Telstra tops up: Telco moves away from excess data usage with automatic top-ups

Telstra introduces auto data top ups

Telstra's been orchestrating a major shake up in how it doles out data as of late, with last week's doubling of data limits for fixed broadband customers and yesterday's announcement of new data-happy mobile plans coming as welcome surprises.

Now, Telstra's looking to switch its customers over from its exorbitant and outdated excess data charges, to automatic data top ups that will help people freely continue to download from their phones, without worrying about how much it will cost them.

The new Telstra Extra Data initiative will launch on May 12, and will invite Telstra customers to receive extra data on their plan in 1GB blocks for $10 a pop via the Telstra 24x7 App or via the Telstra website.

Telstra customers will be sent an SMS alerting them of when an automatic data top up has occurred.

Catch you on the download

The announcement of Telstra's Extra Data feature comes shortly after the announcement of an almost identical Optus initiative, which gives Optus My Plan Plus customers additional gigabytes of mobile data at $10 per GB.

Optus' changes to its data approach were spearheaded by the arrival of Netflix to Australian shores, with a range of Netflix starter packs allowing people to continue streaming when they're out and about with the added data.

With Telstra officially supporting Foxtel's Presto streaming service with new Presto-inclusive mobile plans, it's clear that the proper arrival of streaming media services to Australia has forced our telcos to pick up their game when it comes to their data limits.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.