If you’ve ever over-spent on your data/voice or SMS cap and lived to regret it due to the cost of additional services because you haven’t been aware of just how much you were using above your incluions on your plan, then the new initiative which went into effect from yesterday could be your saviour.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced on their website yesterday that from the 1st of September you’ll now receive alerts when your data usage reaches 50%, 85% and 100% of your data limit. They’ve also advised that customers on the three major carriers – Optus, Telstra and Vodafone – will receive alerts when their Voice or SMS limits reach 50%, 85% and 100% of the included value in their plan.

So, who will receive the alerts? Anyone who signed up to a plan with inclusions after the 1st of March 2012. It’s also important to note that smaller MVNO’s etc with less than 100,000 customers DON’T have to provide voice or SMS alerts until September 2014. The alerts do only apply to Voice Calls, SMS and Data used in Australia at this stage, with international alerts due to start coming from 27th of September 2014.

Of course if you have a hard cap on your voice/sms, your data is throttled when you reach your max threshold or you have unlimited value on SMS/Voice calls or data then you won’t receive these alerts.

While the carrier is not allowed to push you to opt out of the alerts you can speak with your carrier to try and work out which alert levels are right for your. You may want to receive more or less alerts based on your usage, and you can also speak to them about receiving alerts at different points or receiving alerts by a different method.

A pretty good outcome for anyone not on an unlimited plan or with kids who like to go over their caps on a regular basis. Be sure to work with your carrier on the alerts and see what is right for you.

SMS Alerts – Good idea or Bad idea? Will you be customising the alerts with your carriers help?

Source: ACMA.
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For those who are unaware, you can use the built-in Data Usage monitor for all Android versions 4 and up. You can use it to track data usage, set warnings and limits. Vodafone have a good how-to article on it here: http://support.vodafone.com.au/articles/FAQ/Android-4-0-Ice-Cream-Sandwich-data-usage-monitor

Adrian Carl

Does this include prepaid plans?


Why is the front page not updating with these new articles?

Daniel Tyson

Should be fixed now, there was a caching issue.


Nice work… That was fast. I am imPRESSed 🙂

Gregory Anderson

Is it just me or is it broken again?


Is there any requirement for how long after the event they are required to notify you? I only ask as Telstra say it can take up to 48 hours after to notify and having gotten a 50%, 80% and 100% notification all at once when i went over limit the day before it doesn’t seem to help much.


I got one of these messages last week from VirginMobile, but when I checked Android’s built in usage meter I noticed that I reached 50% the day before. So I guess that 48 hour delay still applies. IMO people are better off using a real-time usage meter app for data.


A half hearted attempt is better than nothing, I guess.
What it should have been is it applies to all mobile customers regardless of sign-up date, and it applies to all telcos and MNVOs regardless of size.