Telstra risks bill shock with LTE plans

Summary:Telstra customers on its new long-term evolution (LTE) network will have to watch how much data they use, since the telco plans to reintroduce excess data usage charges, according to internal documentation leaked to ZDNet Australia.

This article implied that consumers would risk bill shock because Telstra would not provide shaping on LTE accounts. As yet it is uncertain whether shaping will continue for consumers over LTE. The business plans detailed below do not have shaping, risking bill shock, as is the case with the telco's other business plans.

update Telstra business customers on its new long-term evolution (LTE) network will have to watch how much data they use, since the telco plans to maintain excess data usage charges, according to internal documentation leaked to ZDNet Australia.

The document confirmed that the LTE plan pricing points between $29 and $89 per month revealed by ZDNet Australia earlier this month, although Telstra had still not officially confirmed that these would be the final plans for its LTE product launch at the time of writing.

The prices provide more bang for your buck than those currently on offer by the telco for its Next G mobile broadband. However, Telstra will maintain additional charges for customers who exceed their monthly data cap, according to the documentation.

According to the document, users will be charged the following amounts for exceeding their limit on their respective standard plans when LTE is released for a broader launch:

  • 1GB/$29 per month: 25 cents per extra megabyte
  • 4GB/$39 per month: 10 cents per extra megabyte
  • 8GB/$49 per month: 10 cents per extra megabyte
  • 15GB/$89 per month: 5 cents per extra megabyte.

Telstra had done away with such additional charges for consumers who exceeded a monthly data cap in its current mobile broadband plans in May. Instead, users who exceed their monthly data limit have their download speed throttled to 64 kilobits per second.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has indicated it will seek to further regulate the telecommunications industry unless it works to reduce the number of incidents of "bill shock", by giving customers greater oversight of their call, SMS and data usage.

ZDNet Australia understands that Telstra plans to launch its LTE mobile broadband product to consumers on 2 October. The telco initially launched the product to some business customers in late August. The launch is expected to occur at the same time as a brand refresh for the company, which will see the orange background for the Telstra logo replaced with a variety of colours including blue, pink and purple.

Telstra would not comment on its launch or whether it would continue shaping for consumers.

Updated at 12:56pm:clarified that the stated LTE plan amounts were for business customers.

Topics: Telcos, Telstra

About

Armed with a degree in Computer Science and a Masters in Journalism, Josh keeps a close eye on the telecommunications industry, the National Broadband Network, and all the goings on in government IT.

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