Telstra has announced a $100 million strategy to create one of the world’s largest wireless networks to continually connect Aussies, irrespective of whether they’re a Telstra customer or not
The strategy aims to connect Australians to two million Wi-Fi hotspots around the country within five years, as well as rolling out 12 million hotspots globally as part of an exclusive deal with global wi-fi provider, Fon.
Speaking at the announcement event today, David Thodey, CEO of Telstra, said now was the right time for the business to roll out the network.
“We’ve been thinking about this for a large number of years,” he said.
“Many years ago we rolled out a wi-fi network. We put it out there, but the take up wasn’t that great. There’s been a lot of innovation in new wi-fi network technology…that allows far greater usage…and better coverage in buildings.
“With the advent of the new technology we think now is the right time to really roll out a new access network. This is going to be really exciting because about two million hotspots, we hope, over the next three to four years will be implemented.”
Thodey explains how Telstra is going to be rolling out a whole new number of modems in the home that give you the wi-fi access to the internet, but also “creates a community around your home or your physical location”.
“What you get in a community is a large number of wi-fi networks all connected. If you’re standing at a bus stop or another physical location, you’ll be able to have access to that network,” he said.
“You’ll get all these hotspots throughout the community but also in the city as well. You’ve got this community effect of the wi-fi public access.”
Using Fon’s technology, users of the network will have to agree to share a portion of their bandwidth with other customers, however in exchange will have access to the whole network, including the 12 million global hotspots.
Earlier this year Telstra outlined its belief of connectivity as a basic human right, embarking on a marketing push to share its vision of a ‘brilliant connected future for everyone’.
Of the network, Thodey said: “The network will be built by Telstra, but brought to life, in part, by our customers and we’re really looking forward to watching it grow.
“It will be a living community, steadily growing; house by house, street by street, business by business leveraging the capacity we continue to add to our core fibre network, as well as the NBN as it is rolled out to customers.”