Telstra has announced it’s upping the price of all its mobile plans by up to AU$4 extra a month, citing rising inflation as the reason behind the move.
Telstra is also overhauling its current offering: the new Basic plan (formerly the Small plan) is going up by AU$3 extra a month, making it AU$58 each billing. You’ll still be getting the same amount of data at 40GB, and perhaps to soften the blow, the telco is finally providing 5G network access to these users.
The Medium plan will become the Essential plan, also increasing by AU$3 a month to make it AU$68. These users will now get a massive 180GB of data to burn through, which is a significant jump from the former 80GB allowance.
Finally, the new Premium plan will replace the Large plan, and it’s getting a price hike of AU$4. That means the plan will now be AU$89 a month, and it’s now coming with 300GB of data instead of the previous 180GB cap.
As for Telstra’s Extra Large plan, the telco appears to be scrapping it altogether. As for Telstra’s NBN plans, no price increases have been announced.
The provider says that its plan prices are increasing in line with the consumer price index (CPI), and that going forward, pricing will be subject to annual review. It did not rule out further price hikes in the future. The price hike will take effect for all Telstra mobile customers on Friday, July 1.
What are the alternatives?
Data from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) suggests that the average Australian uses about 24.4GB of mobile data a month, so while Telstra is increasing its data caps along with its prices, lots of those gigabytes may go unused.
It’s not yet clear whether other telcos will follow suit and increase their monthly plan prices, but if you’re a Telstra customer who wants to avoid the price rise, we’ve got some options for you.
Some analysts have suggested that Optus, Australia’s second-largest telco, has potential to follow Telstra with a price increase of its own. If you’re wanting to stick with a major telco, that leaves Vodafone, which is currently offering 80GB of data for just AU$40 a month – cheaper than anything you’ll find with either Telstra or Optus.
There’s also great value to be found from smaller providers known as mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). These smaller telcos resell access to one of the major provider’s networks – for example, Belong and Woolworths Mobile resell access to part of Telstra’s 4G network, while Boost Mobile customers get complete access.
This means you can ditch Telstra, and still get the same or similar coverage to what you were getting previously, and you’ll pay significantly less for it – albeit without access to 5G speeds. For instance, Belong is currently doubling the data on its 40GB plan for your first year, so you’ll get 80GB for AU$35.
Other MVNOs such as Circles.Life and Moose Mobile also offer great value SIM-only plans. These providers both use the Optus 4G network, and are currently discounting some of their phone plans – our recommended plans are below.