Monday, 09 April 2018 10:03

Telstra boasts of new Smart Wi-Fi Booster, also gives 30-day NBN satisfaction guarantee

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Telstra has made two announcements today, boosting its new Smart Wi-Fi Booster which can be extended with up to four units, while also delivering a new 30-day NBN satisfaction guarantee.

Mick Jagger might have had difficulty getting satisfaction, but Telstra is so sure of its NBN services that it is going to give customers a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, which the company says "gives customers the freedom to leave Telstra without penalty if they’re not happy with their NBN service and let us know within the first 30 days of their nbn connection".

The company states this initiative reaffirms its "NBN leadership position and is reinforced by:"

  • The recent launch of the Telstra Smart Modem, which combines the latest Wi-Fi technology with mobile back-up;
  • The recent announcement of unlimited data across selected bundles;
  • The current process of moving almost a million NBN customers onto the Standard Plus speed tier; and
  • The commitment in providing customers 80% minimum typical evening speeds of their chosen NBN speed tier.

With that bit of Telstra NBN news out of the way, what is Telstra telling us about its new Smart Wi-Fi Booster, which helps extend the Wi-Fi signal much further around your house or office than a typical Wi-Fi modem router can do?

Well, the headline features are as follows:

  • Extended Wi-Fi coverage.
  • Greater flexibility with the option to have up to 4 Wi-Fi Boosters and just one Wi-Fi network name being used.
  • Seamless connection to the strongest Wi-Fi Booster at all times (as you walk around the house/backyard).
  • The Telstra Home Dashboard app guides you through setting up your Wi-Fi Boosters, to make sure you get the most out of your Wi-Fi.

Jana Kotatko, head of Fixed Products at Telstra said the device, which we're told has been "tailor-made" for Telstra customers, said the device "is affordable, easy to set up and features the latest Wi-Fi technology to seamlessly connect household devices to the strongest and fastest Wi-Fi source".

Kotatko said: “The booster, which is the first of its kind to be offered by an Australian provider, is affordable and easy to set up, and features the latest Wi-Fi technology to seamlessly connect household devices to the strongest and fastest Wi-Fi source.

“With the NBN now available to more than six million homes and businesses, and the rise of connected devices being used within Australian homes, our customers expect to be able to get online in any area of their property including their yards, garages and even bungalows.

“But for larger homes with three or more bedrooms or multiple floors, often a single Wi-Fi modem isn’t enough.

“The Smart Wi-Fi Booster essentially acts like a second modem, so if you’re browsing the Web or making a call over Wi-Fi while moving around the house, it will automatically switch to the stronger Wi-Fi signal.”

Telstra says its Smart Wi-Fi Booster comes "in a pack of two, with one booster connecting to the modem and the other placed in another area of the house where the Wi-Fi signal starts to drop off".

Kotatko explained that the seamless transition between boosters is a key advantage of this home Wi-Fi solution over existing Wi-Fi extenders.

“Many Wi-Fi extenders require a customer to manually choose which Wi-Fi point they want to connect to, or the signal needs to drop out completely before their connection switches over to the extender.

“This drop in service is enough to cut a call using Voice over Wi-Fi or Skype, make websites much slower to load and cause videos to buffer. With Telstra Smart Wi-Fi Booster, customers should be able to do all these things with fewer interruptions in more places.”

Ahead of the launch, Telstra said it "trialled the Wi-Fi Booster in 100 homes and found that the vast majority of participants saw a lift in their Wi-Fi speeds and coverage – with 80% also reporting an improvement in streaming video performance".

Kotatko also said "often customers who have poor in-home Wi-Fi coverage can improve their experience significantly by knowing where to place their Wi-Fi modem or a booster".

“We’ve found customers naturally want to place a booster at the edge of their Wi-Fi coverage, but in reality, placing it where coverage has just started to drop off but is still relatively strong can provide a much better overall experience.

“To help make this easier, we’ve updated our free Telstra Home Dashboard app (iOS/Android) which walks customers through a few simple steps to find the best areas in their home to set up their Smart Wi-Fi Boosters.”

Telstra said its Smart Wi-Fi Booster is "also expected to assist the growing number of Australians adopting smart home technology helping them to connect devices to Wi-Fi which may not have reached before like an outdoor camera or a motion sensor in the garage".

The Telstra Smart Wi-Fi Booster is "available for $180 outright or $7.50/month over 24 months at Telstra online and in Telstra Stores across the country".

Technical Specifications

Hardware

  • "Powerful" dual-core CPU
  • 1 x auto sensing 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet WAN/LAN port
  • MediaTek MTK7621A Wireless network card

Wireless Connectivity

  • AC2533 (1733 +800M) Dual-band concurrent Wi-Fi
  • 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz-256QAM support
  • 4 x 4 802.11ac 5GHz-256QAM support
  • Self-configuring network for maximum coverage

Wi-Fi Roaming

  • Wi-Fi roaming IEEE 802.11k/v
  • Wi-Fi Band steering

Antennas

  • 2.4GHz band – 4 transmit/receive
  • 5GHz band – 4 transmit/receive

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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