Telstra launches $10/day international roaming

By David Flynn, July 10 2017

EXCLUSIVE | Telstra will today launch a flat $10/day global roaming deal in 57 counties around the world, with a cut-price $5/day for New Zealand. 

The carrier will scrap its complicated Travel Pass packs in favour of the simplified scheme, which covers most countries in Europe, Asia, North America and South America as well as the UAE.

However, while the new International Day Pass is simpler to buy and manage, it comes with a meagre daily data allowance of just 100MB per day.

Travellers who inevitably bust through that ceiling after a bit of Web browsing and email, some Google Maps navigation and a dollop of social media posting will be charged at 3c per MB until their current 24 hour period expires.

Telstra will however sell a 1GB 'day pass data top-up' pack for $25, which will be valid for 31 days from the day of purchase.

Pre-launch material for the new scheme, issued to staff and sighted by Australian Business Traveller, also say that customers will get “unlimited international calls & SMS” under the plan.

Arch-rival Vodafone charges $5 per day in 57 countries with free roaming in New Zealand, and – unlike the new Telstra plans – is based on the more generous data allowance of the subscriber's Australian plan rather than an overseas 'allowance', which means you're able to tap into gigabytes per day rather than megabytes.

Telstra customers will be able to activate their International Travel Pass online, using the Telstra app or at their destination.

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

26 Jul 2015

Total posts 44

Buy a Glocalme mobile roaming hotspot, arrive in 100+ countries (or better still do it before you leave) choose a plan and you have a mobile data hotspot with you 24 hours a day and can connect up to 5 devices and will still cost you less than Telstra. I just used them in Europe and they are so much better than most other options.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Dec 2016

Total posts 3

Bottom line for me and many others is that we don't want to fiddle around with alternate solutions.  We just want our phone to behave the same way as it does at home whilst respecting current time zones and all of the time-related settings on various apps (eg night time).  The roaming hotspot is a great idea if your main inward communication is via Facetime/Skype/etc.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 573

You're right about the current travel pass being complicated.  Last time I went overseas, it took 3 unhelpful phone calls and a 45 minute web-chat to to set up a 2 week pass.

This new proposal sounds easier but the 100MB daily data limit is pretty unsatisfactory.  You will still be forced to have data turned off on your mobile and only turn it on when you absolutely need it and don't have access to free wifi.  Firtunately European cities have plenty of free fast wifi hotspots.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Dec 2016

Total posts 3

The Telstra Travel pass was expensive and complex and the new roaming offering is less complicated but very mean.  100MB limit per day (and $30 per GB overage charge per day if you forget to buy the top-up plan).  This just does not cut it when compared to Vodafone's $5 per day (for days used only) while remaining on your standard Oz plan.  After many years with Telstra we have changed to Vodafone which has some drawbacks locally but great coverage OS and with a plan that you can understand.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jul 2017

Total posts 14

I recently spent 2 weeks in Beijing and pre-purchased Telstra's international travel pass using China Mobile's network. The data service was very scratchy. Occasionally you'd get a 4G signal but you'd need to stay still or it would drop back to Edge. Other travellers used Vodafone's package and they had reliable 4G in most places.
AV
AV

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

16 Apr 2013

Total posts 40

Come on Telstra, this is not competitive.  Vodafone is half your price.  Why pay $10/day for 100MB when Vodafone offer $5/day for Gigabytes?
P1
P1

24 Apr 2017

Total posts 37

Vodafone operates all over the world, Telstra only operate in Australia. I can see how Telstra are at a disadvantage offering roaming services overseas. But then again, it might just be normal Telstra gouging.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 May 2014

Total posts 3

When I used Voda's roaming last year in the UK, the data speeds were unbearably slow. When questioned in the Vodafone store on Regent St, the staff admitted that roamers were throttled heavily. It was unusable.

24 Feb 2015

Total posts 22

Will this be for post paid only or will it include prepay numbers as well?

21 Apr 2016

Total posts 22

3c per MB equates to $30 per GB so the $25 top-up option doesn't really make sense unless you're guaranteed to use the full quota.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Nov 2011

Total posts 123

Hmmm happy to pay but the service needs to be up to scratch. I'm with Telstra but have a Vodafone work phone. Even somewhere like Singapore I've been unable to get decent data speed with Vodafone.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Plantium

19 Jun 2013

Total posts 120

Hi rob01 - I am also with Vodafone for work and travel to Singapore every few weeks.  Had the same issue with slow data speeds until I upgraded my phone (from Samsung S6 Edge to iPhone 7).  Might be a pure coincidence but am getting super fast speeds now (am in Singapore at the moment)
Remember, you can always toggle between mobile networks when roaming and choose the one that's giving you the fastest speeds (which may not be the one you're automatically connected to). Vodafone's $5 roaming covers you regardless of which network you use in each country - so as long as the network lets you connect, you're good to go!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Nov 2011

Total posts 123

Sounds like a good excuse for a tech upgrade! Thanks :)

16 Oct 2012

Total posts 17

Pick yourself up a prepaid sim for about 10GBP / 10EUR in Europe and you can roam the entire Continent now. Telstra's 10AUD per day looks like typical Australian corporate gouging.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

13 Jul 2015

Total posts 220

I still prefer to go to the location and get a sim card there. Usually it's trouble free and I've not had any issues signing up as a foreigner. Europe is especially easy. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Mar 2013

Total posts 137

The pre-paid plans can sometimes leave you with throttled speeds though. France especially. Looks like the new Telstra deal with a portable wifi and Simcorner data sim will be good for those of us who need to keep our Telstra number. 

20 Feb 2012

Total posts 66

I am going to Europe at the end of this month for 2 weeks - Greece, Germany, Belgium and Spain. I am looking at the Australia post sim which is $25 and at the moment comes with 1gb in Europe. Can someone recommend something better. Is it easy to buy a prepaid sim in Greece? I don't want to waste time looking for somewhere to buy. I am on Telstra prepaid and they currently offer $29 pack for 100mb. Not sure how this will change with the above.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Apr 2017

Total posts 115

I've got a trip coming up and I bet none of the countries I'm worried about are covered - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, EU, Mauritania, Brazil, Suriname, Uruguay, Argentina.

 

Just need to be able to get enough data to use Uber or check maps a couple of times a day.

27 Mar 2017

Total posts 2

Any suggestions for what is best for a month in the US?

20 Feb 2012

Total posts 66

I suggest picking up a local sim from ATT or TMobile. TMobile is cheaper but ATT has better coverage and speed.
You could also preorder in Australia but it may cost a little extra
(I used to use TravelSimsDirect and he is pretty good and it's activated on the day you arrive so you have internet/phone  access as you land and don't need to find a store.)

09 Jan 2016

Total posts 44

US prepaid SIM cards I used last trip. Fabulous service, 6Gb to use in Canada and US over 30 days. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 May 2014

Total posts 3

Why why why do the telcos bother insulting us with meagre data caps - 100MB? Local SIM every time.

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

Heh? Phones are for calls  - free WiFi spots are abundant everywhere

QFF

12 Apr 2013

Total posts 1446

Is it working automatically or I have to per-organize it as with the "pass"?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1137

READ the article.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 419

The Auspost SIM is good for data and SMS but hopeless for calls. Just spent three months in the US with one. Will get a ATT SIM next time.

13 May 2016

Total posts 32

As a long term Telstra customer, this is dissapointing. I'll stick to buying local sim cards in the country I arrive into.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Mar 2014

Total posts 9

Anyone know the best way to get coverage in Japan? I am lead to believe they have wifi everywhere, is that correct/

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2017

Total posts 71

Hi Les

Suggest you use this guide - fairly accurate and up to date.

https://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2279.html 

P1
P1

24 Apr 2017

Total posts 37

@Les White - Vodafone $5/day roaming worked perfectly in Japan for me last year
GMG
GMG

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

06 Jul 2015

Total posts 14

I spend on average 150+ days a year overseas and apart from 1 or 2 not covered countries (Canada - Sheesh) have always been able to connect and get decent speeds with Voda, the $5 per day has been a godsend, compared to the past. Telstra are just leveraging their current customers loyalty.
GMG: Canada is now included in Vodafone's $5 roaming deal.
GMG
GMG

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

06 Jul 2015

Total posts 14

Excellent, it was a year ago that I was in Canada.
P1
P1

24 Apr 2017

Total posts 37

@GMG Not sure about Canada, but Mexico isn't covered by their $5 roaming either, you have to use their PAYG roaming in Mexico.
GMG
GMG

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

06 Jul 2015

Total posts 14

@P1 yeah Mexico is one of the countries I get to spend a couple of weeks a year in, have always accepted the local limitations and haunted the WiFi vs Data Roaming Rip Off.

04 May 2016

Total posts 34

It's Telstra. What do you expect ? Seriously. You're just lazy if you're still with them for anything.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Nov 2016

Total posts 72

I agree local SIMs are the best. Calls, data and available at every airport. Some hotels even provide a local mobile to use. I recall sitting next to an American in Hanoi who was using their  mobile to make/take calls. I said to her this must be costing her a fortune. She said it was part of her US plan at no additional cost.  Aussie telcos are ripping us off when it comes to roaming.Until they get it right I'll be using a local SIM. That being said, I do understand that some travellers may need to get calls/messages on their Aussie number, but at what price?  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 May 2015

Total posts 31

Haha Telstra (and Optus) need to get out onto the real world. For the last 2 years, my Voda Red Sim has given me full access to my data, 10gb at 4g speeds, in Europe and UK with free calls and txts back to Oz, all for $5/day. Oh and its all free in NZ too. Shhh keep it  to yourself!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 May 2015

Total posts 31

0h and I should add, it means keeping your existing number, so you can receive calls and have access to message bank etc. without having to divert calls. Great for business users. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1381

Dual-SIM android phones for the win.

Local SIM with data.

Aussie SIM just for voice, SMS etc.

Can be even cheaper if you are ok using VOIP SIP clients on divert from your Aussie mobile

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Oct 2016

Total posts 10

I think Telstra management are living in a cave!!!

I travel 3 months of the year, and the cost of using Telstra and mobile sim cards was upwards of $1k per year.

I also had to buy another phone number so I could keep all my contacts for emergencies.

I now pay Vodafone $5.00 a day and I keep my phone and number! Goodbye second phone!!!

I travel throughout Asia, including mainland China and the phone works just as good there as it does in Australia!!!!

All for $5.00 per day with unlimited calls and 15G of data!!

Telstra, $10.00 for 100MB of data??? You have to be joking!!!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Apr 2013

Total posts 56

This is great, and long overdue, for Telstra customers. Unfortunately it govt/enterprise customers will continue to be screwed by Telstra with exorbitant and unreasonable charges.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Sep 2016

Total posts 10

All EU carriers must now allow customers to roam within the EU at no additional charge using allowances from one's plan. I was recently in the UK and purchased an EE prepaid sim which gave me 1GB for 30 days for 10 pounds plus included call minutes and texts. I was able to roam elsewhere in the EU using this allowance although included calls and texts were only to a UK number.

09 Jan 2016

Total posts 44

At $300 p/m still a laughable rip off compared to just about any other option.  

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1137

Still too little, too late.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 327

And, once again, NOT available to users on any form of corporate plan. Telstra continues to force these subscribers to pay the extortionate rate of $3 per minute for calls when overseas.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 May 2015

Total posts 72

Agree that this is a shocking offer. So if you are away for 4 weeks you will pay $280 and I assume you will also need to pay your normal monthly fee which would probably bring the total charge to somewhere in the vicinity of $350 and still you are having a massively compromised service with the data limits they impose. I would rate this 1/2 star out of 10 and that is being generous. I am in Brazil at the moment and I bought a VIVO sim for about $5 and can top up with 700MB of data for around $4 which lasts 7 days. If a regular consumer can get this kind of offer then Telstra with their buying power must be making astronomical margins on this kind of product. As for the unlimited SMS, can someone remind me what year we are in? Are we back in 2008? I can't remember the last time I sent an SMS.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1137

I actually value SMS and data above phone calls.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 May 2015

Total posts 6

Worth a read about Telstra's wifi roaming in today's AFR, just NZ at this stage. https://www.afr.com/technology/telstra-makes-wifi-calling-easy-and-cheap-20170706-gx5rq3

08 Feb 2016

Total posts 14

Telstra always the follower never the leader 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1137

They definitely are the leader in price gouging.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2017

Total posts 49

Thanks god my contract expires this month. Bye bye Telstra!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jul 2017

Total posts 2

I am in Europe now (visiting France, Germany and Italy). I bought a Telstra travel pass (equivlant to $10/day). I cannot recommend it. First there was a total outage when in Paris as Telstra were "patching" some servers. Now in Germany the service has been terrible. I cannot reliably be called, I cannot send nor receive SMS in a timely fashion (sometimes they arrive many hours later). Data is patchy, mostly 3G only (this is in the big cities), and iMessage has not worked well.

We are contemplating using a local Aldi SIM, but beware, the rules have changed since 1 July, and there is now an identiifcation requirement. I am unclear at this stage whether an Australian passport will be sufficient to confirm identity.

 

29 Aug 2017

Total posts 1

This kind of extortion is why people are walking away from Telstra. My contracts are up for renewal in a couple of months and Vodafone or Optus are going to win the business.

20 Dec 2017

Total posts 13

David, it would be worth an update on this article and roaming plans generally across the major carriers. This Telstra new package mentioned in this article back in July didn't work and has been pulled. Virtually everyone hit the 100MB daily limit quickly, creating much angst, and customers were pushed over into another $10 purchase for 500MB on the spot. They scrapped the program some time in November/early December. The new plan is 200MB per day, but again unused data doesn't roll to the next day etc. Worth seeing what happened, how it now compares. I can't see any news on it anywhere. Over to ABT.

09 Jan 2016

Total posts 44

I just finished using a prepaid SIM that covered all of Uk & Europe for up to 30 days with unlimited calls and 12GB of data - for $45. Worked like a dream. Even continued to work in HK and Macau on the way home!

 

Telstra equiv for those 30 days would be $300 for 6GB of data. Telstra remain a joke re global roaming.

Rav
Rav

18 Aug 2017

Total posts 40

Which companies sim did you get.

09 Jan 2016

Total posts 44

ukprepaidsim
Rav
Rav

18 Aug 2017

Total posts 40

Got a French Orange sim to get net while driving around Europe, continually sent messages in French even when I signed up in English and could not top up at the Orange store in Brussels, supposedly a different company! , slow and unworkable.

27 Feb 2016

Total posts 2

love this service, much better than the old. easy to use, just click a button and you're away. no mucking around with swapping sims or different phone numbers. $10 per day and only charged if I make a call. great coverage. Data is $200mb/day - plenty if I leave any social media stuff till I'm on my (free) hotel wifi. I'm sold.

09 Jan 2016

Total posts 44

$10 p/d is a massive rippoff, made worse by the pitiful 200mbs of data.

 

Try again Telstra....or better yet try ukprepaidsimcard for UK & Europe, and usaprepaidsimcard for US. Both excellent.

27 Feb 2016

Total posts 2

Just sharing my personal view.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

24 Dec 2016

Total posts 3

For those of us that travel a lot the Telstra deal is appalling. I am sitting at AKL having just driven about 250k to get here and my GPS used all of my 200MB allowance. I am forced to use Telstra for business reasons but the $5 Vodafone deal (with your at-Home data allowance) is more in line with the international norm. Telstra’s is a 3rd world offering.

We remind all users to discuss the topic at hand rather than discussing other people, and also remind that all objective opinions relevant to that topic are welcome here, as per AusBT's comment policy. Just because you might disagree with another user's opinion doesn't make that opinion any less valid. Some comments above have been truncated to reflect this long-standing policy.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Feb 2014

Total posts 2

I am having a look into Global mobile WiFi hotspot devices as an alternative to paying $10 each day across 3 devices for 2 weeks. Chris, this may be a separate topic.

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