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  Reply # 72476 28-May-2007 10:02 Send private message


That is currently a promotion, due to expire on the 31st of December this year. Once it expires some public 'suggestions' have been that it would deduct usage from your monthly allowance.

Which makes sense to me. :)

Cafe net also have all day passes which gives you unlimited usage for a 24 hour period. Remember that mobile data (cdma 1x/evdo and gprs/wcdma/hspda) are all expensive once you hit the plan limit. $0.50+ a mb is not exactly cheap. While the cafe net options are prepaid and thus the worse you can do is burn up your allowance.

I never once claimed that mobile data charges make sense.  I just couldn't believe that CafeNet was even more insane.


I fail to see how this comes into it. Corporate users probably wouldn't be streaming youtube and music from home...

No, they wouldn't.  But then again, they wouldn't require traffic to be delivered internationally, which is reportedly the dominant reason for the current price of broadband.  So, if the dominant traffic flow is national, I would expect the traffic to be cheaper than the current wholesale international traffic cost.


When you can span those plans over multiple months (who knows how long they last - a year?), then it does bring things into the picture. Remember you still pay for those plans even if you don't use them. Alternatively comparing them to roaming rates (Vodafones infamous $30 a mb comes to mind), it can be quite a competitive rate for some.


The prices I quoted were without commitment.  They are cheaper on a 2yr plan.  Yes, I agree, as I stated in my last paragraph, it is pretty cheap compared to roaming rates (AUS seems to be 10/mb).  Which indicates who CafeNet's market is - people who don't live in NZ.

Jason




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  Reply # 72523 28-May-2007 14:53 Send private message

jpollock:
The prices I quoted were without commitment.  They are cheaper on a 2yr plan.  Yes, I agree, as I stated in my last paragraph, it is pretty cheap compared to roaming rates (AUS seems to be 10/mb).  Which indicates who CafeNet's market is - people who don't live in NZ.

Jason


You have to commit by buying a CDMA data capable device (ie datacard) or a GPRS/WCDMA/HSPDA device (both networks datacards are expensive openterm). When paying openterm, these represent serious commitment. Not something you would want to have sitting idle for months at a time only to use for a few days.

Wifi comes standard on most new laptops and additionally USB adapters can be found for extremely low prices.

Ultimately they are for two different sets of users. I use mobile broadband to sync my Apache but while I'm at work I use our wifi (telecom hotspot) to stream music.

:)




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  Reply # 73746 7-Jun-2007 09:13 Send private message

This is a commercial post, so maybe it breaks the rules, but our leader Mauricio is making commercial posts too, so I suppose it's okay:  << Good stuff... The CafeNet is a brilliant service. I use it all the time when I am out and about in the CBD.

I wish it would extend to big centres, such as Johnsonville and Lower Hutt ;-)>>

While Zenbu is not yet widely available, having just got going commercially, it's a much better service than CafeNET and it includes a directory so you can find things nearby [or anywhere, complete with map].    I will try writing http://www.Zenbu.net.nz and test whether that is what rates "naughty words".   10c a megabyte with no time limits.    Time limits are nasty - buy a $10 day pass, check a few emails then have to buy another one next day.  

When one goes to BP to buy petrol, one doesn't buy it by the hour.  When one bids for tomatoes, one bids by quantity, not time [box, kilogram, bushel].  When one buys data, it should be by the megabyte.   

Zenbu is not yet available in Auckland [or much of anywhere]

Mqurice




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Reply # 73761 7-Jun-2007 10:15 Send private message

MauriceWinn: This is a commercial post, so maybe it breaks the rules, but our leader Mauricio is making commercial posts too, so I suppose it's okay: 


Well, not commercial but more as a public service, because I don't receive a payment to post things on Geekzone - not in the forums and not in the reviews or news.

MauriceWinn:
While Zenbu is not yet widely available, having just got going commercially, it's a much better service than CafeNET and it includes a directory so you can find things nearby [or anywhere, complete with map].    I will try writing http://www.Zenbu.net.nz and test whether that is what rates "naughty words".   10c a megabyte with no time limits.    Time limits are nasty - buy a $10 day pass, check a few emails then have to buy another one next day.  


Perhaps we should open another discussion for this, but somehow you should post what makes Zenbu different from FON and from Tomizone (this one a New Zealand-based venture).






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  Reply # 73780 7-Jun-2007 10:59 Send private message

10c/mb is still insanely expensive. 

I'd recommend just going to starbucks and using Telecom's service for free.  At the prices we're seeing here, it's worth getting a DSL line just to gain access to Telecom's free wifi. NZ$30/month for free wifi downtown...  Done!

Wifi is a service that should be priced as an access method to traffic you have already purchased.  I'm amazed that Telecom has set the bar for this.

Telecom has also set the price for access to a wifi network -  "Free".  Well, it's the extra price it would cost you to be a Telecom customer.  For many people, that would be about $10/month.

Note: I'm not a TNZ customer, for any services, not even POTS.

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  Reply # 73782 7-Jun-2007 11:05 Send private message

I didn't know the Telecom Hotspot was free for fixed line users - I know it's free for Mobile Broadband (CDMA EVDO) users with an Xtra account. If you don't have an Xtra account you can get one to use (at $2.50/month) just to login to the hotspot - but make sure you lionk it to your Mobile Broadband account otherwise you will be charged.

Telecom Hotspot is not free - it's still charged in any other conditions.

As for "purchased traffic", that's right... Some operators are working on a plan to sell access regardless of method. For example you contract 100 GB/month and you can get this through EVDO or HSDPA, DSL or Wi-Fi in town. This would the best way to do it.

But we all know marketing people would interfere, and then the bean counters, and the customer will end up with nothing, just the old thing...








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  Reply # 73786 7-Jun-2007 11:13 Send private message

jpollock: 10c/mb is still insanely expensive. 


I actually think it's a pretty reasonable price for public WiFi access.




Wifi is a service that should be priced as an access method to traffic you have already purchased.  I'm amazed that Telecom has set the bar for this.


I agree entirely. Having said that however the business model for public WiFi hotspots could almost be wiped out overnight if mobile carriers priced their mobile data at competitive rates.




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  Reply # 73787 7-Jun-2007 11:17 Send private message

Jazon, that's true, 10c a megabyte is still insanely expensive.  This is New Zealand where we are locked up behind the Tasman fibre and Telecom twisted pair.

jpollock: 10c/mb is still insanely expensive.

I'd recommend just going to starbucks and using Telecom's service for free. At the prices we're seeing here, it's worth getting a DSL line just to gain access to Telecom's free wifi. NZ$30/month for free wifi downtown... Done!

Wifi is a service that should be priced as an access method to traffic you have already purchased. I'm amazed that Telecom has set the bar for this.

Telecom has also set the price for access to a wifi network - "Free". Well, it's the extra price it would cost you to be a Telecom customer. For many people, that would be about $10/month.


Starbucks and Telecom hotspots are free if you have an account, but most people don't and no tourists do.    Telecom won't be offering "free" for long and a monthly ADSL charge is far from free.  That's an "introductory special" as I understand it.   I also heard that Telecom isn't accepting new hotspot business but that was hearsay rather than that I have solid information.  

I use a lot of internet in time, browsing internet, email etc, but no video or audio to speak of and 30 megabytes a day is heavy usage.   Most people would use maybe 10 megabytes for some emailing, banking, and a bit of catching up on favourites websites.   Paying daily fees such as $10 or monthly fees such as $10 to use a bit of Wi-Fi when out and about is expensive.

Tourists and other non-Telecom customers won't want to pay $8 an hour at a Telecom hotspot when they can do it for 10c a megabyte at a Zenbu hotspot.  

Mqurice




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  Reply # 73792 7-Jun-2007 11:44 Send private message

<blockquote>
Jazon, that's true, 10c a megabyte is still insanely expensive.  This is New Zealand where we are locked up behind the Tasman fibre and Telecom twisted pair.
</blockquote>

I'm sorry, I'm absolutely stunned by this.  Do the math.  What portion of the 10c per megabyte is consumed by international bandwidth charges.

Hmmm....  $1.50/gigabyte...  I get  0.146c.  That's a pretty insane markup there, 2 whole orders of magnitude.

<blockquote>
Starbucks and Telecom hotspots are free if you have an account, but most people don't and no tourists do.    Telecom won't be offering "free" for long and a monthly ADSL charge is far from free.  That's an "introductory special" as I understand it.   I also heard that Telecom isn't accepting new hotspot business but that was hearsay rather than that I have solid information.  
</blockquote>

If you have a Telecom DSL account, you've got an xtra account, and therefore free access to WiFi.  Or at least you did when I last read the flyer.

As for the "introductory special", I understand (from posts here) that it will stay free to access, with your usage coming off of your monthly allotment.  Sounds good to me.

Finally, I would have expected that the dominant reader here is local to NZ.  Hence, they won't be tourists, and will have the choice of pursuing the cheaper option.

What I recommend?  Doing deals with existing broadband providers, allowing their customers access to your network for free.  Charge an insanely low additional traffic price, but only deliver to a local interexchange point (such as the WIX) (10c/GB?).  This would even out the revenue stream (carrier provides funds/month for access).  It would give you a critical mass of customers that you can then use to extend your network.

Charge what you want to customers who don't have access agreements, but I would expect that you would end up with pricing similar to other wireless broadband providers, such as Woosh.  I don't think it will take long for the prices to start to drop, particularily with the number of entrants into the market.

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Reply # 73793 7-Jun-2007 11:56 Send private message

jpollock: Finally, I would have expected that the dominant reader here is local to NZ.  Hence, they won't be tourists, and will have the choice of pursuing the cheaper option.


True for the forums, but not for the other sections. Geekzone readership is about 50% US, 25% NZ... Believe it or not. New Zealand is still a small market for tech publications on-line.






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  Reply # 73794 7-Jun-2007 11:59 Send private message

Thanks for the invitation Mauricio
freitasm: Perhaps we should open another discussion for this, but somehow you should post what makes Zenbu different from FON and from Tomizone (this one a New Zealand-based venture).


Tomizone charges a daily amount which is also fixed on megabytes.  Use it or lose it.  Zenbu charges a straight 10c a megabyte and you can use it whenever or wherever you like.  If the zone owner gives away vouchers, there's no charge at all to users.   If they print and sell their own vouchers, Zenbu gets no payment.   Vouchers printed by operators can be used only at the operator's premises. 

Tomizone has a complicated voucher payment system so if an operator sells a voucher, they get some portion of the usage.  Zenbu's voucher system is cheap and straight forward.   People print their own vouchers.  Some Wi-Fi providers require them to buy them or ask for more to be sent.   I'd have to check Tomizone to see what they are doing now.   Here it is.  Good luck:  http://www.tomizone.com/support/how.shtml

Zenbu pays operators when they have NZ$20 in credit.  Tomizone keeps it until it's US$30 [or equivalent in NZ$]

With Zenbu, the operator gets 5c a megabyte and Zenbu 5c a megabyte.   I think Tomizone has a 50:50 split now too, but at a higher amount, about 15c a megabyte [meaning Tomizone gets more for each megabyte which goes through the operator's ADSL].  When a daily usage expires at Tomizone, I suppose Tomizone keeps what was left and the zone operator only gets paid for the megabytes actually used at their zone.  

Zenbu routers come ready to go.   Take out of box.  Plug in power.  Plug in ADSL.  Wait less than a minute while it talks to the servers in the hardened http://www.Maxnet.co.nz facility and it's working.   Tomizone requires downloading software.   Good luck to people like me who have trouble logging on to Geekzone downloading and configuring software.   They have now got an arrangement with Orcon to supply D-Link routers ready to go but I don't think they are available yet.  

Zenbu directory is linked into Zenbu Wi-Fi so your device knows where it is if connected and local businesses can advertize and users can find local businesses and other things they want such as public toilets, parks, museums and anything else people put in the directory, complete with a map and satellite photo showing where it and the user are.   Tomizone doesn't do that. 

Zenbu firmware is updated at 3am if the zone is not being used, remotely, automatically.   Zenbu routers will always have the latest software installed.  I don't know how Tomizone will update routers but people downloading their own software again and again won't be ideal.  

Tomizone is world-wide, Zenbu is New Zealand only, designed by New Zealanders for New Zealanders.  

Zenbu Zone operators don't need a computer.   Cafes with ADSL can just plug it in and it works.   They don't need a computer to download software etc but they do need one if they want to print vouchers.  

Zenbu has a map of all zones and also a list showing which ones are operational.  Tomizone has no map.   You have to put the town in and find them.  

Zenbu is a cool name.  Tomizone, meaning "Turn on my internet zone" is not.  Zenbu is a Japanese word without direct translation meaning "everything" or "all encompassing" and stuff like that [I'm not the Japanese speaker]. 

Contact Zenbu is easy to find.   Tomizone's contact is harder to find.  It's under "who are we" if you scroll to the bottom.  

Zenbu terms and conditions are easy to read and have less legalese.  

Better Zenbu website than Tomizone - easy to use.   I think so anyway.   Zenbu is simple for the operators and users.  

I hope I haven't missed something important.

Mqurice

PS  Fon is a bartercard type service but I haven't really studied it.  People swap their Wi-Fi with others.   NZ high megabyte prices mean a Japanese couldn't really come and use it.   Even within NZ, people have different data plans and prices.   Straight commercial business makes more sense.   People in flats and apartments can buy Zenbu routers and give vouchers to their friends and families and sell service to others in the area.  In some places, they'd make money and have a secure system.  




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  Reply # 73798 7-Jun-2007 12:19 Send private message

Yes Jason, the price NZ ADSL customers pay per megabyte is the basic price that Zenbu and other Wi-Fi operators start from, and that is much higher than in other countries.   I agree that prices will drop as competition builds.   Prices have been ridiculous and services poor, which is why Zenbu was started.    Zenbu is already cheaper than others and can stay that way.  

Another difference I forgot to mention is that Zenbu Networks Ltd [run by Tarken Winn] has no employees while Tomizone has an office in Newmarket and several employees, rent and other expenses such as trips overseas.  There is one Zenbu employee but his pay rate won't bankrupt the company.  I suppose I'm an employee too, albeit part time,  and had my pay rate doubled recently and I still won't be paying tax on it.   Zenbu Ltd, the directory, [run by Sam Giffney] has only one employee too as far as I know and his salary is probably not taxable either.   One doesn't pay tax on $0 salary per year.  

I fancy Zenbu's chance of cutting prices better than other's.   

jpollock:I'm sorry, I'm absolutely stunned by this. Do the math. What portion of the 10c per megabyte is consumed by international bandwidth charges.

Hmmm.... $1.50/gigabyte... I get 0.146c. That's a pretty insane markup there, 2 whole orders of magnitude.

What I recommend? Doing deals with existing broadband providers, allowing their customers access to your network for free. Charge an insanely low additional traffic price, but only deliver to a local interexchange point (such as the WIX) (10c/GB?). This would even out the revenue stream (carrier provides funds/month for access). It would give you a critical mass of customers that you can then use to extend your network.

Charge what you want to customers who don't have access agreements, but I would expect that you would end up with pricing similar to other wireless broadband providers, such as Woosh. I don't think it will take long for the prices to start to drop, particularily with the number of entrants into the market.


While deals with broadband providers are interesting, it's easier if everyone just has arm's length business relationships.   Internet service providers who charge reasonable prices to Zenbu operators and offer solid services will get business and those who don't, won't.    There's no need for separate arrangements such as with Tomizone and Orcon.  It just complicates matters and makes them more expensive.   Zenbu likes cheap.   Zenbu likes simple.  Simple, cheap, top quality.

Mqurice




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  Reply # 73853 7-Jun-2007 17:06 Send private message

That's what I thought years ago, but I'm still waiting:  
sbiddle: the business model for public WiFi hotspots could almost be wiped out overnight if mobile carriers priced their mobile data at competitive rates.


I got sick of waiting and so did Tarken [but he could do something about it technologically while I could only suck my thumb. ]  I also invested in RoamAD for metropolitan coverage, which is still a work in progress but is making inroads.  

The per megabyte cost of EV-DO data years ago was less than US2c a megabyte and that has come down a long way since then.   The service providers such as Telecom and Vodafone have never competed on price.  They compete on fancy television advertizing, "marketing", and attendance at important overseas technology events.  

People who have been to MBA school know that rule number one of marketing is to avoid discussing price at all costs [not that they would mention costs].   As Theresa said, flim flam and confusion is a way to keep prices higher and avoid having megabytes turn into commodities.   Market segmentation and all sorts of marketing tricks and noise are essential to avoid simply providing a fat, fast, cheap, pipe.  

Wal-Mart and Ryanair are two companies which have figured out that people don't want to buy things wrapped in gold foil from glass and mirror cabinets with attendants individually selling each item,  with lots of palaver attached.   They are making megabucks while others are losing market share.  

Now, people have Wi-Fi powered notebook computers, PDAs and other devices so without buying any equipment, or signing up for a year of service at Telecom or Vodafone prices, they can just log-on at a Zenbu node, pay for what they use and go about their business.    Those cute little iPhones will like Zenbu Wi-Fi more than casual Telecom/Vodafone data prices and slower speed.   Coverage might even be better than in Vodafone/Telecom "high speed" networks which are not all over New Zealand.  Zenbu coverage won't be better in total acreage, but might be better where it matters, which is where users want service.  

Twisted pair is already everywhere, so ADSL can be provided much cheaper than other wide area network wireless data.    Hooking cheap routers onto the end of a copper pair is easy.    When 802.11n is available [already is] then range and performance will improve further.  

There will be a competitive interface between wide area networks and Wi-Fi networks and that will shift depending on the cost of equipment and all the other variables.   Devices will be multimode [already are] so people will be able to choose the network which suits them best.  QUALCOMM and others are producing ASICs which can run CDMA/Wi-Fi/GPRS and soon OFDM and other mode. 

Mqurice




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  Reply # 73879 7-Jun-2007 18:44 Send private message

It looks to me the best thing about Zenbu is you get 10 minutes free each time you connect, enough time to check your email, get directions or read some news without ever having to pay.

For now though I'll stick with free Telecom wifi for xtra broadband customers and vodafone 3g for on the road :)





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  Reply # 73881 7-Jun-2007 18:49 Send private message

Yea, the free Telecom Wifi until the end of the year is great. One of my friends is on telecom and we were using a hotspot free the other day. It was great.




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