Telstra last and least to reduce roaming charges

Telstra last and least to reduce roaming charges

Summary: Telstra has finally unveiled its own global roaming price cuts, but Telstra customers will still pay more than Optus or Vodafone customers.

TOPICS: Telcos, Telstra

Telstra is the last to the market with its pricing overhaul for customers using mobile data while overseas, and it remains much more costly compared to rivals Optus and Vodafone.

The company's director of business mobility Tim Webber today posted on Telstra's Exchange blog that from October 14, customers travelling to over 50 countries will be able to purchase 30-day datapacks to reduce their spend while overseas at a much lower rate than they currently could.

Telstra has upped the entry level for data packs, with AU$29 now including 100MB instead of 20MB as it stands today. AU$85 will get a user 300MB, instead of 65MB today, AU$160 will get 600MB instead of 120MB, and AU$350 will get 1.5GB of data instead of the 300MB today.

Telstra has said that the value in the packs lies in not needing to purchase new data packs depending on the country you're travelling in, as long as it is in one of the 50 covered by the deal.

The company also said that it has reduced pay-as-you-do data roaming rates — that is, without adding a datapack — by 80 percent, from AU$15 to AU$3 per 1MB of data used.

While the price cut is significant for Telstra, it still falls far short of what its rivals Optus and Vodafone have announced.

Optus' new roaming plan covers 182 countries, broken out into two zones, where the cost for data varies between 50 cents and AU$1 per 1MB used.

Customers can also opt to purchase an AU$10-per-day pack that includes unlimited calls and texts and 30MB of data.

Vodafone's plan is currently limited to the US, the UK, and New Zealand, but offers Red plan customers the option of paying AU$5 per day to continue to use their mobile phone as though they were still in Australia, with the same data limits.

Josh Taylor travelled to New Zealand to test out Vodafone's new roaming plans as a guest of Vodafone.

Topics: Telcos, Telstra


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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  • We are all paying

    We are all paying for the demise of Vodafone. Telstra know that they are dominant and will continue to dominate so they are taking advantage of that leadership. Optus are in the middle and that is reflected in their pricing. Vodafone with a still shrinking customer base can afford to offer better roaming value than the competition as they are less exposed - although they are actually quite sneaky about it as you need to be on a plan that allows the packs to be purchased and those packs have less value in them generally than the previous plans. And frankly even at $5 a day to utilise your current plan its still an extra $150 a month which is over the top.
    • Not quite..

      The red plan includes the roam like home thing by default, its not an extra pack. You can turn it off I think, but you don't have to "add" it like a pack. Value wise it was about the same for me, I think the plan might be a tiny bit more but I think my handset cost is less this time around. If there was a difference it was probably about a bottle of coke haha
  • Good resolve, but not the best!

    True, expensive data roaming charges is a real problem for Australians. But what about calling while abroad? It’s just as expensive! As far as I’m concerned, it’s much better to download Roamer ( before departure, keep your regular number and save up to 90% on roaming. Plus, you can use the cheapest mobile data. Once you insert a foreign SIM card abroad, you have a cheapest data plan option available.
    Anastasija Jevdokimova