Free “unlimited” WiFi from Telkom Mobile

Telkom Mobile is offering free uncapped Wi-Fi access to some of its customers

By - March 20, 2013
Telkom Mobile free WiFi

Telkom officially launched its rebranding of 8ta to Telkom Mobile today (20 March 2013), and along with it, free Wi-Fi access for its contract and pre-paid customers under certain conditions.

The Telkom Mobile website (at 8ta.com) explains that contract subscribers will only qualify for the free Wi-Fi service if it is specifically listed as a feature of the offer or deal.

Existing post-paid and hybrid plans launched before 20 March 2013 do not qualify for Free Unlimited Wi-Fi by default.

New post-paid and hybrid offers from the following list also do not qualify by default:

  • SmartPlan 50
  • SmartPlan 100
  • SmartSaver 50
  • SmartSaver 100
  • SmartInternet 250MB
  • SmartInternet 750MB Promo
  • SmartInternet Saver 250MB
  • SmartInternet Saver 750MB Promo
Telkom Mobile free Wi-Fi launch website banner

Telkom Mobile free Wi-Fi launch website banner

So who does qualify?

A quick look at the Telkom Mobile website showed that the BlackBerry Z10 on SmartPlan 100 includes Wi-Fi access, while the same phone on the more expensive Unlimited Voice contract does not get free Wi-Fi.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 on SmartPlan 100 also includes free Wi-Fi.

Many of the contract data packages include Wi-Fi access, though the “Internet 5” promotion that gives 10GB data for R199 per month is one of the few exclusions.

Non-qualifying hybrid subscribers and all pre-paid customers can get free access to Telkom Mobile’s Wi-Fi hotspots by recharging their accounts with a certain amount.

This is summarised in the table below:

Telkom Mobile pre-paid free Wi-Fi access
Recharge Value Usage window Fair use limit
R50-R99.99 7 days 2GB
R100+ 30 days 10GB

In its terms and conditions, Telkom Mobile explains that multiple recharges over R50 during a given window period will not qualify for an additional bundle or extend the window period.

“Subscribers shall be able to qualify for a new Promotional Wi-Fi Bundle when they recharge with R50 or more after the expiry of the 7 day or 30 day access window period,” Telkom said.

Telkom Mobile subscribers will also be able to buy ad-hoc bundles to access the network’s Wi-Fi hotspots. These are priced as follows:

  • Telkom Mobile Wi-Fi 30 minutes: R25
  • Telkom Mobile Wi-Fi 60 minutes: R40

Subscribers can buy Telkom Mobile Wi-Fi bundles through the network’s online self-service portal, or by dialling *180# from a mobile handset or Telkom Mobile dashboard.

Telkom Mobile Wi-Fi hotspot map

Telkom Mobile Wi-Fi hotspot map

Fair usage policy

Qualifying contract and hybrid deals have a fair usage cap of 10GB per month, after which Telkom said the speed will be throttled to 128kbps.

Pre-paid and hybrid customers that get access by recharging may have a lower cap, as shown in the previous table.

According to Telkom, the Wi-Fi service speed shall be reset to normal speed at the beginning of each month.

How to connect

For users to connect to Telkom Mobile’s Wi-Fi hotspots, the operator explained that subscribers will have to set their phones to connect using EAP-SIM authentication.

This will let the SIM cards for qualifying post-paid and hybrid subscribers automatically authenticate them when in a Telkom Mobile Wi-Fi hotpot, the operator said.

Telkom Mobile went on to explain in the FAQ that subscribers will also be able to connect a single extra device such as a notebook or tablet by linking its MAC address to the SIM card.

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