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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.