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Telstra Air signs up 100,000 customers

Less than a month since Australia's telco giant launched its nationwide Wi-Fi offering, Telstra has seen over 100,000 customers sign up to use their own data away from their homes, and use their own modems to support the network.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor on

Telstra Air, the public Wi-Fi offering from the country's dominant telco, has seen 100,000 members sign up to its service, in less than two months.

The telecommunications giant launched Telstra Air on June 30, in partnership with Wi-Fi provider, Fon, in a service that sees members use their own Telstra data, in public locations.

"Over the next five years, our plan is to grow the network to two million Telstra Air hotpots across the country," Neil Louis, Telstra Retail, head of Wi-Fi said in a blog post.

Prior to Telstra Air's launch, Australians were accessing Telstra Wi-Fi network from pink Wi-Fi domes placed throughout the country, for free as part of an extensive trial conducted by the telco. Once connected to the hotspot, users were given a cap of 30 minutes of free access with download speeds of up to 2MBps.

The trial saw 1.5 million unique users, and 500 terabytes consumed per day in the public Wi-Fi hotspots.

But as of June 15 this year, the telco began to switch off its 2,600 plus hotspots, to replace them with what is now known as Telstra Air.

Non-Telstra customers cannot at this stage sign up for a service, but the company plans to offer guest accounts "for a small fee" that has yet to be announced. Telstra is also considering allowing its mobile customers to use Telstra Air in the future.

In its FY15 financial year results, the telco told shareholders that it anticipates growth will increase next financial year thanks to the launch of the AU$100 million Telstra Air network. Last month, during his inaugural keynote address as new CEO of Telstra, Andrew Penn also committed to increasing the company's mobile network capex by investing AU$500 million into it over the next two years.

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