Telstra drops wireless excess charges

Telstra today announced substantial changes to its wireless broadband access plans, offering higher data allowances and eliminating the excess usage charges. The new plans come into effect on Monday, 18 January.

Telstra today announced substantial changes to its wireless broadband access plans, offering higher data allowances and eliminating the excess usage charges. The new plans come into effect on Monday, 18 January.

The most significant changes are to the telco's entry-level plans. The $29.95 monthly plan will offer a 400MB data allowance and customers going over their limits will have their connections shaped to 64Kbps, instead of being charged 25¢ per MB.

The 1GB plan will be reduced from $59.95 to $39.95 per month and will also no longer have excess usage charges. Telstra has broadened its range of higher-usage plans, offering 3GB for $49.95 per month, 6GB for $79.95 per month and 10GB for $119.95 per month.

The telco will also offer discounts of up to $20 a month for customers who sign up for 24-month contracts and have Telstra landline or mobile phones, ADSL broadband or Foxtel connections.

The new plans bring Telstra's mobile broadband prices closer to its competitors'. For example, Vodafone currently offers 3GB of data for $49 a month prepaid or $29.95 per month on a one-year contract and 6GB for $100 a month prepaid or $39.95 per month on a yearly contract.

Telstra's new plans appear only to apply to customers using wireless broadband modems, not smartphones. Telstra did not respond in time to our questions about any proposed changes to smartphone data usage costs.