Earlier in the year, Telstra announced plans to make one of the world’s biggest WiFi networks, making it possible to get WiFi where ever you go at a small cost, and it looks to start up shortly ahead of the expected 2015 roll-out.
It’s an interesting plan to provide wireless networking to anyone in Australia with a small charge, even offering access slightly out of the country, with the service offering WiFi where ever you go — inside, outside, and in regions where 4G may not be, with the price possibly being more logical for some than the charge of downloads in a plan.
For some people, it will even be free, with the charge to access Telstra’s nation-wide WiFi network only applying to people who aren’t a part of Telstra’s home broadband network or home broadband customers who haven’t joined the WiFi trial to share a portion of their network as part of the program.
Earlier in the year, it was expected the service would launch in early 2015, but Telstra is even beating its own expectations with a plan to launch some of the WiFi hotspots as early as November, as the telco builds the WiFi hotspot technology into its payphones.
“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,” said Gordon Ballantyne,” Group Executive of Telstra’s Retail arm.
“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.”
Those sites will also include Bondi Beach in NSW, Hay Street Mall in South Australia, Rundle Mall in South Australia, and Northern Territory’s Smith Street Mall, as Telstra starts off in the people thoroughfares that are the “malls” of Australia, though we’re also told that Telstra will be bringing the WiFi support to sporting grounds too, including Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, the Sydney Cricket Ground (in Sydney), with more venues to come.
“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,” said Mr. Ballantyne.
Telstra has yet to release payment plans for people outside its home broadband network to join up and use the Telstra WiFi system, but has said that it will also include support for hotspots around the world, with more than 12 million international hotspots in 200 countries including Germany, South Africa, Japan, Greece, and the UK.