Telstra Contract mobile plans

Telstra’s mobile plans operate over flexible terms, with most customers opting to bundle a handset over a 24 month period.

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QUICK GUIDE: Services - Costs - Extras - Pros & Cons

What services does Telstra offer?

Telstra operates its own Australia-wide 4G network for the provision of mobile services, with the widest current deployment of 4G services through both metropolitan and regional areas of Australia.

For contract customers if you’re bringing your own phone Telstra offers a range of 12 month SIM-only plans. If you want or need a new handset, Telstra’s contracts run for 24 months covering a variety of data and calling inclusions with handset repayments relative to the cost of the handset you select.

Whether you opt for a contract over 12 or 24 month, plan inclusions expire on a monthly basis.

How much does Telstra Mobile cost?

Telstra Mobile’s monthly plans are provided across five different pricing tiers: S, M, L, XL and Premium, typically sold with a bundled handset. Pricing for those plans will vary by the handset type selected and any special promotional deals at the time you undertake your contract. Telstra’s lowest cost two year S plan without mobile handset costs included will set you back $55 per month, while the high end "premium" plan is $195 per month.
Telstra offers the same named price tiers for its 12 month SIM-only contracts, as well as an online exclusive "Mx" plan for SIM-only users, with pricing running from $35 to $60 per month. Finally, if you want a postpaid SIM-only plan with Telstra, it offers three tiers of plans with slightly smaller inclusions, ranging from $35 to $70 per month.

What extras does Telstra Mobile offer?

Telstra mobile offers a variety of extra bonuses depending on the plan that you sign up for. Many plans qualify for a twelve month AFL or NRL pass as part of the contract period for no additional charge. Telstra also frequently offers its customers access to Apple Music for a specified period (currently six months) with mobile contracts, although that’s free for subscription; data charges still apply for use of the service.

If you also have a home phone or broadband service with Telstra it may be worth inquiring as to whether or not you qualify for a bundled discount. These usually aren’t levied against your mobile bill specifically, but if you can save some money on your broadband or home phone costs it’s worth checking.

Telstra also runs its own public Wi-Fi network known as Telstra Air, based around bright pink hotspots built into most public payphones, Telstra stores and Telstra Broadband customers who allow part of their bandwidth to be used by the scheme. Many plans allow you an additional quota of Telstra Air data usage alongside your regular data allocation, although you do have to explicitly log your smartphone into a Telstra Air hotspot to use them that way.

What excess charges could I face on these plans?

For plans with fixed call allowances, any calls made above the capped figure will attract additional charges relative to whether you're calling a fixed line or mobile number. This isn't an issue for plans with unlimited standard national calls, and all of Telstra's contract plans currently offer unlimited standard national text provisions as well, so you can't incur additional charges that way.

What you will pay for is any data usage above and beyond your quota, at the industry standard of $10 per GB, or part thereof. That does mean that if you go over your quota, even if it's only by a fraction of a kilobyte, you'll be hit with that $10 charge.

Premium services, such as calls to numbers starting with 19 prefixes will attract additional charges, as will calls to some satellite services.

Roaming while using a Telstra contract mobile phone will attract additional charges. Telstra does offer travel passes that provide fixed time terms for unlimited calls, texts and a fixed data quota for between $30 to $300 depending on duration, or you can opt to pay its higher ad-hoc charges, although this can quickly become very expensive, especially in data terms. Pricing varies widely depending on the country you're travelling in. Telstra's full list of roaming charges can be found here.

Calls and texts to international locations may attract additional charges; while some plans do include either international call allowances or unlimited calls to selected countries, depending on where you call you may incur charges for those calls. Telstra's call rates for its international calling destinations can be found on its web site.

Finally, if you cancel your contract early, you may be subject to an early termination charge, usually a proportion of your contract cost plus any remaining handset or device repayments.

Pros

  • Data sharing.If you have multiple Go Mobile accounts you can pool up the data inclusions across devices, which could be a good budget bottom line move, as long as everyone shares fairly.
  • Premium has all the trimmings: The Premium plan includes allowances for international calling and data, as well as Telstra's "New Phone Feeling" plan, which lets you swap out your phone for a new one after 12 months. It also includes a Data Share SIM for a secondary device.
  • Full 4GX Network.Telstra's 700MHz "4GX" network provides some of the fastest speeds you'll see on any mobile network in Australia, network conditions permitting. If you've got a fast enough device, it can really rocket on Telstra's network.
  • Good for footy fanatics.Telstra's deals with both the AFL and NRL mean that Telstra contract customers can access either an NRL or AFL season pass for viewing games on their mobile devices at no extra charge.
  • Access to Telstra Air.Telstra provides access to its Telstra Air Wi-Fi network for most contract plans.
  • New Phone Feeling Option.Telstra offers the option to upgrade to a new handset after only 12 months if you recontract for another two years.
  • Solid regional coverage.Telstra has long been the choice for regional mobile users, because often it's been the only choice. If you travel to regional or remote areas it's often ahead of the competition in terms of coverage, especially for 4G services.
  • Data sharing.The BYO plans qualify for data sharing with other eligible Telstra mobile plans, so you could pool data to get even more usage and value across multiple handsets.

Cons

  • Confusing "value" pricing. In the contract world, Telstra's the only of the big three that isn't offering unlimited calls and texts across all plans -- you have to calculate them from an assigned amount if you're on the lower tier plans.
  • Less generous data allowances. Telstra offers less data for your dollar than its rivals.
  • Premium pricing. Telstra pitches itself as a premium network and prices accordingly, which means in a direct comparison it is often the most expensive option.
  • New Phone feeling limitations. New Phone feeling has its drawbacks, as you have to recontract again, and your handed in phone has to be in "good" condition to qualify.
  • Not quite as good as contract plans. The value proposition for casual SIM plans is slightly more generous than prepaid, but still less generous than if you opt for a full 12 or 24 month contract.
  • Can cost more than you think. Because these are postpaid plans, if you do use a lot of data, calls or texts you can end up paying more, unlike the full cap of a prepaid plan.

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