Telstra, Australia’s leading telecoms provider is to start a $100 million trial which will start in November 2014. The long forgotten phone booths, which have been pushed out of the market place due to smart phones, are to be turned into Wi-Fi hotspots.
Telstra customers who agree to share their bandwidth will gain access to all of the hotspots free of charge, non Telstra customers will still be able to connect but no costs have yet been discussed.
The first 100 of the two million hotspots will be available for free on a trial basis within the next two weeks. The trial will include busy spots such as Bondi Beach in Sydney, Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne and Rundle Mall in Adelaide.
The phone booths will be turned into hot spots because most are located in busy areas and they are connected to high-speed fibre cabling.
The hotspots will transmit internet for about a 100-metre radius, depending on the surrounding environment, with typical speeds being about two megabits-per-second.
Telstra will also benefit from the new Wi-Fi available as it will free up space on its coveted 4G network by moving people to public hotspots.