Wi-Fi operator Tomizone yesterday announced an independent Australian Wi-Fi service for the Apple iPhone. The service is slated to begin on 11 July, the same day the iPhone 3G is released locally.
Tomizone's announced it will provide iPhone access at all of its hotspots across Australia and New Zealand. The company currently claims to own and maintain more than 600 Wi-Fi hotspots throughout Australasia, operating mainly through businesses such as cafes or hotels.
Although Optus and Telstra have both announced limited free Wi-Fi services attached to their iPhone pricing plans, Tomizone is the first to announce an Australian service that is independent from mobile carriers. The service will attract a fee, but will provide an alternative to Optus and Telstra's own hotspots, as well as filling in any Wi-Fi gaps not covered by either provider. Vodafone is yet to announce its plans regarding Wi-Fi and the iPhone.
"Wi-Fi is the fastest internet connection available on these devices", said Tomizone's CEO, Steve Simms. "Smart business operators can differentiate themselves from their competitors by helping customers to take full advantage of the powerful new features being offered in the iPhones."
The iPhone 3G will require Wi-Fi for all purchases from the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, as well any downloads over 10MB from the Application Store. Although users can browse the Web over the phone's HSDPA connection, Wi-Fi currently offers the fastest potential speeds, depending on the hotspot's router and Internet connection.
Tomizone will offer all new customers three months of free access with a 500MB data allowance, after which they must pay for access. The company's plans currently include an hourly rate of $3 with a 60MB data allowance, a day pass of $4 with 160MB data, and a seven-day pass with a cost of $20 that includes up to 1.2GB of data.