Telstra Signs Up 500K Aussies For Air Wi-Fi Network

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There have been critics aplenty, but Telstra say it has no fewer than 500,000 registered customers for its Australian Air Wi-Fi network, announced by former CEO David Thodey in 2014.

This includes 120,000 mobile customers, current CEO Andrew Penn said on Friday, delivering the telco’s results for the six months to December 31.

Overall the Big T recorded a net profit of A$2.13 billion on revenue of $13.68 billion. Capital expenditure was up by 20 percent at $2.07 billion; while operating expenditure grew 14.2 percent to $8.78 million.

Telstra Air offers free Wi-Fi connections to personal mobile and mobile broadband customers at thousands of Telstra Air hotspots, including many little-used phone boxes across Australia – though the offer is good only until June 30 this year, after which Telstra will presumably begin charging.

To use it, landline subscribers must agree to let others log onto their home networks – though Telstra insists the blow-ins cannot explore their hosts’ personal use of the network.

Revenue from Telstra’s overall mobile business grew by 3.7 percent, to $5.33 billion in the six months. Telstra said post-paid handheld contributed $2.71 billion to this, up 0.2 percent, while prepaid handheld contributed $495 million, down 0.6 percent.

In a reference to Internet of Things business, Telstra said its mobile machine-to-machine (M2M) revenue reached $60 million, up 9.1 percent.
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