Media Release, 12 November 2014

Millions of Telstra customers will be the first in Australia to be protected by real-time mobile data usage alerts after Telstra commenced rolling out the service to its consumer post-paid customers.

The service will dispatch real-time mobile data usage alerts to eligible Telstra customers within seconds of when they have used 50 per cent, 85 per cent and 100 per cent of their included monthly data allowance, allowing them to confidently control their monthly mobile spend.

Mobile data usage alerts dispatched by mobile operators in Australia are typically delayed by up to 48 hours, meaning mobile users can receive an alert after they have exceeded their allowance. This can cause bill shock.

Scott McGibbony, Director of Mobile at Telstra said the new alerts would keep pace with Australia’s growing use of the mobile internet.

“Our real-time alerts will deliver our customers the information they need about their mobile data use when they need it. It will allow people to grab a data pack or switch to Wi-Fi if they are nearing the end of their monthly data allowance,” he said.

“We hope these changes mean our customers can enjoy being connected to the nation’s largest and most reliable mobile network without fear of unexpected data charges.”

Mr McGibbony said Telstra had invested tens of millions of dollars in sophisticated technology capable of handling hundreds of thousands of data sessions every minute to introduce the service for customers.

In addition to introducing real-time mobile data usage alerts, throughout November and December Telstra will:

  • Improve the timeliness of data usage information available on the Telstra 24x7 app (iOS and Android) Telstra One app, My Plan Manager and My Account tools by updating data usage every 15 minutes. Previously the updates took up to 48 hours
  • Introduce a new mobile data alert for customers who incur excess data charges. Customers will be alerted for every $50 of excess data charges they incur

The roll out of real-time mobile data usage alerts to several million Telstra customers is expected to be complete by the end of November. Plans are in development to extend a similar service to business customers.

Mr McGibbony said the alerts were part of a wider program to eliminate unexpected charges for Telstra customers.

This program has included:

  • Reducing excess data rate by 70 per cent to 3 cents per megabyte
  • Introducing a Peace of Mind Commitment, where eligible customers receive unlimited calls SMS and MMS plus 25GB of data for use in Australia in the first month of their contract so they can set up their new device without fear of exceeding their included allowances
  • Becoming the first mobile operator to make mobile calls to 1800 numbers free of charge
  • Introducing a cap on excess voice charges for calls to standard Australian numbers for new and existing customers taking up eligible plans