Telstra News |

Riding the waves of jelly-sea: the ups and down of a connected holiday

By Danny Katz December 22, 2016

Jealousy would have to be the cutest-sounding of all the petty, negative, self-destructive human emotions. It’s just a cute-sounding word: “jelly-sea”. Like a big sea of jelly, all pink and wobbly and rippling with insecurity and spite. And when you dive into the jelly-sea, you find little chewy green jubes of envy floating around everywhere. Hmmm, green envy, delectable.

When summer comes around and friends start going away on amazing holidays to incredible places, many of us take our own little holidays at home, in front of the computer, basking on the shores of the jelly-sea. We can’t avoid it; every time we go on social media, we’re forced to look at people’s holiday photos and posts, which they have kindly shared in a sweet, loving “Hey, look at me! I’m sipping Vodka Mojitos in a horizon pool in Noosa while having my feet massaged by an underwater-pedicurist named Flavio! And you’re NOT! HAHAHAAHA!” kind of way.

In a recent Telstra survey, 55 per cent of young people said that they post holiday pics on social media for no other reason than to make their friends jealous – and in my own personal survey, a whopping 100 per cent of us get really jealous when we see these holiday pics, and think those friends are massive jerks. How can we not get jealous when other people are having the time of their lives, exploring new worlds, filling their souls with joy – while the most thrilling thing we’ve done all week is clean the mouldy rubber seal around the washing-machine door, scrubbing inside the little folds like we’re giving a sponge-bath to a flabby hobo.

How can we not feel bitter when our friends are in exotic settings, eating fancy foods, drinking expensive drinks, spending loads of money – while we’ve eaten nothing but cheap spag-bol for four night straight, with a little treat of white chocolate that used to be brown chocolate but it oxidised. How can we not feel resentful when everyone else is partying in beautiful beachy spots, laughing and flirting and drinking tequila shots out of each other’s bellybuttons – while the sexiest thing we’ve done lately is watch Nigella Lawson on TV, greasing her ramekins.

Another stat from the survey: more than half the 18 – 24 year olds interviewed admitted they’d chosen to wear a particular outfit on holiday because it will look good in the holiday snaps. Again, how can it not make the rest of us feel like losery unattractive nobodies when we’re constantly bombarded with selfies of our friends, looking all happy and healthy and snazzily dressed, even though they probably took four hundred and eighty-two shots, picked the best one, cropped it, applied filters, defused the colours, retouched the blotches, then sent it to us from one of Australia’s 100 holiday hotspots. But on Snapchat. Set for three seconds.

Yes we know we could just stop going on social media, stop poring over everyone’s holiday posts, stop comparing our own lives to a distorted ideal that doesn’t really exist – we know this, but we can’t look away, we can’t stop splashing around in the jelly-sea. It’s a bit cold and unpleasant at first, but once you’re in, it’s actually quite refreshing.

Telstra is preparing for the increased number of selfies this summer

To maintain the same service quality in spite of significantly increased demand, Telstra has implemented measures, including localised service boosting to help address call congestion and slowing data speeds in more than 100 holiday hotspots nationwide.

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.

How To |

How to travel and work your way around Australia

By Rick Molinsky September 5, 2016

Who hasn’t dreamt of dropping it all and hitting the road with a loose plan and no firm return date? It’s become one of the great Australian dreams, a year long (or longer) road-trip across this big, beautiful wide brown land of ours.

In the past living this dream meant years of saving or picking up odd (with the emphasis on the word ‘odd’) jobs along the way. With Telstra’s network now reaching some of the most remote corners of the country it’s now possible to live and work as a true digital nomad.

Kieron Brown has lived the digital nomad lifestyle. Looking to check off his bucket-list dream of travelling Australia he unshackled himself from his desk and managed to turn the whole of Australia into his office. Here’s his story along with some tips for aspiring digital nomads everywhere.

Tell us about how your great Australian trip came about?

“I was living in Brisbane in 2014 and had been there in my job with a marketing agency called Marketing Results for a few years. I actually met up with one of my clients who is a real go-getter. He was telling me about a goal he had been working towards for the last five years which was to taking his family to France for a year and working abroad. That got me thinking what I was working towards and what was important for me. Travel was one of those things.”

How did your work take the news?

“I put it to work that I wanted a ‘gap year’ and also mentioned that I could potentially stay on in a different role, behind-the-scenes. To my surprise they went for it.”

Where did you go?

We travelled over 12,000 kms all up. Started in Brisbane went down the coast and then we went across to Adelaide to Alice Springs, Perth and then retraced our steps.

How did you work on the road?

I was already with Telstra at the time and they asked me if I’d considered just tethering from my phone. I just used my existing plan.

It changed over time. Originally everything got to me. The lighting wasn’t right, the desk wasn’t right etc. I originally had a separate tent I’d use as an office. I’d get up a 5.30am, check the tasks that had come in from the team and do two or three hours of work per day. By the time we came back I would wake up, crawl down to the end of the van, crack the laptop open and work a couple of hours.

Any tips for working remotely you’d like to give?

We used an app called WikiCamps. It’s an app you can contribute to and note the type of reception you get at each place. They actually have a dedicated Telstra icon to show you where you get Telstra reception. It was very rare that we had no internet because we were planning ahead and making sure that anywhere we stopped had coverage.

Lastly, make us jealous… What were the highlights?

There were so many… It was really just the everyday things like seeing the amazing beaches, bushwalks everyday. We somehow managed to line up our timings to see the Dalai Lama at Uluru. We went to lots of the breweries and wineries along the way.

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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Devices |

Must-have tech for the snow

By Claire Morgan June 17, 2016

When I first started skiing I carried a trail map in my pocket. Fast forward to now and most resorts have a ski app. Vail in the US has created a real-time app that shows what’s happening on the mountain; like where to find the shortest lift line. I’d like to take it a step further – with an IoT powered app that tracks my speed, the terrain I’ve covered and then intuitively predicts when I’ll stop for a break. It’ll know that I want a hot chocolate, so a hot cup will there waiting for me when I stop. With two marshmallows, please.

While I (alas) still have to order my own hot chocolate I love this time of year. There’s a chill in the air and a spring in my step because the first dustings of snow has landed on my Instagram feed. So if you haven’t already now’s the time to start planning your trip to the fields of white gold. If you’re travelling to the Australian slopes or across the ditch to NZ, we’ve pulled together a list of must-have tech gear for this year’s snow trip.

Safety first

Whether you ski or board, you’d be mad not to wear a helmet. But have you thought about turning your helmet into a connected device that tracks how fast you go, too? One that’s caught our eye is Aussie invention ‘the Alpine’, created by local start-up Forcite. It combines your camera, fog lights, GPS tracking and an in-house radio that syncs with your mobile so you can chat to your mates as you go. Check out the Alpine’s prototype video:

Forcite Alpine – Smart Helmet For Snow Sports from Forcite Helmet Systems on Vimeo.

The smart goggle

Want to check the temperature? Need to know how fast you’re flying down the hill? Want to brag about it on social media? No worries, your goggles can do that. The Oakley Airwave 1.5 might just be the smartest piece of tech on the slopes. They track and measure pretty much anything and if you sync up with your friends, it can help you find them on the mountain, too.

A photo posted by OAKLEY (@oakley) on

Find the right app

If you don’t want to invest in new gear, there are a bunch of apps that can do the job. Ski Tracks App is a popular choice, which uses your smartphone’s GPS to capture data and measure your performance on the slopes – including maximum speed and the amount of terrain you’ve covered. It’s like a wearable for the snow.

A photo posted by Bully (@deejaybully) on

Make your gloves do the work for you

Gone are the days when you take off your gloves to answer your phone. BearTek has created snow gloves so you can answer calls, listen to music and even control your GoPro via Bluetooth. It’s a whole new meaning to the words ‘hands free’.

Take the best videos

If it isn’t on social media, it didn’t happen. The Go Pro has earnt its place on every adventure sport must-have list and skiing is no exception. We’ll let the pictures do the talking.

A photo posted by GoPro (@goproanz) on

A element resistant smart phone

Just when you thought it wasn’t possible to have a phone that not only looked good but was built for an active lifestyle like hitting the slopes, Samsung launch the beautifully crafted Galaxy S7 and S7 edge which are water, dust and sand resistant. For me that means I can stay touch, upload my pics and track my runs with ease. Find out more