Tough news for Telstra phone customers: Australia’s biggest telco has confirmed that its postpaid mobile plan prices are about to increase by as much as $6 per month.
Customers on Telstra’s SIM-only postpaid, phone-on-a-plan, and mobile broadband plans will see their monthly bills spike from July 4, although some mobile broadband plans will remain unchanged. However, the majority of Telstra postpaid phone customers will now pay between $3 and $6 more per month more, for essentially the same features.
While Telstra is compensating SIM-only customers on Basic and Mobile Bundle plans with more monthly data, it’s a hard sell at a time when Australians are dealing with sky-high power bills, inflated grocery costs and all-around economic uncertainty. Customers who stick with Telstra will see their phone or mobile broadband bills rise by between $36 and $72 annually, or around 7% across most plans.
Telstra plan price hike: what’s changing?
All three of Telstra’s Upfront postpaid mobile plans will undergo a price change from July 4. The new prices will apply to both SIM-only users, and customers paying off a new phone on a Telstra plan. Customers with a Telstra device plan should note that their phone payments won’t be impacted; you’ll still pay the same monthly cost for the phone itself. However, as your mobile plan price will change, your total monthly bill (for both your phone and mobile plan) will increase.
Telstra’s smallest Upfront plan, its $58 Basic option, will rise by $4 per month to $62, but will include 50GB of full-speed data each month (up from 40GB). The mid-range Essential plan will go from $68 to $72, while the priciest Premium plan will rise to $95 monthly, up from $89.
Customers on Starter plans with 2GB of data will also see a price rise, with the plan jumping from $47 to $50 from July; however, the discount available to concession card holders will also increase to cover the price difference. If you’re a Telstra Bundle customer, prices will also increase from $47 to $50 monthly, but data will be boosted from 15GB to 25GB.
Here’s a simple side-by-side comparison of what’s changing on Telstra’s plans on July 4.
|Plan||Current price & features||Changes from July 4|
|Telstra Upfront Mobile Plan Basic||
|Telstra Upfront Mobile Plan Essential||
|Telstra Upfront Mobile Plan Premium||
Aside from the data increase on the Basic plan, no other plan features will change: you’ll get the same monthly full-speed data allowance on Essential and Premium plans, along with unlimited speed-capped data use, restricted to 1.5Mbps. All three plans include access to Telstra’s 5G network where available, although the Basic plan is limited to speeds of 250Mbps.
Plans also feature unlimited standard national talk and text to Australian numbers, unlimited standard international SMS, and 30 minutes of standard overseas calls per month. Telstra’s plans are also contract-free, so you can switch between them as needed (although if you’re on a phone payment plan and want to cancel your mobile service, you’ll still need to pay the remaining balance of your device).
Telstra will also increase pricing on its Medium and Large mobile broadband plans, again with no changes to each plan’s monthly data allowance. Medium plans will go from $55 each month for 75GB of data, up to $58, while Large plans will jump from $85 to $90 monthly, with 400GB of data.
The telco last raised its postpaid mobile prices in July 2022, with plan costs increasing by up to $4 per month.
Why is Telstra raising prices?
While the news is unlikely to be well-received, Telstra did warn customers in 2022 that it would begin reviewing mobile plans annually and tweak costs in line with the Consumer Price Index. The upcoming price changes are the results of the brand’s 2023 review.
Telstra Group Executive, Consumer and Small Business, Brad Whitcomb acknowledged that the changes will be hard on customers, but said that Telstra was responding to its own increasing costs.
“Increasing our prices means we can continue investing in the things that matter for our customers,” Mr Whitcomb said.
“Things like delivering around one million square kilometres more mobile coverage compared to our closest competitor and 24/7 network monitoring to help protect against scams and other malicious activity.”
Mr Whitcomb said that Telstra will also be expanding its Telstra Top-up program, which offers complimentary mobile credit recharges to vulnerable prepaid customers. The telco will increase the top-up value from three $40 credits with a 28-day expiry, to a single $160 credit that lasts for six months, and will also open the program up to more customers.
How do Telstra’s new prices compare to Optus and Vodafone?
Neither Optus or Vodafone have commented publicly on Telstra’s announcement, but it’s likely both telcos will be reviewing their own mobile plan prices later this year. Optus last increased its SIM plan prices in August of 2022, while Vodafone revamped its own postpaid plan lineup in January.
Under the July price changes, Telstra’s cheapest postpaid mobile plan available to new customers will be its $62 Basic plan with 50GB of data. Currently, Optus’ postpaid plans begin at $49 per month for 30GB of data, and Vodafone’s at $45 per month for 40GB. If you’d like to break down those costs by data, Telstra’s plan is priced at $1.24 per gigabyte, Optus’ at $1.63 per gigabyte, and Vodafone at $1.12 per gigabyte — placing Telstra firmly in the middle.
If you’re a serious data user, Telstra’ most expensive plan is its Premium deal, which from July will include 300GB of data for $95 per month. Currently, Optus offers 360GB for $89 each month, while Vodafone’s Large plan also includes 300GB, but with a $65 per month price. That breaks down to about $0.20 per gigabyte with Vodafone, $0.25 per gigabyte with Optus, and $0.31 per gigabyte with Telstra.
All three telcos offer similar extras, such as unlimited speed-capped data use within Australia if your monthly full-speed data allowance runs out. Plans are all month-to-month, and all three telcos give customers the option of bringing their own unlocked phone, or adding a new device on a payment plan.
To give you an idea of how current postpaid plans from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone compare, browse through the below table.
The following table shows selected published Optus SIM-only postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.
The following table shows selected published Telstra SIM-only postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.
The following table shows selected published Vodafone SIM-only postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.
What if I want a cheap phone plan?
While Telstra is packing more data into its entry-level Basic plan, it’s still an expensive pick, particularly for customers who don’t require 40GB or 50GB of data each month. If you’re one of the millions of Aussies who can happily get by on 20GB, 10GB, or even 5GB of data per billing cycle or recharge, your best bet may be to look elsewhere for a cheaper mobile deal.
If you do want to keep Telstra network coverage, there’s a small range of providers operating on Telstra’s 4G and 5G networks, but offering much lower monthly prices. For example, Woolworths Mobile offers 22GB of data for $25 per month, while Belong’s $25 plan comes with 20GB (and 5G network access). Other telcos, including Tangerine, Pennytel, and Mate, offer 10GB of data for $20 or less each month.
For customers happy to go prepaid, Telstra network resellers include Boost Mobile, ALDI Mobile, and Lycamobile. And if you’re not fussed on sticking with Telstra coverage, you’ll have a huge range of low-cost options on Optus and Vodafone’s networks, such as Moose Mobile, Southern Phone, Amaysim, TPG and Felix.
There’s plenty of benefits to sticking with Telstra, such as wide network coverage, extras including Telstra Plus Rewards, and add-on services such as streaming and tech accessories. But if you’re a current Telstra customer considering jumping ship before the July price changes kick in, now’s the time to look around.
To see what’s available from postpaid and prepaid providers, you can compare plans in the table below.
Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Try using our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.
Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data each month, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. If you want to compare a larger range of offers from other providers, use our phone plan comparison tool. This table includes products with links to referral partners.