So I was walking around in Auckland this morning and came across a Telecom phone box WiFi zone, and so I decided to give their WiFi a try. These WiFi hotspots are currently in trial mode and is due to come out of trial mode next week. It seemed like I was the only one using it, as everyone around a decent distance was all walking around not on their phones. Connection to the hotspot was a breeze to setup and everything worked first go.
When I connected to the hotspot, it told me I had to “log in to the wireless network”. It then redirected me to the login portal and I had to sign up. In went my mobile phone number and then … INCOMING! A new SMS has arrived! This SMS contained a 4-letter/digit code that allowed me to access the WiFi hotspot. Typed that in where it told me to, and then I got this page:
And also, this one-time SMS code expires after 24 hours, so … yeah. I’m sure you would have used it by then! Next time if I come across a Telecom phone box with WiFi, whether it is the same box I used today or another box, it should automatically let me in if I’m using the same device.
One cell phone number (this can be on any network in New Zealand and doesn’t have to be on the Telecom network) can register up to 5 devices. I’m not sure if you are able to de-register a device as to speak, but if you know about this, please let me know in the comments down below!
As soon as I was set up and all ready to go, I immediately went straight to my Speedtest.net app and did a speedtest. Surprisingly, the speeds were super fast! Download speed was 8.66 Mbps and the Upload speed was even faster, clocking in at 9.24 Mbps! The ping was also average, at 41 milliseconds.
To test this out in real life, I tried loading an 18-minute high-definition YouTube video and once it started playing there was no buffer at all. Unfortunately I had to leave for someplace else, so had no time to do some actual testing. If I had a bit more time, I would have tried to see if uTorrent worked and if so, tried to download a torrent that was less than a GB. And by torrent, I mean a LEGAL torrent. Have you guys tried the WiFi at these Telecom phone boxes? If so, how would you rate the performance? Please let us know in the comments section below!
By the way, if you have been keeping up with our [News] posts lately on NZ TechBlog, there was an article about these Telecom phone box WiFi and that they will soon be introducing pricing plans for using there service. From October 7th, users that are not on the Telecom network on the pay-monthly plans and on the $19 and $29 prepaid monthly packs, will have to pay $9.95 a month that will limit you to 1GB of data per day! So that’s $9.95 for 30GB of data a month! A pretty good deal I’d say.. just not sure when people take up this offer, that the performance on the network load will start dropping… Telecom customers on the pay-monthly plans and on the $19 and $29 prepaid monthly packs, will be able to access the WiFi hotspots for free!
Okay, so that’s about it. There’s my trial report for you guys and if you want more information on Telecom’s phone box WiFi, please visit: http://www.telecom.co.nz/wifi