WiFi enabled equipment to access the Internet at broadband speed without the need for a cable or phone jack.
“The virtual office created by Telecom’s more than 200 wireless hotspots will be open to anyone with a WiFi enabled laptop or PDA,” Telecom’s Head of WiFi services Paul Stoddart said.
Internet users can buy a Telecom wireless hotspot prepaid card or use their Visa or Mastercard to purchase time online at Telecom wireless hotspots in cafes, libraries, hotels, convention centres and transport hubs.
“Telecom already has the most widespread wireless hotspot network in the country and by Christmas we are intending to more than double the number of Telecom wireless hotspots to 450,” Mr Stoddart said.
“That means people working or travelling away from their base can stay in touch or on top of business by simply visiting a café for a coffee, opening up their laptop and reading their emails.”
Internet access at Telecom wireless hotspots costs NZ$9.95 (US$7) per hour for prepaid customers and Xtra dial-up customers. Xtra Broadband and Mobile Broadband customers can access Telecom wireless hotspots for free until 31 December 2005, and megabytes downloaded or uploaded will be part of plan allowances.