Some 20 high-profile locations around Brisbane and the Gold Coast will be equipped with Wi-Fi technology as part of the state government's 12-month Wi-Fi trial to test the market and gauge the impact of mobile Internet on businesses.
Locations include several railway stations in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast, major sporting venues including Suncorp Stadium and The Gabba Cricket Ground, the Queensland Law Courts complex, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centres, and building lobbies in and around Brisbane.
The project will enable users to use wireless-enabled laptops and mobile devices to access the Internet, check emails, download files and access Queensland government information services at any of the hotspots.
Access to the Queensland Government Gateway will be free, whilst other activities such as checking email and surfing the Net will cost about 20 cents per minute. Consumers already signed up to a wireless Internet account from an ISP participating in Hotspot Global’s Member Network can pay for the service on their monthly bill. Alternatively, those without an existing account can purchase pre-paid cards from any of Hotspot Global’s wireless infrastructure provider partners.
Queensland's innovation and information economy minister, Paul Lucas, said the trial had the potential to expand to thousands of hotspots across Queensland.
In winning the contract Hotspot Global brought together a consortium of local and national businesses, including IntraPower, Sirocco, i-Tel and SnapGear, to provide a service that promotes co-operation within the telecommunications industry and improves service delivery for communities. The consortium is receiving support from Intel.
The rollout of hotspots is expected to be completed in October 2003 and will be supported by a range of industry and community events to raise awareness and introduce the new service to the community.