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Telstra announces AU$5b networks investment, launches new mobile plans

Telstra will invest AU$5 billion in its networks over the next three years, CEO Andy Penn has said, while the telco's new 'Peace of Mind Data' solution will reduce excess data charges across its mobile plans.

Telstra has launched its new mobile plans, spruiking simplification and fewer charges for excess data with the introduction of "Peace of Mind Data", with Telstra CEO Andy Penn also announcing a AU$5 billion investment in Telstra's networks.

"In addition to investing in product innovation, we are investing AU$5 billion in our network over the three years to 30 June 2019, increasing capacity to cater for increased mobile data use which is currently growing at 50 percent each year," Penn said, pointing towards network innovations such as Telstra's gigabit-speed 4G network, 2Gbps LTE offering, and launch of LTE-Broadcast.

Its new mobile plans were announced as part of the Telstra2022 strategy unveiled last month.

"We know Australians often curb their smartphone use when they near their data limits, and this holds them back ... we're ending this frustration with the introduction of Peace of Mind Data, which makes excess data charges a thing of the past," Penn said.

"Peace of Mind Data provides the confidence that they can use their phone or tablet and never incur additional data fees in Australia."

Peace of Mind Data is capped at 1.5Mbps speeds, however.

On a 12-month contract, Telstra's new Small plan costs AU$49 per month and includes 15GB of data, AU$10 per GB for additional data over that cap; unlimited calls and texts, AU$10 per day for international roaming calls and texts plus 200MB of data; and AU$10 per month for unlimited international calls and texts to China, the UK, the US, Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Canada, India, Lebanon, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.

The Medium plan includes 30GB of data with Peace of Mind data included for AU$69 per month, with the same inclusions as the Small plan; while the Large plan costs AU$89 per month for 60GB of data, Peace of Mind data, one 12-month Foxtel Now starter pack, 2GB of international roaming data, and unlimited international calls and texts to those destinations.

Across its new 24-month mobile plans and mobile lease plans, Telstra's Small plan costs AU$59 per month for 3GB of data; AU$10 per month for Peace of Mind data, or alternatively AU$10 per GB for additional data; unlimited calls and texts; AU$10 per day for international roaming calls and texts plus 200MB of data; and AU$10 per month for unlimited international calls and texts to those 15 destinations. The Medium plan has the same inclusions for AU$79 per month for 10GB of data.

The Large plan costs AU$99 per month for 30GB of data; AU$10 per month for Peace of Mind data, or AU$10 per GB for additional data; unlimited calls and texts; AU$10 per day for international roaming calls and texts plus 200MB of data; one 24-month Foxtel Now starter pack; and unlimited international calls and texts to those 15 destinations.

The X-Large pack costs AU$129 per month for 60GB of data; Peace of Mind data; 2GB of international roaming data; one 24-month Foxtel Now starter pack; and unlimited international calls and texts to those destinations.

Lastly, the Ultimate plan includes unlimited data; 10GB of international roaming data; one 24-month Foxtel Now starter pack; and unlimited international calls and texts to all destinations worldwide.

Telstra added that it would be allowing customers to personalise their mobile and broadband packages, including choice of entertainment packages and companion plans.

"Our customers have told us that they don't want to pay for things that they don't use, and therefore in October we will be launching more choice for customers allowing them to add services they value to their base plan," Penn said.

"Entertainment will headline the new choices available to customers in October with some exciting new options that build on Telstra's superior offerings in sports, entertainment, and music."

Telstra also launched its redesigned 24/7 app, calling it "the first in a number of changes Telstra is making to create an effortless digital experience".

Telstra had last month said during its strategy day that it would "radically simplify" its products, reduce "customer pain points", and move to a fully digital set of solutions, to which it will migrate all customers. Group executive of Consumer and Small Business Vicki Brady had said there will be "far fewer" plans, moving from more than 1,800 currently down to less than 20.

"I am very pleased to announce four significant changes that we will bring to our customers in July," Brady said in June.

"The first is peace-of-mind data across a wide range of our post-paid plans, taking away the fear of excess data charges. Second is our first companion plans, providing really simple and compelling reasons for our customers to add more services with us.

"And then finally there are two components of our 'effortless digital experience' that our customers will enjoy in July. The first of these is a really effortless express checkout, particularly for our new range of companion plans. And finally, the redesigned experience for our 24/7 app."

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