New Zealand-based Tomizone is making an aggressive push to expand its business as a provider of wireless hotspot service by offering three months or 500MB of free internet access to iPhone users at any of its hotspots in Australia and New Zealand. The offer is regardless of what telecommunications provider customers are with. Tomizone claims it has 600 hotspots operating on both sides of the Tasman.
Tomizone is pitching the offer as an incentive for hotels, cafes, restaurants and other businesses to offer wireless hotspots to their customers. Tomizone CEO said “smart business operators can differentiate themselves from their competitors by helping customers take advantage of the powerful new features being offered in the iPhones”. Such features include sending and receiving e-mail, surfing the web and of course making use of the iTunes Store, which on the iPhone requires a WiFi connection.
The service is also compatible with the iPod touch.
After the initial three-month/500MB trial period, users can make use of Tomizone hotspots for $3 an hour (in Australia or New Zealand) with a 60MB download limit, or $4 a day ($NZ4.50 for Kiwis) with a 160MB limit or a seven-day pass ($A20/$NZ22.50) with 1.2GB of downloads included. Tomizone handles all the payment processes and splits the revenue from hotspot usage 50/50 with the operators of the hotspots.
Operators also have the option to offer free or guest access to their hotspots. All that is required to operate a Tomizone hotspot is a broadband connection and a D-Link DIR-300 router (or, if you’re an iiNet customer, a Belkin Gen 2).
Both Optus and Telstra have said their iPhone plans will include free access at telco-specific wireless hotspots, but Tomizone’s offer extends to users of any network as long as they have an iPhone.