Telstra Bigpond communications telephone phones internet web cable adsl dial up    SMH Business Telstra  photo by Peter Morris SPECIALX 00000

Telstra is trying to succeed where other Australian companies have largely failed. Photo: Peter Morris

Telstra is set announce a plan to invest tens of millions of dollars in a national Wi-Fi network on Tuesday in Sydney.

Fairfax Media understands the Wi-Fi network will be rolled out across the country and be a public system that lets Telstra customers use broadband services in more locations. The announcement will be made in Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art on Tuesday afternoon.

WiFi networks are wireless connections that normally use fixed-line broadband to carry internet traffic to telephone exchanges. They are traditionally able to handle higher speeds and larger internet loads compared to mobile networks that use cell towers.

Telstra's Wi-Fi network will most likely use the company's extensive network of infrastructure, which connects to almost every home and business in Australia.

Telecommunications companies across Asia have long offered Wi-Fi hotspots in popular places like shopping centres and sporting venues to help boost broadband speeds and reduce the load on wireless tower networks.

Other Australian companies have attempted to use Wi-Fi hotspots to give customers more internet services on the go with very low success rates.

iiNet launched a plan to do so in January but its chief executive David Buckingham said at the time it was more of a marketing service.

AAPT also announced plans when it was owned by Telecom New Zealand to provide Wi-Fi services in a range of locations but the trial was never extended beyond Sydney's Bondi Beach area due to a lack of funding.