Speaking to Computerworld NZ Simms elaborated on the evolution of Wifi connectivity in the country, and the prospect of ubiquitous Wifi provision outside the home and work place.
"In this market what we have been told by the telcos is that a lot of people are on prepaid plans. And they are on low volume 3G, 4G plans. These people look for free Wifi. They barely use their plans. Free Wifi is their lifeblood outside of their home and work. That is why that tactic can be so successful. NZ is waking up to this now and we are seeing a number of our customers convert to those supported free Wifi scenarios.
"At the moment we are seeing accommodation is going through a very good change. Traditionally where they used to charge for Wifi, many of them are moving as far out as possible to provide free quality Wifi. Accommodation providers have always provided free hot water, free lights, free bed as long as you pay for the room. Therefore, other amenities like free TV and free internet should also be included in the amenities. So those are the things that they are grappling with as an industry," says Simms.
He warns that, as firms move towards providing Wifi, they should not think before going for the simple access point with unlimited broadband option, which is the simplest way to providing Wifi.
"The problem with just sticking up an access point and keeping that on unlimited plan is that what you will have is two points of vulnerabilities. The first point is the interception stuff — the cyber security element — and making sure users are downloading something dodgy. That is circumnavigated by using systems like Tomizone that does all the content filtering and makes sure that you can't do some things.
"The management in the background is the second part of that story. Because once I have got my free Wifi connection open to my unlimited plan, what happens when I have 50 people walk in through the door? Using a managed platform gives more quality of service operation or priority of service makes the experience better for the user," says Simms.
"That's what I think we will see here in NZ. People are catching on to the fact that it is better to offer some quality Wifi and create a good, quality experience between the customer and them. It is a bit of an evolution and we are at that point now in New Zealand," he adds.
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