Telstra switches on one millionth Telstra Air hotspot, opens network for World Wi-Fi Day

Media Release, 20 June 2017

Telstra’s national Wi-Fi network is now available in a million places across the country, with the one millionth Telstra Air hotspot switched on in Mildura today.

To celebrate the milestone, Telstra will give all Australians with a Wi-Fi enabled device free and unlimited access to more than 4,000 Telstra Air public hotspots on 20 June – which is also World Wi-Fi Day.

Sharing photos and videos is a popular way Telstra customers use their free and unlimited Telstra Air data.

Working with Instagram, Telstra has uncovered the top locations in every state where social media enthusiasts post vistas and selfies to the popular social networking community. And there are Telstra Air hotspots in the heart of each location – or just nearby.

Australia’s most Instagrammed locations by state*:

  • Bondi Beach, New South Wales
  • St Kilda Beach, Victoria
  • Surfers Paradise Beach, Queensland
  • Fremantle Beach, Western Australia
  • Glenelg Beach, South Australia
  • Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), Tasmania

Telstra’s General Manager for Telstra Air, Viveca Samuelsson, said Australians were getting savvier at seeking out Wi-Fi hotspots to avoid tapping into their mobile data, with usage on the network more than doubling in the past year.

“With hotspots in some of the most iconic and snap-worthy locations around Australia, Telstra Air is helping Aussies up their ‘Insta game’,” Ms Samuelsson said.

“And with a million hotspots now live, our eligible mobile and broadband customers can tap into free and unlimited Wi-Fi data to stream, share and post at more of their favourite beach areas, parks, shopping precincts and holiday destinations.

“To celebrate the rapid growth of the network and to recognise the huge role Wi-Fi plays in our lives, we’re opening up our public hotspots for World Wi-Fi Day on Tuesday.”

Telstra is the Australian partner of the Wireless Broadband Alliance’s second annual Wi-Fi Day, which is a global event to recognise and celebrate the significant role Wi-Fi is playing in getting cities and communities around the world connected. Global partners include Fon, at&t, BT, Spark, Google and Cisco.

Eligible Telstra home broadband customers and customers with a personal or business mobile can access free data at Telstra Air hotspots across the country and millions of Fon Spots overseas. Customers can download the Telstra Air App or head to for more details.

How Australia’s love-affair with Wi-Fi has evolved:

  • 1992: A CSIRO team created ‘multipathing’ – a system that allowed for faster and more reliable wireless internet connection, and paved the way for Wi-Fi as we know it today.
  • 1996: CSIRO patents the multipathing technique in the US, then known as IEEE 802.11.
  • 1999: The term ‘Wi-Fi’ entered the popular lexicon when the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (now Wi-Fi Alliance) enlisted Interbrand to come up with a catchier name for 'IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence'.
  • July 2003: Telstra launches Telstra Wireless Hotspots – an early public Wi-Fi network designed to keep business types connected at hotels, airport lounges, coffee shops and commercial precincts.         
  • Late 2004: The Nokia 9500 became Telstra’s first Wi-Fi enabled mobile phone. It came with a 0.3MP video recorder, could send and receive faxes and sported a full QWERTY keyboard.
  • March 2005: Telstra became the first Australian ISP to launch Wi-Fi enabled modems for homes.
  • March 2014: Telstra partners with ANZ Stadium in Sydney to bring free Wi-Fi to fans in 83,000 seats. Telstra now connects fans with free Wi-Fi at the SCG, Etihad Stadium, Allianz Stadium and Perth Stadium.
  • April 2014: Telstra announces it will build one of the world’s largest Wi-Fi networks increasing connectivity in the places Australians live, work and visit.
  • June 2015: Australia’s largest Wi-Fi network, Telstra Air, launches allowing customers to access their home broadband allowance when they’re out and about at more than 250 towns and cities across Australia and 15 countries around the world. 
  • December 2015: Telstra opens its Telstra Air Network® to personal mobile customers giving them, and Telstra Air home broadband members, free and unlimited Wi-Fi data.
  • June 2017: After just two years since its launch, Telstra Air grows to 1 million hotspots across Australia.

How to get online for free on Tuesday 20 June

If you’re already a Telstra Air customer – continue to use the Telstra Air app and access Wi-Fi for free.

If you’re at a Telstra Air public hotspot (pink payphone and some Telstra stores):

  • Step 1: Open the list of available networks on your mobile device and connect to: Telstra Free Wi-Fi
  • Step 2: A pop up browser should automatically open; if it doesn’t;
    • Open an internet browser on your device (Safari, Google Chrome, IE etc)
    • Try to access any website (Facebook, YouTube)
    • This will trigger the portal to open
  • Step 3: Click Connect to accept the Terms and conditions
  • Step 4: You will see a success screen and can now access free Wi-Fi         


Media contact: Carey Withey, Media Manager, +61 407 470 811,

Media reference number: 063/2017


* The top locations where Instagram members shared posts in each state in the 12 months to Dec 2016.