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Telstra doubles quota and expands roaming data pass

Telstra users can now enjoy international data in Vietnam, Cambodia, Russia, Laos, and Sri Lanka.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

If you are a Sydneysider who uses Telstra's mobile network and would like to use overseas data while you collude with the Kremlin, then you are in luck.

Australia's incumbent telco announced on Thursday that it is doubling the daily data quota on its International Day Passes to 200MB, and extending the pass to 17 new nations.

Countries now covered by Telstra's AU$10 a day pass include Russia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Colombia, Ecuador, Cyprus, Belarus, Cambodia, Guatemala, Latvia, Lithuania, Laos, Qatar, Solomon Islands, Ukraine, and Uruguay.

Although Telstra's data boost leaves Optus as the Australian telco with the lowest roaming data caps -- set at 100MB per day -- it is still behind Vodafone's roaming deals.

Introduced in 2013, Vodafone allows its customers to use data, texts, and calls from their domestic quotas when roaming overseas for AU$5 a day.

Vodafone subsequently removed its AU$5 fee from roaming in New Zealand at the start of 2016. Telstra halves its daily fee to AU$5 when roaming in New Zealand.

Telstra found itself in hot water in December 2015, when it made the decision to triple its excess data charges for many tourist destinations, but after hundreds of customers publicly slammed the decision, Telstra CEO Andy Penn reversed the decision.

Last month, Penn announced that Telstra would be introducing unlimited NBN data plans.

"We will be introducing unlimited data on our AU$99 and above plans for new and existing customers, and doubling the data allowances on other broadband plans for existing customers over the coming weeks," Penn said at the time.

During the same speech, Penn reiterated that Telstra is expecting the rollout of the NBN to leave the company with a AU$3 billion earnings gap.

The NBN's recent pause to its HFC rollout would impact Telstra's earnings by AU$600 million in the 2018 financial year, but over the long term the company said the pause would be "modestly" positive.

Telstra also announced on Thursday that its Wholesale arm is teaming up with Inabox to create a whitelabel product that would allow companies to begin offering mobile and fixed connectivity.

The product will include service provisioning, ISP and network functions, customer billing, customer care, and technical support on Telstra Wholesale's network.

"By creating this whitelabel end-to-end service, we're effectively making Telstra's Wholesale network available to an emerging group of customers who want to offer these services to their own customers without the complexity and expense of building and managing their own in-house service and support centres," Terry Scerri, Telstra Wholesale executive director of Products and Marketing, said.

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