Australia’s biggest and oldest telco is still a favourite when it comes to business phone plans. Its first telegraph line went put up in 1854, running between Melbourne and Williamstown, and by 1880 the first telephone exchanges had opened in Melbourne and Brisbane.
Telstra has always been Australian pioneers when it comes to telecommunications, placing the first public telephone in Sydney’s General Post Office in the 1890s.
By 1900 there were 30,000 telephone services in Australia. It was at this time that all communication services were placed under the postmaster general’s department, which is where Telstra as we know it has stemmed from.
Telephone and TV networks continued to grow and expand over the decades, and Telecom was formed in the 70s when the PMG department was split into postal and telecommunication companies. As a new independent trader, Telecom offered international direct calling to 13 countries in 1976.
By 1980, use of the international direct calling service grew by 800%. It was in the 80s that Telecom also released its first mobile phone – a handy tool for business people – the car phone, which was convenient and paved the way for the future of communications.
The 80s was a big decade for Telecom, as it also set up its first computerised phone exchange in Victoria and introduced the first electronic White Pages.
The early 90s were some defining years for the company formerly known as Telecom; it changed its name to Telstra firstly overseas, and then back home. It was also the decade where internet became a huge part of the business, launching BigPond and its high-speed cable service.
Today, Telstra is part of the National Broadband Network (NBN), rolling out cables to connect Australia better than ever before.
What does Telstra offer small businesses?
Telstra offers four grades of its various business plans. Whether you’re after phones on a 24 month plan, plans for employees who have their own phone, or casual plans that only go from month-to-month, Telstra has your small business covered.
Depending on the size of your business, you can get small, medium, large and extra-large plans to keep everybody connected. Telstra plans for businesses start at $65 per month and include some pretty good bonuses on top of their data allowances and calling minutes. When work is done for the day, everyone can enjoy a six-month Presto streaming subscription, or a digital pass for the football code of their choice (AFL or NRL).
Calls between staff members’ business phones are free and unlimited on a Telstra business plan, meaning that those valuable calling minutes can be put to good use calling clients.
All allocated data can also be pooled and shared among everyone, taking your data allowance further and getting better value for money. A data only sim can also be included in the plan, so someone can take a tablet on the road if need be.
Telstra says it has your business covered when it comes to mobile plans and that “you can trust Australia’s biggest Telco to keep your team in touch”.
In our customer satisfaction survey, Telstra earned a three-star rating from Australian small business owners.
What our survey respondents said about Telstra
|Telstra gives better coverage in rural areas||Can be more expensive than other providers.|
|They have been there for us for the past 30 years.||They are the only provider available to us in a regional area – I would like to have a choice.|
|Telstra is the one stop shop for all our business communication needs.||The call centre experience isn’t great.|
|They have the only mobile coverage that ensures my staff are in contact at all times in the region we live in.||The service is too complicated and not sure if it’s value for money.|
Other brands we looked at
In our mobile phone service for small business category, we surveyed customers who had plans with one of the four big providers.
As well as Telstra, we looked at: