How would you like to have network access where ever you go? Telstra looks to be making it happen, and you won’t even have to be a Telstra customer to jump onto the network that will boast two million hotspots within five years.
The service aims to provide network connectivity to anyone and everyone across the nation by providing a WiFi network launching early next year. Two million hotspots will be a part of the system, providing wireless access in restaurants, shops, sporting grounds, transport centres, and more, and making sure people are always connected.
“Australians already have access to one of the world’s leading mobile networks offering fast, unparalleled coverage on the move,” said David Thodey, Telstra’s CEO.
“Telstra’s new Wi-Fi network will broaden the choice of connection giving people a convenient way to get online using their portable devices when spending time at a hotspot. It will offer our customers the unique option to seamlessly use their home broadband allowance inside and outside the home.”
This could include your mobile phone, but will also mean devices like smart cameras, laptops, tablets, and more personal wireless devices will always be connected where ever you go, essentially setting Australia up as a land of always on-the-go connectivity and not just one reliant on a mobile 3G or 4G connection.
“The opportunities go beyond connecting people. The city-wide availability of Wi-Fi coupled with the growth in the internet of things can help us improve the way we live in cities. Town planning, sustainability, traffic management, maintenance, public safety and the provision of government services are just some of the challenges that can be tackled by connecting sensors and objects with networks.
“This is an incredible opportunity and we are already in discussions with a number of councils to make smart cities a reality.”
It won’t just be something limited to Australia, though, as the service will also make it possible for people connecting to Telstra’s national WiFi network to connect up with similar ones overseas. Through a deal with another global WiFi provider, Fon, customers will be able to connect to various wireless networks overseas, with more than 12 million hotspots available through its services, accessible in the UK, France, Brazil, Japan, Russia, and Germany to name but a few places.
However, it’s worth noting that the service won’t be entirely free.
Telstra home broadband customers will be able to access the system at no charge, while people who aren’t part of Telstra’s home broadband system (perhaps you use iiNet, Exetel, Optus, or another provider) while be charged for day-passes to connect, with Telstra’s mobile customers able to gain access later on.
In fact, Telstra home broadband customers will be gaining access not just because they’re customers of Telstra, but also because they will be receiving new gateways to let them securely share some of their bandwidth to help Telstra make up the spots in this massive wireless network.
It’s a little like a quid pro quo situation, as Telstra will offer its home broadband customers access to a nationwide and semi-international network for free in exchange for some of its own home bandwidth.
We’re told the networks will rely on 802.11ac technology, which should bode well for anyone upgrading to new computers and tablets that rely on this high speed technology, making it possible for better wireless streaming of multimedia content and longer range networks.
Telstra customers keen to see what the fuss is about can register interest at the website for this, but the rest of us will have to wait until early 2015, which is when Telstra expects to have the network ready for mobile human consumption.