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.