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Optus delivering superfast wifi at Qantas airport lounges

By David Flynn     Filed under: qantas, Optus, Qantas Lounge, wireless internet, free airport wireless internet

Telstra is out and Optus is in at Qantas' airport lounges – and some travellers are being surprised, perhaps even stunned, by the speed of the new wireless network.

The souped-up wireless is already running in Qantas lounges at Sydney Airport T3 and Brisbane's International and Domestic airports, after Qantas ditched Telstra for Optus as its airport lounge ISP.

An Optus spokeswoman told Australian Business Traveller that Adelaide will receive its upgrade "by the end of this week”.

The rollout will reach "most capital cities by the end of December, and all other ports including regional ports by the end of April 2012."

Early reports we're getting from AusBT readers are of superfast speeds around 10Mbps, even in morning and evening peak hours, which is zippier than many home ADSL connections – and substantially quicker than Telstra's much-criticised service, which also proved frustratingly unreliable due to connection stall and drops outs.

Optus has obviously boosted overall capacity to the lounge and also seems to have installed the latest 802.11n wireless kit which is capable of delivering rapid and reliable signals to laptops and tablets.

The new network name or 'SSID' to look for is 'Qantas-Lounge' – so if you're hitting up the Qantas lounges any time soon, let us know how the new network is running for you (try using the free service).


About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 5/12/11 by Al

If all Optus had to do was provide more bandwidth to the lounge and install faster routers, then this is something Telstra should have done a long time ago!

2 on 6/12/11 by tronixstuff

There was nothing wrong with the Telstra service - the problem was the people in QF land who didn't order increases in the required bandwidth and wifi hardware to keep up with demand. Unless they learn that lesson we'll be back here in 12 months saying "Oh that crap Optus internet" etc. 

1 on 6/12/11 by Al

Telstra was running the show and QF were paying them to do that so it really was Telstra's job to pump up the bandwidth, but I agree with you that QF should have been insisting on this rather than just giving up. But maybe this was a plot by Telstra to make travellers buy Next G dongles, if so it worked because when I used to fly with Qantas I'd see a mobile broadband USB dongle hanging off every second notebook in the lounge!

2 on 6/12/11 by am

The Telstra contract was probably settled on 5+ years ago, and probably only requires Telstra to provide speeds at a level that was acceptable 5+ years ago. The increases in usage, complexity in webpages etc and in the increase in expected speeds in that time is the reason that it used to be so dreadful. Telstra isn't going to spend a penny more than they have to on the contract, and QF probably didn't have a great deal of space to move... 

3 on 6/12/11 by Mavrick

Changing to Optus sounds like more of a marketing tie-up to me.  Don't Qantas and Optus to FF points now.  The Wifi at the Melbourne Virgin lounge is amazing.

1 on 6/12/11 by Al

Virgin lounge wifi is pretty awesome isn't it! I think that's partly because it's a new system so they went staright for 11n gear, lounges which have had wireless for longer may still be using older 11g routers which aren't as fast and I think they're also not as good at handling so many users.


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