Telstra will open up its Air wi-fi network for free to all mobile device users this weekend in celebration of the first world wi-fi day.
The Air network will be free for everyone from Friday to Monday, capped to half-hour timeslots to limit overuse. A Telstra spokesperson said the initiative was intended to show non-Telstra customers how the network could be used in everyday life.
The telco is the only Australian member of the Wireless Broadband Alliance, which is the creator of world wi-fi day. The alliance is made up of 70 global members including the likes of AT&T, BT, and Spark, as well as Google, Cisco, Intel, and Fon.
The event is intended to "recognise and celebrate the significant role wi-fi is playing in getting cities and communities around the world connected". It occurs on Monday.
However, the network will no longer be free for Telstra mobile customers after September 30. Similarly, home broadband users can currently use the network without it counting towards their home allowance; this will also cease at September 30.
The network boasts 8000 Telstra-built wi-fi hotspots located in old pay phones, and around 400,000 wi-fi hotpots offered by its home broadband users, who have signed up to share a portion of their bandwidth, as well as those in Telstra stores and others run by local councils.
Telstra expects 1.9 million of its customers will eventually sign up to offer a portion of their home bandwidth. A further 12 million hotspots are available internationally thanks to wi-fi provider partner Fon.