Free WiFi

WhaleTech: 1G free WiFi a day from Telecom?

via raglan23.co.nz

via raglan23.co.nz

Yesterday I observed NBR’s Chris Keall getting excited like a little boy about Telecom’s Free WiFi at phone boxes scheme – WiFi Zone.  Repeated tweets, articles and even hurried corrections as his excitement got away on him and he had to adjust some of the fantastic numbers (3000 phone boxes with free WiFi?  No.)

The fact is, I didn’t realise why it was so exciting to Chris.  I’ve been walking and driving past the blasted things for about 6 months now.

Part of a pilot scheme, these have been deployed in parts of New Zealand where the tourists normally flock to.  But as you do when you live away from the bigger cities, you simply assume that they had it all first.

Not so.  And that’s the reason behind Chris’ excitement.

So I decided to pop down the road and see what is actually involved, and how they operate.  I happen to have a Nokia Lumia 920 I’m using right now (you’ll see some posts about that later), and locked on with the WiFi signal.  It asked me to enter my phone number, and it texted me a 4 letter code.  Once I typed it in, it was all go from there.  You’re allowed to use up to 1 GB of data per day that way, which is quite generous if you’re on a smartphone data plan and you need to push a big document up while on the road.

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