Telstra reduces excess data charges

Telco introduces new plans, 12-month handset upgrades

Telstra has announced it will drop the price it charges customers for who exceed their monthly data quota from $0.10 per megabyte to $0.03.

The telco said it was one of the lowest rates for excess mobile data usage in Australia. Mobile customers on Optus' range of post-paid 'My Plan' offerings are charged in 1GB increments when they exceed their data caps: $0.01 per megabyte but with a minimum cost of $10 for each gigabyte or part of a gigabyte. Vodafone charges $0.10 per megabyte for excess data.

The price cut accompanies a new range of Telstra plans that launch on 4 March. The four new 24-month 'Mobile Accelerate Plans' with handsets start at $55 for 500MB of data and $550 worth of calls and unlimited SMS messages, and go up to $130 for 3GB of data and unlimited calls. The telco will launch four SIM-only plans starting at $45 per month.

Telstra will also introduce a new handset upgrade program that allows customers on 24-month contracts to trade-in a working smartphone for a new model halfway through their contract.

"We know lots of Australians really look forward to getting their hands on the latest smartphone technology and we want to give customers the chance to experience that 'new phone feeling' more frequently," Telstra's group managing director for product, Warwick Bray, said in a statement.

To take advantage of 'Telstra New Phone Feeling' the telco's customers will have to return their current phone "undamaged and in good working order" and pay an extra $10 per month and sign up for a new 24-month plan.