Telstra roaming rates to skyrocket this month

By Chris C., March 5 2014
Telstra roaming rates to skyrocket this month

Millions of Australians will be hit by Telstra’s increased global roaming charges this month, with the price of receiving calls when travelling overseas set to skyrocket from March 24.

The cost of answering your phone while in New Zealand, the UK and some European countries will more than double compared to current rates, with Japan seeing a three-times increase.

In Indonesia, a five minute incoming call will leap from $8.15 to $20.

Making a local call will also be more expensive in every country bar Italy. In Singapore it rises from 85c per minute to $1.50, while a local call made in Hong Kong jumps from $1.10 to $2.50.

It’ll cost you less to call home from overseas, however, with an average saving of $1.20 per minute depending on which country you’re dialling from.

That quick call back to home or the office from Dubai or elsewhere in the UAE will drop from $6.56 per minute to $3.50.

The changes are all tied to a rejig of Telstra’s global roaming map which sees the carrier move from country-specific charges to a zone-based system, with 192 countries categorised into eight zones.

Each zone will carry a single call rate for incoming and outgoing calls.

While this makes for cheaper calls back to Australia, the move has been criticised as a ‘price increase by stealth’.

Telstra maintains that the new rates are a win for Aussie travellers because its usage patterns show 70% of international calls are outbound while only 30% of calls are incoming.

“We realise that it can be difficult for our customers to manage their costs with all of these different rates so we are simplifying the way we charge for voice calls when roaming overseas" explains Tim Webber, Telstra Mobile’s Director of Business Mobility.

Here’s a list of the most relevant charges and changes impacting business travellers from March 24.

[Click on the table above to enlarge the image.]

Telstra will also charge calls in 60 second blocks instead of the current 30 second window, allowing it to hit customers in full one-minute increments at the higher rates.

However, Telstra will remove all roaming call connection fees, which are currently charged when post-paid customers receive calls and when pre-paid customers make or take a call.

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Chris C.

Chris is a a former contributor to Executive Traveller.

Leave it to Telstra to go completely against the grain, when every other major Aussie carrier has significantly reduced their international roaming charges.  This is yet another example of Telstra's arrogant and bullying behaviour as the leading provider of telecommunication services in this country. 

This blatant disregard for their millions of customers further justifies my decision to leave Telstra a few months back. 

Vote with your feet people, - there are some really good deals out there with other telcos.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 11

Seriously, why does anyone (who owns a smart phone) need to have global roaming, these days?  

Use of Hotel Wifi and Apps such as Viber, Whats App, Facetime and Tango, negates the need for data global roaming and the excessive charges.

I travel an awful alot overseas and always ensure that my hotel has Wifi, and I dont ever get charged for calls / sms or other data charges.

21 Sep 2012

Total posts 49

Thats okay if you can get free/reasonably priced wi-fi.  The Accor hotels we stayed at in NZ wanted NZ$16.99 for 2 hours of wi-fi!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

04 Mar 2014

Total posts 11

Agree, but i refuse to book a hotel where wifi is "payable" .

Now days it should be totally free in every accommodation location.


22 Oct 2012

Total posts 317

My standard overseas travel routine is to remove my Telstra SIM and replace it with a local SIM.  I then email family and others that I expect may wish to contact me with my new local number.

When travelling to the UK I use THREE, which for £15 a month I get loads of local calls and texts, and absolutely Unlimited Data.  If I want to call internationally, I then use Skype on my mobile phone, and even to a landline it costs about $1 an hour.

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