Telstra opens up payphones and home phones for free Christmas calls

Alex Kidman 20 December 2017

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Call anywhere in Australia for nothing, as well as free Wi-Fi from selected Telstra Air hotspots.

In an age where the mobile phone dominates our calling landscape, it's all too easy to think of payphones and landlines as yesterday's technology, and expensive to boot. Compared to the near-standard "unlimited" calls you get on most mobile plans, the prospect of paying for a payphone or landline call seems a little archaic.

Still, the end of the year is a time for giving, and Telstra has once again decided to open up its payphone network to Australians wanting to get in touch with their loved ones, by making calls made from Telstra payphones or Telstra landlines to any local, national or standard mobile number free from 24 to 26 December 2017.

That's actually a shorter timespan than the same deal that Telstra ran last year, but the difference this year is that it includes not only payphones but also any Telstra home phone as well.

If you've still got a Telstra home phone, perhaps as part of a Telstra broadband bundle, then you can contact anyone important to you at no cost over the holiday period.

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    According to Telstra's head of Fixed Products, Jana Kotatko, last year, "more than 271,000 free payphone calls were made over three days."

    "This year, by giving people even more ways to contact their friends and family for free, we expect to see this figure rise by at least ten times."

    If your needs over the holiday period are more data-centric, Telstra advises that it's also making its Telstra Air service available for free use during that same timespan, but only at "selected" locations.

    We've asked Telstra to clarify which locations will offer free data and will update once it does. For most existing Telstra customers, Telstra Air is an included bonus with their Telstra broadband or Telstra Mobile plan, but the free offer should expand the utility of the network to all Australians for a limited period at least.

    Telstra's positioning for the deal isn't so much a promotional one as it is a simple way for Australians to stay in touch during a period of the year where many people instead feel isolated.

    Telstra's announcement about the free offer quotes Salvation Army Major Brendan Nottle as stating that "A phone call can go a long way in combatting these feelings of isolation, but many people find themselves without the technology or financial means to get in touch with their loved ones".

    This initiative from Telstra is helping to provide an invaluable solution to the problem, by offering everyone in the country – regardless of their personal situation – the chance to connect this Christmas."

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