Thursday, November 12, 2009

Making it a bit easier to find things

Hi everyone,

Well things are already getting busier for the summer, at least according to our usage statistics. It looks like the accommodation providers out there are filling up and tourists are once again roaming around the country in force visiting Zenbu wireless zones as they go. With all the iPhones and other nifty little computers out there that are easier to carry than ever, more and more people are taking their Wi-Fi gizmos with them on holiday.

To help people find Zenbu hotspots we have improved the search functionality on the list of our wireless zones (which is getting pretty long these days!). It is now possible to display a list of all New Zealand Wi-Fi hotspots or a subset like Wi-Fi hotspots in Paihia or Wi-Fi hotspots in Kaikoura. People can also search for Zenbu wireless internet zones in specific towns or regions (for example Wi-Fi hotspots in Coromandel, Wi-Fi hotspots in the Bay of Plenty) using the search form on the list page. All the lists can be downloaded as a PDF file and saved to a computer so that the next Zenbu wireless internet zone is easy to find even when an internet connection is not available.

Well, it's definitely satisfying to have a list of zones so long that it needs to be better managed. We hope the new changes make it easier and more convenient for anyone wanting to find one of our wireless zones.

Bring on summer!


The Zenbu Team

Friday, August 21, 2009

Zenbu Cook Islands

Hi everyone,

Well it's been a while since the last post and we've spent a busy few months sheltering from the weather in front of the computers. It now feels like we're emerging from winter and everything is springing back to life.

The most major recent development is that Zenbu is now available in the Cook Islands. It is exactly the same system as is available in New Zealand but because broadband internet access up there is so expensive (and slow!) the price for Zenbu credit is 30 cents per megabyte. The Cook Islands is about the only country we've seen that has broadband plans that make New Zealand's seem great! For those interested (and who want to feel better about the prices and broadband speeds we get here in NZ) please have a look at Cook Islands' broadband plans.

Zenbu customers who have purchased credit online in New Zealand can use their credit in the Cook Islands but will be charged the Cook Island price. People who purchase credit online while in the Cook Islands will be able to use their credit and will get NZ's cheaper price when they're back in New Zealand (so their credit will go even further). You can view a list of the zones available in the Cook Islands here.

So welcome to the Cook Islands and thanks to Marcus at Air Rarotonga who discovered the Zenbu wireless system while in New Zealand and thought it was a good solution for them. We hope many happy tourists enjoy the Zenbu internet access that is already available and that the Zenbu wireless system will proliferate in the Cook Islands as it has in New Zealand.

Well we now have over 350 zones online and the network continues to grow quickly. Thanks to everyone involved.


The Zenbu Team.

PS. Yes we do have new stickers in stock now. Please let us know if you'd like any to advertise your Zenbu wireless service.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pago, lots of new zones and some new stickers

Hi everyone,

Well it's been a good month weatherwise for slaving over a hot computer and not feeling like you're missing out!  (Although it was very nice to see some sun for the first time in a while yesterday!)

One of the outcomes of all the work is that as of today Pago has been added as a payment option for people purchasing credit for their Zenbu accounts.  Pago allows people without a credit card to make payment using their Pago "wallets" (basically online "bank" accounts) linked to their mobile phone or email account.  It's a pretty nifty system which can be used to send payments to people by text message or email (not just for shopping online).  More information is available on the Pago website.  As always we are keen to hear any feedback regarding Pago (or anything else).

Also, this month has already seen the addition of 20 new Zenbu wireless zones to our network.  Welcome to all the new venues.  For people roaming the country, the addition of Dunkin' Donuts outlets in Auckland and Wholly Bagels in Wellington is handy.  Easy to stop in for a bite to eat, a coffee and a quick internet session before moving on to your next destination.  It's always very satisfying to see the new zones pop up on the map and start being used.

We have also received several requests lately from people wanting Zenbu stickers.  We had run out of the previous stickers and were planning on redesigning them before having more printed, but because demand is relatively high we have ordered more of the same.  They should be ready by the end of next week and we will forward them to customers who have requested them.  If anyone else would like some stickers please let us know and we'll put you on the list.

Rumour has it that Sammy at has the latest Google Android phone in his hands so there may well be an Android version of the Zenbu App coming out sometime soon.  Go Sammy!

Alright, time for a bit of lunch for me before getting back into an afternoon on the computers.


The Zenbu Team

Monday, April 27, 2009

Record payments to our zone operators

Hi everyone,

Well yesterday was another record for payments to our zone operators.  For the first time ever we paid out over $8000 in a month, with the total coming in at $8016.71.  I hope the upward trend continues despite the typically quieter winter period coming up!  Thanks again to all our zone operators.

Lately we're seeing (and hearing of) an increasing number of people roaming the country choosing to stay at accommodations and visit businesses offering Zenbu wireless access.  We recently received a great email from one such person who had spent about a month in New Zealand, traveling from Auckland, to Paihia, through Tauranga to Rotorua and Ohakune, then through the South Island, connecting at 13 different Zenbu venues along the way.  How much did it cost for internet access to do all that?  For this visitor the total cost was $5.  No wonder he liked his Zenbu experience and took the time to send the following email after returning to Germany!

"Hi, i want tell you about my great expierience with using Zenbu on my holiday in NZ. It is so easy and cheap. The iPhone application is very helpful. Every Hotel/Motel should have a Zenbu router. Greetings from Germany."

It is certainly very satisfying to see our little network being used as we hoped it would be and to receive such positive feedback from happy customers!

In other news, and loosely related to people roaming the country choosing Zenbu businesses, because the number of venues providing Zenbu wireless access has been increasing constantly we have finally had to clean up the map on our website.  It is now hopefully much easier to find our wireless zones in particular locations.  As well as being easier to find, any accommodations signed up with Vianet can now be booked online, directly from the links on our map.  You can view the map of our wireless zones at  Note that if you're at one of our wireless zones, you will need to login to the website in order to see the map.  If you have any suggestions for the map of our zones or any experience with Vianet that you'd like to share, please do!

Okay, that's about it from HQ.  Back to work for me.


The Zenbu Team

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Some street view and record payouts

Hi everyone,

I hope you have all had a good Christmas and beginning to the new year.

This is just a very quick note to let you all know that we have added Street View to our maps, so you can now check what different locations look like before visiting.  It has been handy and interesting for us to tour the ever growing Zenbu network and get a better idea of the layout of many of our zones.  You can view the map at

Also, December was yet again a record month for payments made to our zone operators.  A total of $6284.46 was paid out.  It is very satisfying to see the ongoing growth.  We are also hearing more and more often that the Zenbu wireless system is being recommended by our customers to others.  This is about the best compliment we can receive and are pleased that so many of our customers think so highly of our solution.

That's about it from Zenbu HQ.  I hope you have a great 2009.

Until next time, thanks for using Zenbu.


The Zenbu Team