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CallPlus, Slingshot join forces in RWC wi-fi push

CallPlus, Slingshot join forces in RWC wi-fi push
Joining the wi-fi fray in Auckland are CallPlus and Slingshot, which this week announced they would be providing free internet in central Auckland for the duration of the Rugby World Cup.

Rugby Supporters WifiJoining the wi-fi fray in Auckland are CallPlus and Slingshot, which this week announced they would be providing free internet in central Auckland for the duration of the Rugby World Cup.

CallPlus chief executive Mark Callander said access points had been offered to bars, restaurants, hotels, motels.

While it was an expensive undertaking, most of the infrastructure was already in place.

"This is our contribution to the city of Auckland. We want to help showcase Auckland as a great place to do business by making it quick and easy to get connected," he said.

"It takes just one click to use our free service and it does not require tokens, apply time restrictions or have a complicated sign-up process.”

Callander said with average global roaming prices at $10 per Mb, 1GB of usage would cost a user $10,000.

So far about half of the planned 1,000 hotspots have been deployed in the CBD, the Viaduct, Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Herne Bay and Freemans Bay.

"If any business located in these coverage areas would like to offer an obligation free wifi service, simply go to www.rugbysupporters.co.nz and request a hot spot. It is simply plug and play.”

Speeds would depend on how many people used each access point but should average more than 500kbps, he said, and movie downloads and other large file transfers would be blocked to that end.

“We are seeing very quick uptake with over 50Gb of traffic per day on the network."

Localist and Tomizone have also teamed up to offer wi-fi in Auckland on Link buses, selected main streets, RWC venues, and key entertainment and tourism areas.

However, it is limited to up to three 30-minute sessions a day per device.

“Sponsored free access in Auckland will be the exemplar of how a metropolitan wi-fi network can be sustainably deployed,” said Tomizone executive director Steve Simms.

A partnership between Tomizone and Auckland Council will see wi-fi offered around Auckland beyond the RWC, but at a charge.

The council said the service would be provided at a discount to benchmarked market prices with free access to a number of public service websites.