Telstra chief executive David Thodey has announced an ambitious $100 million national public Wi-Fi network rollout, which the carrier claims is the world’s largest.
In a statement, Telstra says the rollout will see 8000 Wi-Fi hotspots in shopping centres, business centres and transport hubs, with businesses invited to add hotspots in their cafes, shops and waiting rooms.
Telstra home broadband customers will be able to install new gateways allowing them to share a portion of their usage quota each month in exchange for free access to the network.
Meanwhile, customers not participating in the program and non-Telstra customers will be able to access the network by paying a daily fee.
Public Wi-Fi networks potentially offer consumers higher speeds that current generation 4G/LTE services.
An additional benefit for the carrier and its consumers is that a public Wi-Fi could potentially help relieve some 4G/LTE network congestion in high-use areas.
The carrier says that Telstra’s mobile-only customers will eventually gain access to the network, along with its home broadband customers.
The news comes after Telstra announced it had managed to achieve a live network speed of 450 megabits per second using LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation in a trial late last week.
The speeds were achieved through 4G Frequency Division Duplexing across a combination of the combination of 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands.