Café Wi-Fi?

Telstra will launch wireless broadband hotspots in various Starbucks Australia stores this month, under a new alliance between Telstra and the coffee mogul's international "technology partner" HP.Starbucks will switch on the wireless hotspots in around three-quarters of its stores on September 22, Telstra announced today, allowing customers to use Wi-Fi enabled devices to connect to the Internet at broadband speeds.

Telstra will launch wireless broadband hotspots in various Starbucks Australia stores this month, under a new alliance between Telstra and the coffee mogul's international "technology partner" HP.

Starbucks will switch on the wireless hotspots in around three-quarters of its stores on September 22, Telstra announced today, allowing customers to use Wi-Fi enabled devices to connect to the Internet at broadband speeds.

Managing director of Starbucks, Christine Day, said the technology will add to the "Starbucks experience".

"Telstra Wireless Hotspots will allow customers to get online quickly and easily at over thirty Starbucks stores - without having to carry around cables and plug into phone jacks," she said. "We expect this new service to be a magnet for business and professional people on the move - they just need to look for the blue Telstra Wireless Hotspot sticker on the window."

Director of wireless and mobility products for Telstra, Holly Kramer, said the Starbucks initiative was a key development in the telco's plan to spread hotspots throughout Australia.

"Our customers are telling us that they want Wi-Fi access in places like Starbucks," she said. "Wi-Fi is important to our plan to connect people across Australia to wireless data networks because the relatively inexpensive set-up and access costs put it within reach of small businesses, professionals and consumers,"

According to Kramer, "Telstra's payment options" will allow any Wi-Fi enabled device to connect to Starbucks hotspots, with casual users given the option to pay via credit card, on their Telstra mobile bill or by purchasing a monthly subscription plan.

Telstra said it's in the process of creating global wireless hotpots for Telstra customers through a Wireless Broadband Alliance with international carriers. It claims trials are currently underway in China, Malaysia and Singapore.

In-store demonstrations of the hotspots are scheduled at various Starbucks stores for two weeks following the service's launch.

Starbucks said it plans to implement Telstra hotspots in all its stores in the future.

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