New Zealand business IDataRoam is doing its bit to bring down the ulcer-inducing costs associated with mobile roaming.
Its portable 3G-powered units offer a wireless network that can connect up to five devices and promises to save up to 95 percent on data roaming costs or 50 percent off hotel wi-fi rates.
Car rental company Hertz already offers them to New Zealand customers and now people hiring vehicles from Hertz across the ditch will also have the option.
IDataRoam's portable wi-fi devices can now be rented from Hertz’s Australian airport locations in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin and Cairns.
Each palm-sized unit (rechargeable via USB) offers high speed internet coverage for up to five hours and a data limit of 150MB, starting from A$12 a day plus tax – an amount that's set by Hertz. More data can be bought with a credit card.
Managing director Justin De Lille says IDataRoam provides a white label solution. The mobile wireless network is Hertz-branded, which consumers will see as soon as they log on and open up the welcome page.
The former lawyer launched IDataRoam with two others in May after failing to find suitable options for keeping data costs down while travelling.
"We decided we were sick of paying for extremely high data charges. We looked at options to reduce that cost and couldnt find any," he said.
"We sourced a software solution, went and bought a whole heap of new technology and added the software solution to it."
IDataRoam has just opened up a Sydney office and has big plans to expand over the next six to 12 months, with discussions underway with other potential customers including campervan companies.
Hertz is its first Australian client and US and China are also key markets for IDataRoam, according to De Lille.
"China will be huge for us. I think there's a lot of problems there with foreigners not only being able to access international sites but at affordable rates."
The company, which was originally set up in 2011, is majority owned and funded by Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1 fund.