Simplicity, convenience and peace of mind about no excess data use charges come at a cost. These new plans include a lot less data than some of the special deals available during the last year. As an example I signed up last year to a 12 month Telstra mobile plan at JB Hi-Fi that includes 50GB data, unlimited standard national calls and texts for $45/month.
Pros of New Plans
Telstra hinted during the last few months that the new plans would be simple and not require customers to be locked in for 1 or 2 years.
They have delivered on this promise as customers on these plans will able to move up or down plan sizes once a month at no cost.
The days of figuring out if it’s worth bundling a phone with a long term Telstra contract where the best phones required choosing a higher cost/month plan are also gone.
Instead Telstra will let you bring your own phone or buy a new one from them and pay it off over 24 or 36 months. If you leave Telstra simply pay out your phone. If you move up or down plans the phone repayment cost/month stays the same.
They’ve also scrapped excess data usage fees while a SIM is used within Australia. All 4 Telstra SIM only plans will include unlimited standard national calls and texts and let you continue to access data when you exceed your allowance, but your speed will be slowed to a maximum of 1.5Mbps. This isn’t suitable for HD video or high-speed applications, and some web pages, social media content and files may take longer to load.
Note that this throttled speed will depend on a range of factors including your device, location, user numbers and download sources, and may be slowed further during busy periods. Heavy data users (users in the top 1% of all data users) may experience slower speeds than other users during busy periods.
Cons of New Plans
Unfortunately this simplicity, lack of lock in and scrapping of data over use fees has been offset by lower value for money with the new plans starting at a minimum of $50/month for a paltry 15GB of data (even if you can use more at lower speeds).
If you can only spend that much money, need more data and use your mobile in areas with good Optus coverage then the Optus 12 month plan of $50/100GB looks very enticing.
None of the plans include any overseas roaming data or any credit that can be used to call overseas numbers. To get that you need to pay $10 a month for an International Calling Pack that enables unlimited calls and SMS to selected countries (currently Canada, China, Germany, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, US Virgin Islands, USA and UK) from Australia.
For now Telstra says that 5G network access is “Free” and automatically included until 30 June 2020, after which they expect $50 and $60 plan customers to pay an extra monthly fee.
I think that most people will be very reluctant to pay more per month next year in order to keep 5G.
What Do You Think of These New Telstra Mobile Plans?
As I predicted yesterday these plans are priced to increase Telstra’s average revenue per customer while also addressing complaints that they had too many plans, people didn’t like being locked in or paying expensive excess data usage charges.
Telstra’s mobile plans have never been better value for money than anyone else’s but their mobile network has always been much much larger than their competitors and 1st to move to new technologies such as 5G.
As an example I was recently booking a holiday in Tasmania and more than one accommodation provider in small towns said bring a Telstra mobile, Optus might work while Vodafone has no chance.
I’ll be attending a Telstra media briefing about these new plans today and will report back with any additional information not covered in this news post.
Please let us know your thoughts by adding a comment.