Telstra Offers Free Wi-Fi Service With the Launch of 150 Hotspots, Aims to Hit 2 Million in 5 Years

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Telstra's national Wi-Fi network comes to life with 150 Wi-Fi Hotspots launched this week across Australia. The 150 Wi-Fi Hotspots will cover more than 100 towns and cities and come just in time for the holiday season, which means that those out and about shopping for Christmas and running errands in city centres will be able to trial free Wi-Fi service in places such as Bourke Streeet Mall in Melbourne, Hyde Park in Syndey and King George Square in Brisbane.

For users, once they are in the 'zone', all they have to do to sample the service is turn on their network finder and look for Free_Telstra_WiFi. By accepting the terms and conditions, they will be given internet access and can start using the Wi-Fi service.

Moving forward, Telstra's Wi-Fi service will be offered on a couple of commercial packages from next year. For Telstra's home broadband customers, they can join the Wi-fi community and use their home broadband allowance at domestic hotspots and more than 13 million Fon-enabled hotspots overseas while non-customers can access the Fon-enabled Telstra Wi-Fi hotspots as guest users using payable guest passes. According to Telstra, these first 100 Hotspots are located at payphone sites in most crowded areas in the cities/towns and will be expanded in future to Telstra's retail outlets and exchange buildings. 

Telstra's rollout of its own Wi-Fi hotspot network is aligned to the trend observed in the marketplace where the use of public Wi-Fi is picking up again on the back of 3 major factors - WiFi-only smart devices such as tablets and phablets are becoming increasingly popular among professionals, households(children and teens) and students; Increase in the consumption of rich content such as videos, video ads and games sees more people refraining from using cellular data on a regular basis for the fear of overages; and Increasing dependency on data for daily transactions across personal and business use (banking, emailing, online purchasing, online personal data sharing etc) necessitates customers who are on the go to seek secure and convenient means to establish mobile internet connection and access mobile data service at anytime of the day.

Group Executive Telstra Retail, Gordon Ballantyne
This trial marks the beginning of our ambition to switch on more than two million hotspots across the nation over five years and give customers the best Wi-Fi experience in and out of the home.We want customers to have greater options for connecting when they're out and about. From browsing the web, streaming videos or sharing photos with friends, we want customers to have a taste of what the network will be like next year, when Telstra Wi-Fi members will be able to use their home broadband allowance at the hotspots.
Today we are also confirming the next hotspot locations set to go live ahead of Christmas, bringing the number of trial sites to 1000. We have selected towns, regional hubs and holiday destinations where we know people will be spending time this holiday season.

Executive Editor of The Fast Mode | 5G | IoT/M2M | Telecom Strategy | Mobile Data Innovations 

Tara Neal covers stories on strategies and initiatives in the Digital Telco space, and anchors the 5G and IoT/M2M verticals on the publication. Tara holds a First Class Honours in BSc Accounting and Finance from The London School of Economics, UK and is a CFA charterholder from the CFA Institute, United States. Tara has over 20 years experience in technology and business strategy.

Follow her on Twitter @taraneal11, LinkedIn @taraneal11, Facebook or email her at


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