Telstra is bringing free Wi-Fi to a landmark near you

Telstra national Wi-Fi network
It probably won't include hot air balloons

In the first step towards building its $100 million Wi-Fi network, Telstra has announced it will be rolling out a free Wi-Fi trial across CBDs, regional centres, and popular tourist spots across Australia.

Starting in November, Telstra will will use its payphones to create 1,000 Wi-Fi hot spots in iconic locations such as Sydney's Bondi Beach, Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne, Rundle Mall in Adelaide, and Perth's CBD.

The Wi-Fi will also make an appearance at six stadiums, including the Sydney Cricket Ground, Adelaide Oval, and Melbourne's Etihad Stadium.

Down in front

This is good news for concert goers and sport fans who want to upload footage from their event of choice without burning through their mobile data. It's not so good for those seated behind them who want watch the action without peering around a sea of smartphone screens.

Telstra claims to be targeting areas in which Australians spend their leisure time, and the Wi-Fi will be freely available until the network officially launches early next year.

Once launched, the Wi-Fi will only be free for Telstra broadband customers, while others will be able to access it for a "small fee". Just how small that fee is remains to be seen.