Australia’s largest Wi-Fi network is a step closer with the first 1000 hotspots going live before Christmas.
In May, Telstra unveiled a $100 million strategy to create one of the world’s largest Wi-Fi networks over five years.
Group Executive Telstra Retail, Gordon Ballantyne said from November Australians will be able to trial free Wi-Fi at some of Australia’s busiest and most iconic locations as part of Telstra’s plan to roll out more than 2 million Wi-Fi hotspots across the nation.
“From Bondi Beach in Sydney to the retail hubs of Bourke Street Mall and Queen Street Mall in Melbourne and Brisbane we have selected some of this summer’s most popular destinations for our trial which will launch in November,” Mr Ballantyne said.
“It is not just CBD locations that are set to benefit from this trial. Regional Australia will also form a major part of Australia’s biggest Wi-Fi network with a focus on regional hubs and tourist destinations in the first 1,000 sites.
“Australians love to be connected and the new hotspots will allow them to browse the internet, check emails or upload photos to social media when they are sitting at a café, shopping in retail stores, or waiting for the bus, train or tram in range of a hotspot.”
Mr Ballantyne said the trial will give Australians a taste of Telstra’s Wi-Fi community set to officially launch early next year.
The first Wi-Fi trials will be located at payphone sites in the heart of local communities and in areas people want to connect. Beyond the trial, Telstra-built hotspots will be located at a variety of sites that best reach communities including Telstra retail outlets, exchange buildings and payphone sites.
The roll out is part of Telstra’s vision to provide Australians with access to Wi-Fi in the places they choose to spend their leisure time. Telstra already has the contracts to bring public Wi-Fi to six stadiums around Australia including the Adelaide Oval, the Sydney Cricket Ground, and Etihad stadium in Melbourne, which will give Australians another way to access Wi-Fi when they are watching the cricket or at a concert over the summer.
Access to Wi-Fi will be free in the trial sites until the network officially launches early next year.
At launch, Australians will be able to access Telstra Wi-Fi in a number of ways:
- Telstra home broadband customers with a compatible gateway who join the Wi-Fi community can use their home broadband allowance via domestic hotspots and connect to more than 13 million Fon-enabled hotspots globally.
- Non Telstra customers and Telstra customers who have not joined the Wi-Fi community will be able to connect to Fon-enabled Telstra Wi-Fi hotspots for a small charge using guest passes.
Australians can register their details to receive more information about Telstra Wi-Fi as it’s released by heading to Telstra.com/wifination.
Some of the 1,000 sites chosen for the trial will provide coverage in:
- Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne
- Bondi Beach, Sydney
- Rundle Mall, Adelaide
- Queen Street Mall, Brisbane
- Elizabeth Street, Hobart
- Civic Centre, Canberra
- Hay Street Mall, Perth CBD
- Smith Street Mall, Darwin
 Fon was founded in February 2006 by serial entrepreneur Martin Varsavsky with the goal of blanketing the world with WiFi. Today the company is a global WiFi leader with more than 12 million hotspots in more than 200 countries. Fon has offices in Madrid, London, Tokyo and New York. Its partners include Belgacom (Belgium), BT (UK), Deutsche Telekom (Germany) Hrvatski Telekom (Croatia), JT (Jersey Island), KPN (Netherlands), Oi (Brazil), MTC (Russia), MWEB (South Africa), Netia (Poland), OTE (Greece), SFR (France), SoftBank (Japan) and ZON (Portugal). For more information, please visit fon.com.