Telstra sheds excess data charges on selected mobile plans

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If you’re sick of being slugged $10 per gigabyte of excess data, Telstra has a new range of plans to stop this.

As part of Telstra’s ‘T22’ strategy, selected mobile phone plans will not incur any excess data charges, with a ‘Peace of Mind’ data backup.

Peace of Mind data kicks in after customers reach their data allowance. This is included on a select few plans and is an additional add-on of $10 per month on other plans.

‘Peace of Mind’ data is slowed to 1.5Mbps. Currently, the two plans it is included on are the Medium $69 plan and the Large $89 plan.

The telco also rejigged its $199 ‘Ultimate’ mobile phone plan to have unlimited data, without a 1.5Mbps speed cap.

The news comes after Telstra initially introduced then withdrew its ‘Unlimited data’ mobile phone plan earlier in 2018. Speeds on this plan also slowed to 1.5Mbps after a certain amount of data.

Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said that the telco found customers heavily curb their phone usage when nearing the end of their data allowance.

“This holds them back from doing many of the things they love like connecting with friends and family on social media and streaming music… Peace of Mind Data provides the confidence that they can use their phone or tablet and never incur additional data fees in Australia,” Mr Penn said.

Canstar Blue research indicates that the going rate for excess data is $10 per gigabyte. Previously, Telstra charged this amount on its postpaid mobile phone plans.

Canstar Blue Telco Specialist Harrison Astbury said that Telstra’s new ‘Peace of Mind’ data deal is good news for consumers, but they will have to be honest about the amount of data they’re using.

“If customers frequently go over their data allowance by 2GB or more, they could be better off under the Peace of Mind deal,” he said. “For other customers, it makes little sense to pay for something you won’t use, especially if you are comfortably within your data limit each month.”

Telstra’s ‘FairPlay’ policy still applies on all phone plans, and speeds slower than 1.5Mbps may be experienced in congested periods.

Telstra plans with ‘unlimited’ data

Only one mobile phone plan of Telstra’s could truly be considered ‘unlimited’ and it costs close to $200 a month. Here’s the skinny on plans that could technically be considered ‘unlimited’.

  • Medium SIM Only $69: 30GB full-speed data, ‘Peace of Mind’ data included – slowed to 1.5Mbps.
  • Large SIM Only $89: 60GB full-speed data, ‘Peace of Mind’ data included – slowed to 1.5Mbps.
  • X Large Mobile Plan $129: 60GB full-speed data, ‘Peace of Mind’ data included – slowed to 1.5Mbps.
  • Ultimate Mobile Plan $199: Unlimited data.

The former two are on a 12-month SIM only contract, while the latter two are over 24 months and users must bundle in a smartphone. Customers with the X Large or Ultimate plans can choose to either keep or ‘lease’ their smartphone and upgrade after 12 months.

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