Qantas drops Telstra for Optus for airport lounge Internet

By David Flynn, October 11 2011
Qantas drops Telstra for Optus for airport lounge Internet

IN BRIEF | Qantas is dropping Telstra as its airport lounge ISP, with challenger Optus winning the contract to connect business travellers with the outside world.

An Optus spokeswoman confirmed the win this afternoon, although she told Australian Business Traveller that no other details were available, saying "the details of this are still being worked through."

Qantas' in-lounge Internet has been something of a pain point for travellers, with the Telstra-provided service proving frustratingly unreliable.

This has only been exacerbated by popularity of the iPad and other tablets, which have become the gadget de jour for frequent flyers but increase the load on the lounge's wireless network.

With connection stall and drops outs, and sometimes just running as slow as a wet week in Wagga, it's little wonder that so many notebook-toting business travellers have turned to wireless broadband modems.

That said, when the lounge wireless works it works well. On a recent mid-morning visit to Sydney Airport’s Qantas business lounge, Australian Business Traveller found the free in-lounge wireless was serving a solid 5Mbps – just as fast as the 3G mobile broadband networks of Vodafone and Optus (but less than half the speed of Telstra's super-fast Next G network).

The problem is that it's all a very hit-and-miss affair. Let's hope Optus is a change for the better.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 526

Oh dear... If Telstra was considered bad then Optus will be unusable! I'm in the process of swapping the other way and dumping Optus after many many years. The service is just horrible! Good luck Qantas!

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24 Aug 2011

Total posts 784

The Optus connection will most likely be the same in six months - more and more people will load up their iThings with content at the lounge resulting in less bandwidth for everyone ... trying to do some work!

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2549

AusFlyer: are you speaking of mobile or cable/ADSL? If the former, then yes, there are many tales of woe for Optus mobile (I also switched from them to Telstra for my BlackBerry and iPhone) but a commercial cable-based setup is a very different beast to mobile 3G.

As long as Optus has enough bandwidth in the pipe to the lounge and enough wifi routers (with proper positioning around the lounge) to cope with peak loads then they'll be off to a good start... with the caveat that they keep an eye on usage and can increase bandwidth over time as needed.

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