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Telstra offers free Wi-Fi overseas for Air users, updates roaming charges

​Telstra is offering its Telstra Air customers free Wi-Fi data at 19 million overseas hotspots. But even if you pay for data overseas, there's some good news for travellers.

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Enjoy free Wi-Fi while you wait for your eel pie in Ol' Blighty.

Telstra

Update, July 12, 2017: Telstra has updated its Travel Passes to a pay-per-day pricing structure. Read all about the new pricing here

The telco has just announced that Telstra Air customers can get free Wi-Fi data at more than 19 million hotspots in 15 countries around the world, thanks to its partnership with international telecommunications company Fon.

Overseas Wi-Fi connectivity has already been available to Telstra Air home broadband customers, but Air users will be able to get free data (without digging into their at-home cap) until March 27, 2017.

To access the overseas Wi-Fi hotspots for free you need to:

  • Be a Telstra Air home broadband customer (check your eligibility here)
  • Download the Telstra Air app
  • Log in to the app and connect once before you leave Australia
  • Connect to any Fon hotspot overseas -- they'll appear automatically when you're in range

Telstra Air started its life as a free Wi-Fi network beamed out of Telstra's legacy phone boxes around Australia. After the initial trial, the network went to a paid model, offering home broadband customers the ability to use the phone box Wi-Fi as well as Wi-Fi hotspots created by modems in other people's homes, just by offering their home modem up as a hotspot.

While users still need to pay for their data, it comes off their monthly home broadband allowance rather than being charged at a per-megabyte mobile data rate.

The free Wi-Fi may be a good stop gap for customers who want to stay on social media and check their email overseas without having to pay for one of Telstra's overseas Travel Passes.

The telco restructured its multi-tiered Travel Pass pricing in December last year, adding a top tier that costs AU$450 for 30 days of connectivity across the US, South America, Europe and the UK. But if you still want a connection away from Wi-Fi, you'll now pay slightly less with news that Telstra has now ditched that top tier and brought Zone 3 countries into Zone 2.

From now, travellers to New Zealand (Zone 1) will pay up to AU$150 for 30 days of connectivity and 2.2GB of data. Visitors to other eligible countries including the US, UK, much of Europe, Asia and South America (Zone 2) will pay up to AU$300 for 30 days and 2.2GB.

You can check out Telstra's full Travel Pass pricing here, and the full list of Fon hotspots are available on the Fon website.