Unless you’ve managed to somehow acquire an unlimited data plan, you’re probably quite careful about your data usage on your mobile. With excess data charges quite exorbitant for the most part, your’re quite right to do so, and Telstra is making monitoring your data usage even easier.

Previously, alerts for data usage have taken up to 48 hours (and still do on some carriers) to reach customers once a threshold was breached, resulting in ‘Bill-shock’. With Telstra’s new system they’re now able to send real-time mobile data usage alerts to their Post-Paid consumer mobile customers as they reach 50 per cent, 85 per cent and 100 per cent of their included monthly data allowance.

The alerts will arrive on your phone in the form of a TXT message, making it hard (though not impossible) to ignore. These alerts will advise your usage so you can adjust your plan, or usage accordingly by adding a data pack, or stopping whatever you’re doing and turning off mobile data. Telstra are also adding alerts for when you exceed your data allocation, sending an alert for for every $50 of excess data usage you incur.

There’s also good news for customers using the recently updated Telstra 24×7 Mobile app, with Telstra advising that by December data usage statistics will be updated in the app every 15 minutes. This is a boon for users who currently have to wait for 48 hours for the usage to be updated, by which time, the information could be wildly out of date.

Good news for Telstra post-paid customers, and we’re currently following up with Telstra to see if pre-paid customers can expect to see this any time soon.

Telstra has replied with regards to real-time usage alerts for pre-paid customers saying

Pre-Paid mobile customers already receive immediate alerts about their balance and credit expiry. The nature of Pre-Paid also means those customers are at less risk of facing surprise bills.

Source: Telstra.
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Dean Reading

So the only reason it wasn’t implemented for post-paid users was so that they would accidentally rack up huge bills.
Good thing that this dodgy practice is coming to an end.


I would still use the usage warning and limit that’s built into Android but now the app seems to be very close to it


Yeah I use and swear by this as well. I tend to be able to set it to my exact limit and then get another 50 MB or so left over.

Peter Massey

This is awesome and, frankly well overdue.

Every single time they ask me for a survey, I put this down as my biggest issue with Telstra, including frequent Twitter-bashing.

I therefore am claiming responsibility for this happening 😀


I’ve been on Telstra Pre-Paid for a few years now and as long as I can remember, I’ve always received a text message when there was less than 5MB remaining on either my recharge data or purchased data pack. This message would always arrive in real-time and would be my prompt to purchase an additional data pack. Have always thought that this was a fantastic implementation.


I don’t use Pre-Paid but I’ve also heard that people who do already get real-time updates.

This has actually been a small gripe of mine for as long as I can remember – that pre-paid customers got real-time updates but those on a contract, in some cases paying substantially more, were not getting real-time updates.


Ray, the My PrePaid app from Telstra is fairly good, but it has a couple of frustrating design fails.

1. No device orientation detection. The app works in only one orientation of portrait mode.

2. You can’t use it to get the status of your prepaid account if you have WiFi data turned on.