23 Sep 2013
By Tim Webber

Telstra cuts the cost of roaming by up to 80 per cent


As we plan our travel itinerary before heading overseas, one call people can often forget is to their mobile provider to sort out international data roaming.

We know Aussies love to travel and like to remain connected when we’re on-the-go. Like many people, I use my mobile device when travelling to stay connected to my family and friends, as well as day-to-day admin such as banking, social media updates and emails if I’m on a work trip, so data allowance is important to me.

From 14 October Telstra customers will have five times as many reasons to add ‘Activate international data roaming’ to their travel list, with our new Casual Traveler Data Packs now providing five times the data at the same price:

  • $29 for 100MB to use over 30 days
  • $85 for 300MB to use over 30 days
  • $160 for 600MB to use over 30 days
  • $350 for 1.5 GB to use over 30 days

Our new data packs give our customers great flexibility and great value. And they are available to use in 50 eligible countries – more than any of our competitors – including summer holiday hot spots like Fiji, Bali, Thailand and Vanuatu as well as countries across Europe and South America. Importantly the data packs cover all of the major airport hubs for Australian travelers – Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, London, New York and Auckland.

The data allowance also crosses the border when you do within the 50 eligible locations. Whether it’s during a 2-hour Asian stopover on the way to the UK or trip around Europe, you don’t need to waste precious time and energy buying multiple packs; at Telstra you buy one pack and you are set.

We have also introduced a five-fold increase to the data allowance on our International Frequent Traveler Data Plans and reduced our pay-as-you-go data roaming rate by 80 per cent to $3 per MB.

To help you better manage your data use while abroad, customers will also receive our international roaming data usage alerts, which will be sent for each 20MB of usage. It’s all about giving customers peace of mind, knowing they won’t come home to any post-travel bill surprises.

With these new data plans, we estimate that for an overseas trip such as a quick six day hop to the US for business, a week-long Bali break with the family or a 10 day adventure in Europe, a 300MB pack at a cost of $85 would suffice for typical needs. This is based on average data usage of between 30 MB and 50 MB per day, which works out between $8 and $12 per day.

The packs are available to all Telstra Mobile customers, they’re quick and easy to buy online either before leaving Australia or on-the-go overseas.

The Casual Traveler Data Packs

  • Now offer five times the usage at the same price;
  • Available in 50 countries including holiday hotspots;
  • Last for 30 days from activation, with no daily usage commitment;
  • User receives SMS alerts for each 20MB used;
  • Can be used in 50 eligible countries, without the need to purchase different packs for different destinations; and,
  • Can be purchased in Australia or on-the-go overseas.

It’s easy to get started, simply by activating international roaming and adding an international data casual traveler pack before travel in-store or online.


Posts: 6


  1. Gavin Rogers says:

    Awesome. A long time coming!

  2. Steve Fartek says:

    Is this for Post Paid …no mention in the article and if so what about Pre_paid ?????

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Steve, The timing announced here yesterday is for post-paid plans. The same changes will be occurring for pre-paid on the 24th of October. :)

  3. Ivan says:

    Repeated references to 50 countries. Didn’t think listing them or providing a weblink to a list would be useful?

  4. Markus Vollstecke says:

    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! Well done!!!

  5. Liron says:

    This is great, I would now be likely to get a travel pack if I go overseas instead of a travel SIM or an Optus SIM.

    But it’s not good enough, as it is still three to six times what Optus charges in most countries. Your call rates are also relatively high. And all these rates are still a long way from domestic rates when included value and data are taken into account.

  6. Daniel Nguyen says:

    Will this also apply to the International Roaming Browse Plus Packs (i.e. Pre-Paid)?

  7. Tom Minchin says:

    Much better casual pricing and more realistic given the actual costs to carriers -- however I doubt 300 M will do you for a week these days with a family unless you have strict rationing.

    Note for other readers -- iPads do not receive SMS and thus no warning.

    • Fiona says:

      Wow…didn’t realise that this didn’t apply to iPads…can someone at Telstra please confirm this? Cheers

  8. Corey Johnston says:

    Massive leap forward in the right direction.. But how long does it take to eat 100M on an LTE connection? That quota reminds me of Bigpond Cables monthly quota in 1997

  9. Adam says:

    Nice to hear, sadly I will be o/s when this comes into effect, and I will miss out on the savings.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Adam, Sorry to hear the new pricing misses some of your trip! For the last part of your trip, if you’re on a consumer plan you can purchase one of the new Casual Traveller Data Packs from your handset when they become available on the 14th of October. On your mobile phone browser, go to and you can purchase a pack immediately.
      If you’re a Business customer, you can purchase a datapack while travelling by calling +61 439 125 109 (Call cost is a flat 25c). I hope this helps!

  10. Craig says:

    Still a rip off.

    Consider we pay $0.10 per MB over the free limits local then how can anyone justify 30 times that price because you travel.

    Cheaper to leave your sim at home and buy a local sim card in the country you are in then just let those at home, that need to know, your temp number.

  11. Sean White says:

    $350 for 1.5 GB to use over 30 days is still outrageous pricing. Domestic Data packs cost 1/10 this amount. Why is it still so expensive?

  12. Krystal Cox says:

    Thank god, very excited! Heading to Thailand in November and I was planning on buying a sim while I was there, now I won’t need to bother!

    • Cliff Sutherton says:

      you probably still should buy a sim there. However Telstra is cunning. I wanted to get a sim while I was there in January only to find that Telstra lock everyone’s phone. Even when you are Post Paid on a plan. Also they will unlock it but you must be in Australia for them to do it… Sneaky eh

  13. Peter Watson says:

    Unfortunate timing for me -- I arrive back in Melbourne on Oct 11! :-(

  14. Chris says:

    Why is Telstra still so much more expensive than the competition?

    Not even close to being competitive with either Optus or Vodafone.

  15. M Smith says:

    in other words we’ve been getting ripped off for years?

    • Chris says:

      Yes, but now they’re ripping us off a little bit less…:)

    • Cliff Sutherton says:

      Ripped off is pretty mild a term I think. With Telstra there are just no morals when it comes to going after your Wallet. You are not a person to them, Give them an inch so to speak and they will have you reeling from shock when you receive your Bill on Return to Australia.They are Cruel and heartless as they see an opportunity to take money from you. How do I know? I am in very midst of massive arguments with Telstra as we speak. $737. for 48MB

  16. peter k says:

    good idea and long overdue.
    i’m sceptical about the 20mb alerts though.
    i signed up for the old casual traveller packs a few months ago. i travelled in England/Europe and i got text messages saying i would get alerts every 20mb of usage.
    never received a single alert and ran out of my allowance, 60mb i think it was. :(

  17. Can you purchase more that one data plan within the 30 days? Just in case I run out?

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Jonathan, yes you will be able to purchase “as you go.” Our casual data packs being valid for 30 days customers and you can amount you need depending on your circumstances.

  18. Julia Barry says:

    Are corporate phones eligible to these rates ?

  19. Traveller says:

    Hows the connection overseas? If it follows local speed..hmm much cheaper using local sim card.

  20. Tony says:

    Why can’t Optus and telstra do what Voda’s doing?For an additional $5 per day of use,you can access your plan content while overseas.Sounds good to me.

  21. Stuart says:

    I am travelling over the next two weeks, India next week, and China the week after. If I buy a data pack now ($85 for 60MB) will this transition to the new $85/300MB on the 14th, or do I just have the 60MB to use over 30days?

  22. Elle says:

    So they only updated this because the competition did. And proves exorbitant costs currently are a rort!

  23. erik says:

    awesome! it’ll we terrific if the is a way to check international data usage like the way we check the local data

  24. Matt says:

    I am travelling to USA & Canada in a weeks time. I am on a prepaid iPhone and would like to use a data pack such as 300mb casual traveller pack. is it available for purchase now or is the browse plus pack better suited.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Matt! Pre-paid roaming packs will be available from the 24th October. Will this be before you head overseas? :)

  25. Craig says:

    Hi, will I be able to use the hotspot function on my iphone so I can use my ipad also.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Craig, I do believe that the hotspot function is not connected, so you should still be able to use it. :)

  26. Jeff says:

    The cost is still very expensive, sure when you look at Optus 50c/mb meaning 1500mb = $750 versus Telstra’s $350.00

    but the big thing I see is!

    Optus Call Rate: $1/min flat (Regardless of location)
    Telstra: $3.50/min/toaustralia
    Telstra: $2.??/min/inside USA

    Roaming DOES NOT COST THIS MUCH. It’s pure profiteering and gouging. I’ll stick to getting a sim in that country. I’m not spending $350.00 for just 1.5GB data..

    AT&T I can get a $70/prepaid with unlimited calling and 3GB of data… saving me $280.00

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Jeff, This blog was regarding our improved data packs and reduced our pay as you go prices. We’ll have more to come and we’ll happily keep you all up to date with all the details here! :)

  27. RP says:

    HI Jamie,

    can you please tell us when we will see reduced call rates for roaming. i am heading overseas soon and it would be good know it before I leave. happy for someone to contact me.thanks

  28. Steven says:

    The Telstra 24x7 app is still showing $85 for 60MB, not $85 for 300MB. I wish to purchase a Plus pack on my Pre Payed IPAD SIM, however I should be able to get the new rate?

  29. Grant says:

    Still a lot cheaper when I visit to NZ just to buy a phone for $49 NZD which has a $29 pre-paid data plan with phone calls and 1G of data included.,

  30. Cliff Sutherton says:

    I realise Telstra think they are doing the right thing, However every time they ripped me off and the times I felt just gutted with there sneaky ways they just pushed me closer to closing my account with them. I started off with three landlines, two Mobile phones, two Home adsl accounts. last month I transferred my last Telstra account over to Lycamobile. And honestly I feel relieved the burden has been lifted. It now costs me 1 cent a minute for many of my international calls..I have family in Canada, we enjoy a regular 60 to 90 minute call and the most it costs me is .60 to .90 cents. Enjoy your Telstra Experience, Cheers Cliffy

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