Telstra Air Wi-Fi set free for six months

Alex Kidman 15 December 2015

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Telstra is making its Telstra Air product free for customers to access, whether you’re a broadband or mobile customer.

Telstra spent up big to launch its Telstra Air public Wi-Fi hotspot system across Australia, putting bright pink hotspot indicators on many public phone booths (and arguably justifying their existence in 2015) with a view to making it a customer acquisition strategy.

Originally open to Telstra broadband customers, the Telstra Air experience relies on customers opening up their home broadband connection to the wider Air network, in return for which they can then access their home broadband’s data quota while out and about through the public Wi-Fi network.

At least, that’s the way it did work, up until today.

Telstra has announced that it’s setting Telstra Air free for a period of six months to 30 June 2016 to pretty much all Telstra customers, whether you’re on a home broadband connection or a mobile connection, covering both contract and prepaid customers. According to Telstra, the only plans that don't qualify for free access to Telstra Air are those on BigPond mobile broadband plans and Satellite mobile broadband plans.

You do have to undergo an eligibility check from your Telstra service connected only to the Telstra network, and you’ll need a Telstra ID to qualify. To test this, we took a Telstra prepaid mobile on a grandfathered plan out to check a nearby Air hotspot. You do have to manually log in to access the hotspot, but speeds were fair, with an average download speed of 13.97Mbps down and 1.21Mbps up. Given that this is entirely free data, that's a nice little bonus if you're a Telstra customer.

Telstra’s definition of free encompasses both access to the service and data charging, which means if you’re already a Telstra Air customer, from today all your data usage is quota free. The one catch there for home broadband customers that there is the unusual quirk that if you are a broadband customer and you go over your home quota, you can’t use Telstra Air services.

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