Telstra follows Optus in revealing unlimited data phone plan

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Telstra has followed in the footsteps of Optus by announcing its own phone plan with unlimited data.

While customers won’t be able to purchase the plan until 3 May, it has been revealed that it will cost $69 a month over 12 months. It comes in SIM-only form and also comes with unlimited calls and texts.

Users receive 40GB of ‘full-speed’ mobile data, with excess data slowed to 1.5Mbps. This is different from Optus, which is speed-capped to 1.5Mbps all the way through, costing $60 a month.

Telstra’s plan will also be available to all customers, whereas the Optus deal is currently invitation-only for selected Optus customers.

Vicki Brady, Group Executive of Telstra Consumer & Small Business, said in a media release: “We know how important it is to our customers that they can access the fastest speeds available to them on our network.

“That’s why our unlimited plan comes with 40GB of data to enjoy at uncapped speeds, unlimited sports action, and then data capped at 1.5Mbps to get customers through the month if they need it.”

Telstra also offers data-free sports streaming of the NRL, AFL and Netball, as well as AFLW through each respective streaming app.

“We have invested billions in our network, pioneered world-leading 4G speeds and pushed our 4G coverage out to more than 99 per cent of the population. We are now introducing the unlimited plan Australians tell us they want while maintaining the superior network experience they expect,” said Ms Brady.

This unlimited deal also comes part of a larger refreshment of Telstra’s mobile phone plans. Additional deals include:

  • 24 months of Foxtel Now included on selected postpaid plans.
  • Most postpaid plans receiving 30 per cent more data
  • Double data on some prepaid plans

This news come after Optus initially offered its ‘Unleashed’ plan in March only to withdraw it after 24 hours, then re-introduce it in April.

Is unlimited data the future?

It certainly seems that way. But Australia is not the only country to offer unlimited data mobile phone plans – the UK and US have offered it for some time now.

Optus and Telstra now have unlimited data, and it is unclear what Vodafone will do as Australia’s third mobile carrier.

However, users must pay attention to what ‘unlimited’ actually means. While these plans effectively eliminate excess data charges, users will still have to pay attention to the slower speeds if they exceed their ‘full speed’ cap.

Speeds with Telstra are slowed to 1.5Mbps after 40GB, which is supposedly enough for Standard Definition Netflix. It is unclear whether users will experience further throttling of speeds during peak times or through certain use, like Optus does.

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