Six unbelievable reasons to visit South Australia with your smartphone
Network |

Six unbelievable reasons to visit South Australia with your smartphone

By Mark Bolton May 16, 2018

There’s no doubt technology is transforming the way we travel. Not so long ago a holiday meant sitting down with a travel agent to book a rather rigid itinerary, and setting off with a handful of recommendations from that well-travelled mate. But not anymore, our latest Telstra Air partnership has had me thinking.

Mobile-first ‘connected travellers’ armed with a smartphone are more intrepid, see more, learn more and share more. For places like my home state of South Australia, it means people from all over the world are finally starting to discover the hidden gems we’ve long known about.

And we can only expect these gems to be hidden no more, with Telstra’s new partnership with the South Australian Tourism Commission to provide free Wi-Fi access to unlimited data for one hour at 60 key tourism sites across the state through the Telstra Air network.

To celebrate, I’m sharing my top six reasons to visit South Australia with a little Insta-inspiration.

1. Hit-you-in-the heart Silo art

Seeing artist Cam Scale’s 25-metre, six silo long mural of a young girl in a wheat field is an image that will linger in your mind. Housed in the regional town of Kimba in the Eyre Peninsula, the community-funded project is one of many moving large-scale artworks that visitors can experience in South Australia. Massive portraits washed with neon transform warehouses and buildings in Port Adelaide, and the portraits of local school children on grain silos in the tiny town of Coonalypn by Guido van Helten took over 200 paint cans to complete.

2. Tastes of the sea at Coffin Bay

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Coffin Bay oysters are served in the best restaurants across the globe. Can you even imagine savouring these famous oysters shucked fresh in Coffin Bay, with a crisp white wine and feeling the cool waters run between your toes?

3. Colours of Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens, Adelaide Hills

The eye-exploding colours of the Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens in autumn capture the rich sensory experiences of the Adelaide Hills region. The crimson magenta of the region’s famous pinot noir, the golden gloss of local raw honey, and green of every shade – you’ll discover these on endless walks across the region.

4. Smiley Sea Lions ready to play

While it’s already renowned for caged shark diving, swimming with sea lions off the Eyre Peninsula is an experience unforgettable. Look into the eyes of these playful creatures while you twist and turn with them on the sea bed – smile-inducing to say the least, just like you can see in this video.

5. Space ship parking in the desert

Coober Pedy is known as the opal capital of the world, but many people don’t realise the red dust and famous Moon Plain just out of town also attracts film makers from across the world. Relics like the Hunter-Grazier from Vin Diesel’s ‘Pitch Black’ have found their final resting place in the post-apocalyptic landscape.

6. Feel the love from Clare

Sniff, sip and swirl golden nectar in the home of Australian Riesling – and taste the region’s characteristic lime notes. The Clare Valley is strung with more than 30 vineyards, most of which are family run. Jump on a bike and take a Tour de Vines or time your visit with the Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend – there’s much to love (especially when the fields are lit with a Big Bird yellow during canola season.)

The Clare Valley, Coober Pedy, Eyre Peninsula, Adelaide Hills and Coffin Bay are among 60 key tourism locations about to switch-on new Telstra Air Wi-Fi hotpots, thanks to the partnership between Telstra and the South Australian Tourism Commission.

Nine hotspots have already been switched on in Hahndorf, Moana, Moonta Bay, Angaston, Beachport, Port MacDonnell, Victor Harbor, Tailem Bend and Kingscote. Another 51 hotspots are due to be rolled-out in the coming months. Hotspots will be located at specifics sites and attractions within locations, not across the wider area or region.

Telstra Air is Australia’s largest Wi-Fi network. Existing Telstra Air customers will also benefit from unlimited Wi-Fi data at new hotspot locations and can connect automatically using the Telstra Air App, on top of free Wi-Fi data at over 1 million Telstra Air hotspots across Australia and millions of Fon hotspots overseas.

The first taste of 5G comes to the Gold Coast this Easter
5G | Network |

The world’s first 5G Wi-Fi precinct on the Gold Coast

By Mike Wright March 28, 2018

Today, we took another important step forward in our roadmap to deploy the next generation of mobile technology and offer 5G services in 2019.

We are using the connectivity inside our recently opened 5G Gold Coast Innovation Centre located at the Telstra Exchange in Southport to power a series of Wi-Fi hotspots in the area. This will be the first precinct of 5G-enabled Wi-Fi hotspots in the world, allowing Gold Coast locals and visitors to enjoy free broadband while we evaluate 5G technology.

Telstra 5G on Wi-Fi, Gold Coast Easter 2018

We’re excited to be taking 5G technology out of a lab into the hands of consumers in time for Easter, with an influx of tourists expected on the Gold Coast in the coming weeks. There are no 5G compatible commercial smartphones or tablets available today. By connecting 5G backhaul and infrastructure in the Southport Exchange to a standard Wi-Fi access point, then people can use the technology on their existing device.

Wi-Fi has limited throughput, so a single hotspot alone cannot come close to reaching the limits of 5G at our Innovation Centre, where we are achieving download speeds of more than 3Gbps. By using multiple hotspots, with potentially hundreds of smartphone users served through a single 5G device, we are able to get closer to 5G in a real world environment.

Telstra 5G Connected Car

We are also using mmWave spectrum and our 5G Gold Coast Innovation Centre to put a connected car on the road with the Intel 5G Automotive Trial Platform, one of the most advanced 5G prototype devices available in the world today. We are still in the early stages of development and are already achieving download speeds approaching 1Gbps inside the car. The vehicle is also equipped with a Wi-Fi access point.

Our 5G Connected Car shows how quickly the technology is evolving. At the start of the year our 5G prototype device was the size of a bar fridge and weighed over 200 kilograms. Now with the help of Ericsson and Intel we have one that has been shrunk down to the size of a personal computer and can be installed in a car.

If you’re in the Gold Coast in the weeks ahead, try out the 5G enabled Wi-Fi – and keep an eye out for our 5G Connected Car!

Accessing 5G enabled Wi-Fi in Southport

We have turned on several 5G Gold Coast enabled Wi-Fi hotspots in Southport. These hotspots are located on Scarborough and Nerang Streets in Southport and will be identified as “Telstra_5G_Free_Wi-Fi”.

People will need to opt-in to connect to the Wi-Fi. Access to the Wi-Fi will be free and open to anyone in the area, and with a download limit of 10 GB per day per device.

Actual speeds on any of the hotspots will be lower than the maximum, limited by the Wi-Fi throughput, and will vary depending on factors such as the type of device being used, distance from the hotspot, and the number of people connected to the hotspot at the one time.

How To |

How to find free Wi-Fi overseas this holiday season

By Ben Simons November 28, 2016

For the first time, our personal mobile customers can now access millions of Wi-Fi hotspots around the world for free, and just in time for the holiday season, writes Ben Simons, Telstra Air Director.

Sharing your holiday snaps in some of the world’s most popular travel destinations has never been easier for Telstra personal mobile customers who can now access free Wi-Fi data at more than 19 million hotspots in more than 15 countries around the world thanks to our Telstra Air partnership with global Wi-Fi provider Fon.

Having to head to a café and order a coffee just to take advantage of café Wi-Fi, or even loitered outside the same cafe later on to sneakily share our holiday snaps is a thing of the past.

So if you’re looking forward to a white Christmas in the UK, starting a South American adventure, or planning a ski trip in Japan, all you need to do is activate Telstra Air before you leave Australia to make the most of the free Wi-Fi on your trip. If you’re using pre-paid, you’ll also need to have an active recharge to access free Wi-Fi data.

So how does it work?

Log in to the Telstra Air app and connect once before you leave and you’ll connect to Fon’s overseas hotspots automatically whenever you’re in range, so you won’t need to spend your precious holiday time searching for a signal or wondering about who you’re handing your personal info over to when logging in to unfamiliar Wi-Fi networks.

If you’re planning your trip and want to know where you’ll be able to get connected to check your emails, update your Facebook or make your friends jealous with your latest Instagram pic, you can check out the maps on that show all 19 million hotspots around the world.

Here’s the top five cities around the world Telstra Air home broadband customers have already been getting connected:

  1. Amsterdam
  2. Brussels
  3. London
  4. Budapest
  5. Madrid

For a full list of hotspots destinations, visit

To see if you’re eligible for Telstra Air, visit

The Telstra Air Free Wi-Fi Offer ends 27 March 2017.

Telstra News |

6 ways to use Wi-Fi overseas

By Ana Ortiz June 20, 2016

Today, we celebrate the world’s first-ever World WiFi Day, and we can’t think of better timing – because today also marks a year since Telstra and Fon announced a partnership that has brought thousands of WiFi hotspots to Australia.

WiFi has completely altered how we go about our daily lives, especially when it comes to travel. You’re not alone when it comes to seeking out a WiFi hotspot when on the go or overseas. The majority of us rely heavily on WiFi while abroad, with a whopping 88% of travellers seeking a WiFi connection whenever possible. In fact WiFi is now a vital part of travelling even before the trip starts with 47% of Australian travellers use WiFi and their mobile device to plan a vacation

And if a WiFi connection can’t be found, seems 23% of us simply switch our phones off altogether to avoid roaming data costs. And 67% of us also consider WiFi to be THE most important factor when choosing a hotel or Airbnb, over location.

Six common uses for WiFI overseas

  1. Checking social media – 58%
  2. Checking directions – 54%
  3. Sending / receiving work emails – 49%
  4. Looking up local travel tips – 43%
  5. Video calls – 31%
  6. Looking at dating sites – 11%

To celebrate our anniversary and World WiFi Day Check out our gallery of the top six things you can use your WiFi data for with Telstra Air/Fon at more than 19 million hotspots when travelling overseas, if you’re a Telstra Air home broadband member with data left on your home allowance.

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Tech and Innovation |

World Wi-Fi Day: The History of Wi-Fi

By Dan Kelly June 12, 2016

A lot has changed since 1997 when James Cameron’s Titanic premiered, the first colour photograph appeared on the front page of the New York Times and Wi-Fi first entered our lives.

Today, Wi-Fi is something we often take for granted in our day-today lives – whether it’s having the whole household online at once, working away from the office, checking live stats at sporting games, sending emails from airport lounges or instagraming meals at your favourite café.

Public networks such as Telstra Air mean we can connect in more cities, parks and beach areas than ever before.

To recognise the significant role Wi-Fi plays in connecting cities and communities around the world, on Monday 20 June, the Wireless Broadband Alliance will host the first ever World Wi-Fi Day.

And to celebrate, Telstra is joining with some of the world’s leading technology organisations to give hundreds of millions of people across the globe access to free Wi-Fi.

From Friday 17 June to Monday 20 June, anyone with a Wi-Fi enabled smartphone, tablet or other device will be able to surf, share or stream for free at more than Telstra Air Wi-Fi hotspots around Australia.

How Australia’s love-affair with Wi-Fi developed


How to get online for free this weekend

  • If you’re already a Telstra Air customer – continue to use the Telstra Air app and access Wi-Fi for free until 30 September.
  • If you’re at a public hotspot (i.e. a pink payphone) and you’re not already registered for Telstra Air – you’ll connect to ‘Telstra Free Wi-Fi’.
  • If you’re at a Fon hotspot (i.e. a home hotspot) and you’re not already registered for Telstra Air – you’ll connect to ‘Fon Wi-Fi’.

For full details, visit Crowdsupport.