Telstra's national wi-fi network will be officially "switched on" this Tuesday. Now dubbed 'Air', the network uses hotspots in shopping centres, cafes, sporting stadiums, train stations and old payphones to deliver the largest Wi-Fi network in the country. Unfortunately, it will only be offered free to Telstra's home broadband customers, with mobile customers charged an access fee of up to $23.
Telstra Air will initially encompass 250 cities and towns in Australia with the promise of “thousands” of individual hotspots in popular areas. Telstra customers with Wi-Fi modems can also opt in to a secondary Air network that will be broadcast across their devices. Thanks to a partnership with global network provider Fon, Telstra customers will also be able to access the company's 15 million hotspots in 18 countries across the globe.
The Air network will be provided to Telstra home broadband users free of charge — however, this will require the user to share a small portion of their home Internet connection publicly via the aforementioned secondary network. Everyone else will be required to purchase access passes. These will be offered in one-hour, one-day and five-day increments and will cost $6.60, $10 and $23 respectively.
The network, which switches on next Tuesday, can be accessed through a dedicated app for iOS and Android devices as well as Windows and Mac laptops.