Media Release, 18 December 2019

Telstra gifts calls and data over holidays from payphones nationally

Australia, 18 December 2019: Telstra has today announced free calls and Wi-Fi will be available from payphones across the country throughout the festive period. Now in its fourth year, the initiative aims to help Australians reach out to those who matter most, connecting those separated by distance or circumstance.

In a bid to help Australians stay connected, Telstra will extend the period all Australians and visitors can take advantage of the free calls from December 24 – 1 January 2020 inclusive, offering free local, national and standard mobile calls from Telstra payphones around the country.

On top of the free calls, selected Telstra Air Wi-Fi access points will be free during this time. Last year’s free calls campaign ran from December 24-26.

In 2018, over 120,000 calls were placed during the free call period, with time spent on the phone equivalent to over 300 days. Meanwhile, over 23,000 users connected to Telstra Air hotspots over the period, with 3.55 terabytes transferred in total. This year, it is predicted to increase with more people making the most of no charge calls across the extended dates.

Jana Kotatko, Customer Value Management Executive, Telstra, said Christmas is a time to connect – or reconnect – with family, friends and loved ones.

“While many of us rely on smartphones and tablets, we know there’s a lot of people, including some of the community’s most vulnerable, who’ll use our payphones to make a call that will matter this holiday period.”

“We know how successful the free call period was last year with 120,000 calls made from Telstra payphones so this year we’re extending it from Christmas Eve through to New Year’s Day,” Ms Kotatko said.

With many vulnerable people suffering from feelings of social isolation during this time of year, a free phone call removes financial barriers and gives everyone – regardless of their personal circumstance – the chance to make a positive emotional connection.

Major Brendan Nottle, The Salvation Army, said “It’s some of the most vulnerable members of our community who’ll benefit most, and we hope they can take this opportunity to reach out and reconnect with their loved ones over Christmas.”

“A simple phone call could make all the difference this Christmas and help reconnect Australians doing it tough with their loved ones or long-lost family or friends.”


Things you need to know:
Free calls around Australia to local, national and standard mobiles from Telstra payphones from 24 December 2019 – 1 January 2020 inclusive. Free calls exclude international calls and premium services (19x), Mobile Satellite, and 1234, 12456 directory services. Excludes Telstra rented payphones. Free Wi-Fi data at select Telstra Air payphones and Telstra Stores, in Australia only. Telstra Air available for Wi-Fi enabled devices only.

Telstra Media contact:
Matt Smithson – Telstra State Media Manager (VIC/TAS)  
Media reference number: 144/2019