Telstra risks bill shock with LTE plans

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.

TOPICS: Telcos, Telstra
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


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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  • You will find that Telstra never removed excess data usage for Telstra Mobile Broadband (Business grade service) which is what you have quoted. If your source is providing you this information you may want to find a second leak because what you are quoting is specifically for TMB pricing (given that it does not have a *.95c price tag and also includes excess usage)

    BigPond Mobile Broadband will continue to receive shaped usage.

    Also, the article you quote to 'back in may' is specifically referring to Mobile Phone usage which use alternate APN's to both TMB and BPMB.

    Just thought you should know.
    • Hi Ubi,

      If you have a look at Telstra's mobile broadband pricing, you'll see that it does have shaping.

      As for whether this is the business or consumer, Telstra wouldn't confirm but I believe it is consumer.


      Josh Taylor
      Josh Taylor
      • Hey JoshT,

        I hate to nitpick but there is a major difference between Telstra Mobile Broadband and BigPond.

        The prices quoted will most definitely be for TMB (Business) and the link you have provided in your reply is for BigPond (Consumer)

        I understand that the person you have received your documentation from is more believable than myself but you may want to clarify with that person again the difference between TMB and BigPond as well as their pricing points.
        • Hi Ubi,

          you are correct that the business ones do have excess charges. Sorry about that.

          We'll amend to reflect that.


          Josh Taylor
          Josh Taylor
          • Josh. Wouldn't it be a little less slanted to say "As of yet there is no evidence that Telstra are removing shaping from their Bigpond service" rather than it is unconfirmed if it will continue?

            But then again, why let the truth get in the way of a sensationalist headline =P
          • Pablosan, had to laugh at your comment.

            Yeah I do find the headline to be extremely misleading. Telstra are offering more data for the same price (except for the 15GB plan being $10 more expensive) and the plan details haven't changed either.

            The only difference to customers will be LTE devices and better data quotas.

  • As the first user said!!

    Bigpond ANYTHING = consumer!
    TMB or TBB = business!! (all business plans or data are not shaped!)

    I believe your intell is wrong but only time will tell.
  • Yep Ubi is right,

    Pretty poor standard of reporting josh. Telstra has had different plans for both TMB (Business) and Bigpond (Consumer) for over 5 or 6 years...

    Telstra branded "Telstra Mobile Broadband -

    Bigpond branded Bigpond Wireless -

    shame shame =P
  • Yes i agree the article seems a bit misguided, and the headline quite misleading. At no point has Telstra offered shaped plans for Business, it has always charged excess usage. The whole premise of the article that LTE users will have to "watch how much data they use, since the telco plans to maintain excess data usage charges" seems flawed. Perhaps a better premise is that they will have to watch their data usage given that they will receive faster speeds and the ability to download much more data in a shorter space of time would be better.