Tired of spending money on 4G data? Telstra may have the answer, allowing you access to your home broadband data in Australia and abroad with Air, and this is something we couldn’t wait to test out.
A little over a year ago, Telstra announced something that had the potential to change the way its customers used their mobile phones, tablets, and computers, both on the go and at home.
In 2014, the telco announced that it would be building one of the biggest WiFi networks the world had ever seen reliant on hotspots all over the place, providing wireless access everywhere that Telstra customers could access.
Around two million hotspots would be set up, providing internet access across this massive nation, and offering Telstra’s home broadband customers access to a WiFi connection where ever they went, usable on any of their devices: mobile, tablet, computer, whatever.
The roll out continued to this year where Telstra rebranded the concept as “Telstra Air”, and told customers exactly what they could expect: if you were willing to share a portion of your network access with the community, you could access the Telstra nationwide Air network from anywhere it existed in Australia, and even other parts of the world, letting you use your existing data allowance not just from home, but using this WiFi network.
That means if you had 200GB with Telstra on a monthly basis, you could use this allowance not just at home, but with the Telstra Air connection, downloading with that monthly cap when you’re in the city, and also when you travel.
In theory, this could save money, allowing you to cut back on the downloads over the regular mobile connection, as well as stopping you from spending money on international data, one of the pains of international travel that leads to bill shock.
It also offers a benefit for Telstra which could see less people reliant on the mobile network, and this could end up freeing resources for mobile activity, increasing speeds as a whole.
Telstra has even found a use for its payphones with Air, turning them into Air hotspots, which at least staves off death for these underused gadgets, now that we all have smartphones.
To use Telstra Air, though, you’ll need to be a Telstra Home Broadband customer who has opted to join the Air program.
When that happens, you’ll be sharing a small portion of your network access segregated from your home network to anyone who wants to connect.
This is part and parcel of the requirements of how this works, and allows Telstra to build its massive WiFi hotspot network, as your home account adds to this system.
When that’s in place, you’ll be given a login and password for the Telstra Air system, which you’ll need to enter when you first connect to the system.