15 Jan 2014
By Tim Webber

Telstra simplifies International Roaming call prices into eight zones


We know that Aussies love to travel and stay connected wherever they are. Like many other people I like to be able to use my own mobile phone and phone number while I am travelling overseas to stay in touch with my family and friends.

Making and receiving calls when travelling overseas can be confusing with different rates for making and receiving calls as well as different rates for calling a local number, calling back to Australia or calling another country. 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.

From 24 March 2014 all of the 192 countries where Telstra offers International Roaming will be classified into one of eight zones. Each zone will have one price to both make and receive calls. Calls will be charged in 60-second blocks instead of the current 30-second blocks with all calls rounded up to the nearest minute, in line with our domestic plans.

We are also removing the call connection fees for our Post-Paid customers on calls they receive overseas. Pre-Paid customers will no longer have pay connection fees on outgoing or incoming calls when roaming. Customers can also call the Telstra International Roaming Helpdesk 125 109 (within Australia) and +61 439 125 109 (from overseas), from their Telstra mobile service, free of charge for help and information.

Voice call charges for the eight zones

  • Zone 1 $1.50 per minute: includes New Zealand, South Africa and Singapore
  • Zone 2 $2.00 per minute: includes Greece, Malaysia and Vietnam
  • Zone 3 $2.50 per minute: includes Fiji, Hong Kong and Thailand
  • Zone 4 $3.00 per minute: includes Canada, Philippines and the USA
  • Zone 5 $3.50 per minute: includes China, Italy and the UAE
  • Zone 6 $4.00 per minute: includes Indonesia, Portugal and Turkey
  • Zone 7 $4.50 per minute: includes Croatia, Mexico and Sri Lanka
  • Zone 8 $5.00 per minute: includes Bangladesh, Maldives and Zimbabwe

These changes will apply to all Telstra customers. All customers receive an SMS when they land overseas that detail the call, SMS and data rates for that country. The price of sending an SMS message will remain at 75 cents and data at $3.00/MB (where a customer has not purchased a data pack or plan). It is free to receive SMS while roaming.

Simplifying our International Roaming calls rates is the latest change we have made to help our customers manage their costs when travelling overseas. In October 2013 we increased the amount of data in our Casual Traveller Data Packs, five –fold, these packs can be used in 50 eligible countries. In April 2013 we introduced our International Roaming data usage alerts, which are sent to customers after every 20MB of data they use when roaming.

To find out more information on the International Roaming changes visit the Telstra overseas website.


Posts: 6


  1. Nick says:

    >Calls will be charged in 60-second blocks instead of the current 30-second blocks with all calls rounded up to the nearest minute, in line with our domestic plans.

    How about per second billing?
    When you buy fuel for your car it isn’t rounded up to the nearest litre, when you spend money it isnt rounded up to the nearest dollar and so on.
    Mobile phone calls would be one of the only things (if not the only thing) where you always pay for more than you use.

    >We are also removing the call connection fees for our Post-Paid customers on calls they receive overseas. Pre-Paid customers will no longer have pay connection fees on outgoing or incoming calls when roaming

    Why the difference?
    Why should those who are loyal, on a contract and committed to Telstra for a period of time be given a worse offer then Pre-Paid?

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Nick, Thanks for your comment. With this set of changes, the offers between pre-paid and post-paid will be the same. The connection fee on outgoing calls is currently only on pre-paid, which is why we’re not removing it from post-paid (it’s not there to remove!). Thanks, Jamie.

    • Nick says:

      Hi Jamie,

      Thanks for the explanation and sorry for my misunderstanding on that!

  2. Robin Belford says:

    That’s a good start.
    Now you could work on the pricing, like drop it by 50 -- 75%.
    Then you give your data rates another 10 fold drop, the recent 5 fold drop was a good start.

    Looking forward to ongoing, continual improvement in Telstra customer service and pricing.



  3. El says:

    Credit to you Telstra for overhauling the roaming rates.
    Optus also recently released new rates for international roaming and theirs seem to be simpler and cheaper. Can Telstra accept the challenge and offer a more competitive rates for your customers travelling overseas?

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi El, In the 50 countries where our customers can use our International Casual Traveler Data Packs the data rate is always cheaper (where the pack is fully utilised) than Optus’ new offers -- even on the $10/day offer. I hope this helps clarify :) Thanks, Jamie.

  4. Stephen says:

    Good start. Now how about a roaming package to rival Vodafone’s Red Roaming package?

    Also, why does Post-Paid support more countries than Pre-Paid?

    • Nick says:

      >Also, why does Post-Paid support more countries than Pre-Paid?

      I would assume the overseas networks can choose to accept both Pre and Post paid or only one.

  5. Leonie says:

    If you want to rival your competitors have a look at the other telcos they are offering $1 a min.

  6. Chris says:

    How is eight zones simpler for consumers? It’s probably simpler for me to think of it as before, that every country may be different, than to try and remember which of eight zones a country fits into (and the rates for that zone).

    An example of zones actually making things simpler, Optus has divided their roaming pricing into only two zones, with one of those two zones covering the majority of the world. The rates on this zone are also 1/3 less than that of Telstra’s cheapest zone (which covers a lot less country).

    I can understand Telstra can charge a premium on its own network in Australia, but on overseas roaming it’s practically the same product whether I’m billed by Telstra or one of its competitors. So why is there such a disparity in pricing between Telstra and its competitors?

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Chris, Currently we have over a hundred of different call rates depending on which country our customers travelled to, so it is significantly simpler for customers. Travelers also get a SMS each time they enter a new country, letting them know of the costs involved. You can find out all the alerts details on the Telstra Overseas webpage. I hope this helps. Thanks, Jamie.

  7. Glenn says:

    Have we waved the poms goodbye? No mention of the UK in any zone.
    A link to the complete zone allocations from the article wold have been useful

  8. Tim L says:

    So there will be a flat rate of e.g. Zone 2 at $2/minute regardless of how the calls are made compare to existin rate when making local call at 52c/min? That is robbery.

    • Andrew says:

      It is a “hidden” price rise.

      Probably 5+ years ago now when there used to be different rates depending on what carrier you roamed onto in each country it was possible in some circumstances to use your phone while roaming for less than the cost of using it here in Australia.

      Then it was simplified to a single fee per country regardless of carrier.

      • Jamie (Editor) says:

        Hello Andrew,

        The simplification of the voice rates and move to billing blocks of 60-seconds minute means calls to and from some countries will decrease and others will increase. Each zone has been based on the costs and technical complexity associated with providing call services in that country and we have worked hard to negotiate with our partners and bring our customers the best value possible.

        I hope this clarifies.


  9. Tom says:

    Hi, thanks Telstra for simplifying these charges however what you have said above does not match up with your International Roaming charges page (

    Also your article says SMS will be 75c but the page (^) still displays 65c, also shows call connection charges and the charges are different. For example using NZ the SMS fee is 65c and there is connection charges for prepaid users and the charge is not $1.50 as displayed as it is above.

    when do these charges come in to effect?

    thank you.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Tom, The new charges come into effect on 24 March 2014. While the website calls out the new pricing, it is still quoting the old pricing until the effective date. I hope this helps. Thanks, Jamie.

  10. Said says:

    if you follow the link to the telstra roaming site (in the article), they have the curremt and future prices per country.

    Amazingly, the two countries i checked (Spain and UK) they are putting the price up.

    Well done telstra.

  11. Huw says:

    Whilst the world’s telcos realise they have been caught out with their roaming price gouging, Telstra use smoke and mirrors to put their prices up while others drop theirs.

    I rang Telstra roaming no to enquire and was told that the reason for the price increases was to ‘improve customer service’!!

    About head off for 12 months in 20 countries. Certainly will be dropping Telstra for my roaming on this trip.

  12. John B says:

    This appears to be thievery on a grand scale. Currently to receive calls in France for example costs $0.85/minute plus $0.40 setup. After the change the rate will increase to $2.50/min. (according to the page and post paid rates). The UK from $0.70 + $0.40 to $2.00 /min. A few rates do decrease but most increase and increase substantially.
    Calls to Australia appear to have generally decreased but I suspect most people on holidays at least dont ring home all that often. Skype (or something similar) is a far better option.

  13. said says:

    I find it amazing that Telstra doesn’t want to help their customers while traveling. We know good deals can be done because all the global roaming Sims have already demonstrated this. Telstra talk about the future, but actually hold us in the past.

  14. David says:

    Hi Telstra,
    How can you justify these prices? You get billed from the other telcos in sec blocks why do we get charged by minutes? Also how do we control when a person rings in hangs up.. Not fair.. The excuse I was given was it was for a quality network.. What network of yours am I using overseas? If you made pricing better people would use roaming rather than buying sims overseas. Your killing your own revenue stream…

  15. Markus Vollstecker says:

    I work for a multinational and our staff travel extensively. I was told by our Telstra account executive that these new rates are great -- well, I just did a comparison of the countries our workforce travel to and on almost every count, we will be much worse off. So while other territories are being forced to provide fairer pricing for roaming, Telstra have gone the other way. It’s just appalling and displays Telstra in an arrogant light. To receive a call in the USA will cost $3/min, up from $2/min -- are you guys serious???!!! :-(

  16. Tim says:

    Give free data roaming like t mobile did!

  17. Markus Vollstecker says:

    Also, there’s no mention of whether the International Roaming Voice Plans will still exist from 24 Mar 2014 -- do we also wave goodbye to the 20% discount we used to get with the $100 plan?

    • Ben says:

      Hi Markus

      Business and Enterprise customers on the $15 and $100 International Roaming Voice Plan are eligible for voice discounts under the new pricing structure from March 24.

  18. Step says:

    I was saying I’d be taking my Telstra number when I went to Europe later this year. I use my phone to keep in touch when you’re separated or phone your hotel -- local calls.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but as I read it here are the new rates for a local two and a half minute call:

    London $3.65 to $6.00 -- 64% increase
    Paris $3.65 to $7.50 -- 105% increase
    Prague $6.20 to $13.50 -- 117% increase
    Berlin $3.65 to $9.00 -- 146% increase

  19. Jason says:

    Dear Telstra,

    I wish you would answer the question that everyone continues to ask, but you ignore.

    Why will you not offer FLAT RATE global roaming for voice, data and SMS like Vodafone (and many other large Telcos across the world) ($6.00 AUD per day)

    That would mean I could enjoy the fantastic coverage throughout Australia on my flat rate plan and continue to use my phone overseas on my flat rate global roaming plan.

    The difference at the moment is:

    A two minute call on from the USA or

    A full 24 hours of incoming or outgoing calls plus data and SMS.

    Big difference.

    C’mon Telstra, just answer the question, honestly.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Jason,

      The benefit is that our customers won’t have to commit to a set amount of money each day when roaming overseas. We know that our customers primarily use data when travelling overseas for social media and other applications like email. Our data packs are available 50 countries and valid for 30 days from purchase. Customers can purchase additional data packs depending on their circumstances. Telstra customers are also only charged for the voice and SMS they use while roaming rather than being locked into a set rate.

      I hope this helps clarify.


    • Jason says:

      Hi Jamie,

      Thank you for your reply above. (Ref: Post 14 Feb)

      I understand your point, but hasn’t Telstra’s push towards flat rates (IE Flat rate mobile plans, flat rate land line plans, flat rate home internet packs where your speed is throttled rather than excess charges) proof that Telstra understands that customer prefer flat rates rather than excess usage charges?

      If you have some customers who don’t like flat rates why not offer both. Vodafone offers the Red Roaming -- or the Vodafone traveler plans. Those on flat rate red plans get flat rate red roaming. Those on variable plans get the Vodafone traveler plans. Everyone get’s a choice.

      I understand that the negotiating table is large when it comes to overseas carriers, but if the two smaller telcos can manage it, I’m sure Telstra could.

      Whats is most disappointing is that Telecom NZ has a $6.00 per day mobile data deal when their customers roam to Australia using the Telstra network, yet we do not have anywhere near the same opportunity when we roam to New Zealand on the Telecom NZ network.

      The NZ deal seems unfair.

      • Jamie (Editor) says:

        Hello again Jason, Thanks for your feedback on having more than one offering, We have a good track record of delivering improvements to our customers on International Roaming and customer feedback plays a big part of these decisions. Have a great day Jason :) Thanks, Jamie.

  20. David says:

    Why no comments from Telstra? Shows their dedication to customers..

    • Jason says:

      Hi David,

      I actually wrote that post knowing full well if I put $100.00 on it as a bet that “I would never see a concise answer to my post explaining why they don’t offer a flat rate like Vodafone.” my money would be very safe.

      Global Roaming is the existing “SMS money pit” for Telstra. They used to make millions out of charging 25 cents for 160 characters of text. Today, they make no money out of SMS. The additional introduction of flat rate plans due to competition, means they make very little money out of mobile calls as well.

      This global roaming simplification is nothing more than a Telstra PR stunt to satisfy ACMA and get them off their back. All they have to do is show they are doing something. It has nothing to do with lowering costs. $3 per mb may be lowering costs in Telstra’s eyes -- but its still a rip off compared to the competition. How do you justify a $5.00 per minute call from overseas that is probably routed via VOIP anyway?

      On the other hand, Telstra has a lot of “big whale” corporate and government customers who probably never see their bill. A bill of $10,000 per month is nothing to them, it just gets paid -- no questions asked. So why would Telstra rid themselves of that massive profit / rip off margin?

      Vodafone were almost broke a few years back, now they can offer a $5.00 flat rate to use your phone overseas with the freedom you have at home. If the number 3 Telco can do it, why can’t Telstra?

      When I asked this of my Telstra customer service officer on the phone they suggested if “Global roaming was your main concern you would be better looking elsewhere as we have nothing a present that can match Vodafone.”

      Telstra at present is a perfect example of where you cant have your cake and eat it too. It would be great if Telstra would prove to me that they would at least leave me a slice….

  21. john says:

    I am and have been a loyal Telstra customer since owning a mobile
    I still buy my SIM cards overseas it’s way cheaper I’m surprised that Telstra think it’s customers are so stupid to take their roaming plans etc it’s a disgrace Telstra you need to get with the programme and be more competitive you are taking us for fools

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      I’m sorry you feel like that John. I’ll pass that feedback onto the team. Thanks, Jamie.

  22. Keith says:

    Roaming charges are not justified and this attempt to now round-up to the nearest minute is another example of TELSTRA cynicism towards its customers. Just been charged over $45 for 6:38 min call from UAE to AUS. How on earth can that be justified? Having now checked the rate it is $6.56 per minute, only marginally cheaper than Russia, Mongolia and some really obscure places.

    It is significantly cheaper $3.75 to call from Bhutan for example. Also it will be noted it is often more expensive to call Australia than other countries in these locations. Is that because TELSTRA is ripping off their customers too I wonder?

    The review may eliminate some anomalies but basically this is still price gouging. This is not good enough.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Keith,

      The changes will take effect on 24 March 2014, meaning you were charged the current rates for the call you mention. This is exactly what we’re trying to simplify. :)


    • Keith says:

      Thank you Jamie for the courtesy of a response,

      Whilst the changes supposedly remove anomalies the correspondence here clearly shows it is nothing more than window dressing.

      I never imagined a 6+ minute call from one of the most compact and now technologically advanced countries in the world would be so expensive. A local SIM would have been a fraction of this. I only needed to make one call but in future I will not use roaming at all, even on these so called simplified rates, unless I have absolutely no choice. In most cases I do and will have a choice.

      Until TELSTRA and other telcos realise that consumers will not accept this blatant gouging and alternatives exist this will always be an issue.

  23. Kosta says:

    Let me get this straight. Telstra think that me receiving a 5 minute call in USA @ $15 daily for a month and costing $450 is better for me when both Optus and Vodafone can provide the exact same thing for 1/3 the price. Plus Optus roaming data is 50c per mb, Telstra continues to charge 6 times that.

    And then you have the audacity to tell us we will benefit from it. How stupid do you take the Australian population to be honestly.

    And I find it hilarious that Jamie the editor has failed to comment on any point that goes against Telstras interests.

    I continue to support the other carriers like Optus & Vodafone who may have their own issues but at least they don’t rip their customers off and then try make out that it’s in their best interests.

    Optus and Vodafone will eventually be on par with Telstras Australian network and I cannot wait to see what they will do then.

    In the meantime, we can only hope the powerless ACCC grow some balls and do something about this.

    • Jason says:

      Hi Kosta,

      You can see from the trend that Jamie and his crew are only allowed to answer when they answer is “Telstra positive.”

      They cannot answer honestly (or at all) if the answer is negative.

      It seems if the answer is negative, Telstra’s instruction to it’s staff is to ignore the customer.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Kosta,

      I’m sorry you feel like that. What we’ve looked to do is simplify the way we charge our customers for voice calls when travelling overseas. International Roaming prices are relatively high due to a range of factors – what we’re charged by overseas carriers, the technical complexity of providing the service, the need to negotiate agreements with carriers in hundreds of countries. Each zone has been based on the costs and technical complexity associated with providing call services in that country. We have worked hard to negotiate with our partners and bring our customers the best value possible. For example, calls back to Australia while in New Zealand have reduced from $2.80 per minute to $1.50 per minute and calls back to Australia when in the UAE have gone from $6.56 per minute to $3.50 per minute.

      This is a long answer, but I hope it helps clarify.


    • Mathew says:

      @ Jamie -- Can you explain why the calls will billed in 60 second blocks? To give customers the best value possible I suppose?

      • Jamie (Editor) says:

        Hello Matthew, We wanted to simplify the way we charge for voice calls when our customers roam overseas.The mixture of flag-falls and 30-second block charging was confusing for customers. The move to 60-second charging is in line with our domestic plans. Thanks, Jamie.

  24. Jason says:

    Dear Jamie,

    In response to your reply in “delivering improvements”. In the following areas:

    3G Coverage = Totally Agree
    4G Coverage = Totally Agree

    Value for money for 3G and 4G coverage = Agreeable, the other Telcos cannot compare themselves to Telstra. That’s why I returned to Telstra 3 years ago. I pay more than I did with the other Telco, but nationally I see value for money.

    But when it comes to your statement:

    “We have a good track record of delivering improvements to our customers on International Roaming”

    If we surveyed 100 random Telstra non business customers who have been subject to your International roaming rates, honestly how many of them would agree with you on this statement?

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Sorry, I meant in reference to continually reviewing and updating our International Roaming plans:

      - In February 2012 we boosted our Casual International Data Packs and International Data Plans taking the number of two packs and plans to seven.
      - In April 2013 we introduced our international data roaming alerts, where our customers roaming overseas receive SMS alerts for every 20MB of data they use (excluding Hong Kong) and we doubled the data allowance in our packs, quadrupled the data allowance in our plans, and doubled the number of eligible countries where the packs and plans were available for use.
      - In September 2013 we implemented new SMS alerts, which provide customers with specific pricing for each country they roam in, and how to cancel their International Roaming service [These are the ACMA mandated alerts].
      - In October 2013 we made a five-fold increase in the data allowance for on both our International Casual Traveller Data Packs and International Frequent Traveller Data Plans and cut our international PAYG roaming rate by 80 per cent.

    • Keith says:

      Hi Jamie,

      This refers to my earlier issue with being charged 6.56 pm from the UAE.

      Above you say since Sept 2013 the ACMA mandated alert states how much roaming costs in each country. I have since rechecked my Etisalat SMS of the day and it says no such thing.

      It does tell me to have a pleasant stay in the UAE though, which I did fortunately other than your collective rate collusion :)

  25. David says:


    You didn’t respond to this. Please explain why NZ gets such a great deal to use the telstra network but we don’t get the same deal over there. Who is negotiating??? the chipmunks? Honestly from this we can see how low the rate is between you and NZ. Please explain…

    Whats is most disappointing is that Telecom NZ has a $6.00 per day mobile data deal when their customers roam to Australia using the Telstra network, yet we do not have anywhere near the same opportunity when we roam to New Zealand on the Telecom NZ network.

    The NZ deal seems unfair.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi David, My apologies that I missed your comment, it wasn’t intentional!

      Under the new changes, customers who travel to NZ will have a much simpler pricing structure and get a better rate when calling back to Australia – the most popular type of roaming call made by our customers when overseas.

      Currently Telstra customers in New Zealand are charged the following prices for voice calls:

      • Outbound Calls within NZ: $1.28 per minute (charged per 30 sec block)
      • Outbound Calls to Australia: $2.80 per minute (charged per 30 sec block)
      • Outbound Calls to Other Countries: $4.19 per minute (charged per 30 sec block)
      • Calls Received: $0.64 per minute + 40c call connection fee (charged per second)

      From 24 March, under the new structure, this will change to:

      • All calls made and received: $1.50 per minute (no call connection fee, 60 second block)
    • Jason says:

      Hi Jamie,

      So let me get this straight.

      1) Telstra will not offer flat rates when roaming to NZ unlike the deal Telecom NZ customers receive when they roam to Australia and use Telstra.

      2) The price for receiving a call in NZ will increase by around 50 cents per minute under the new roaming plans structure.

      Am I reading this correct? Please tell me I’m wrong!

      I’m sorry to continue to hammer you on this, but on paper (Which is all we have to go on), it does not look like we are going to receive any TRUE relief when it comes to global roaming. I know you have lowered the data rates, but the risk of bill shock does not seem to be lowering compared to other Australian telcos. It would be nice if Telstra came clean on why they are so expensive global roaming wise rather than the PR crap we are dished out.

      Jamie, tough question -- does Telstra believe they are good value for money global roaming wise compared to other Telcos domestically?

      • Jamie (Editor) says:

        Hi Jason,

        Actually from 24 March all calls made and received to NZ will be charged at a flat rate of $1.50 per minute (no call connection fee, 60 second block). In addition, the following charges will no longer exist:

        • Outbound Calls within NZ: $1.28 per minute (charged per 30 sec block)
        • Outbound Calls to Australia: $2.80 per minute (charged per 30 sec block)
        • Outbound Calls to Other Countries: $4.19 per minute (charged per 30 sec block)
        • Calls Received: $0.64 per minute + 40c call connection fee (charged per second)

        I hope this helps clarify. :)

  26. Jason says:

    Hi Jamie,

    Yes it does clarify the following:

    Currently a two min existing incoming roaming call in NZ costs 64c per min + 40c connection. So the 1st minute costs $1.04, second minute costs 64c. Total $1.68

    On the new plan a 2 minute call will cost $3.00. That’s an increase of $1.32.

    Is this correct Jamie?

  27. Jason says:


    That’s positive answering with an ignorance on the negative which I spoke about before. Telstra won’t accept the negative. I’ll ask again:

    Currently a two min existing incoming roaming call in NZ costs 64c per min + 40c connection. So the 1st minute costs $1.04, second minute costs 64c. Total $1.68

    On the new plan a 2 minute call will cost $3.00. That’s an increase of $1.32.

    Is this correct Jamie?

  28. Kjay says:


    Just returned from overseas travel, I did not make any phone calls (at Telestra rates why would anyone), I did how ever send 14 sms and recieved a few, I did check my voice a dozen times.

    I got charged approx $110 dollars extra?????

    What is ” overseas air time ” and how is it calulated.

    Why do Telstra not have plain and truethfull pricing where total charges are know instead of giving a price for a service then adding seperate charges like “overseas air time ” what is that?

    I have three different charges for 1 check of voice mail

    Telestra are by far the most expensive carrier

  29. Paul says:

    Are you kidding? Why do people get charged to RECEIVE calls while roaming?

    I recently travelled overseas without my child -- the only way for him to contact me is by phone -- but not only does Telstra charge the caller it charges the callee???

    This is absolutely terrible double-dipping on (already high) call charges.

    • Jason says:

      Hi Paul,

      I’m a Telstra customer (on the $120.00 flat rate plan) currently in NZ for two weeks.

      Before I left, I signed up on another sim card for a Vodafone $50 red plan and activated Vodafone Global red roaming.

      My Telstra phone is currently in Flight mode for the two weeks with the wifi switched on. My voicemail tells people to contact me on another number, Telstra wanted an absurd amount per call to divert my number. Things seem to be running fine.

      So, now I have the freedom to take and receive calls without worries about the costs. I am also able to enjoy data roaming on my phone as I would back home. The vodafone phone is tethering to the telstra phone to ensure I don’t miss any emails and can use my apps.

      Oh I can also call NZ landlines and NZ mobiles and that is included in my cap. It’s brilliant.

      For the first time, I am not fussing about where I can find wifi, paying silly hotel wifi rates and rushing phone calls. I have the freedom to do business the way it should be.

      Total cost, $50 sim (once off) plus 14 days @ $5.00 = $120.00 -- next trip = 14 days @ $5.00 = $70.00

      If I was using Telstra, that would be: around 20mb of data and 20 mins of receiving calls and 20 mins of making calls. Bit tough to do business on 40 mins of calls and 20 mb of data. (Them sending me my bill would be one of those mb)

      If the third biggest Telco in Australia can do it, well…….. what can I say.

      Mind you, Telstra did send me an email today saying “Thanks a million”. Well…….the later is true.

      Once the contracts up, I think its moving time. I have asked Telstra so many times why wont they offer flat rates for roaming. No one will give me an answer. I have even asked on here. See the answers above.

      In fact I even received a survey from Telstra asking “how did I enjoy using my Telstra phone overseas, out of 1 to 10, I answered zero.

      They called me asking why I rated it a zero, I told them why. The other Telcos offer flat rates per day for roaming. The answer I received every time I asked the question was “Jason, with your comparison you are comparing apples with oranges.” That was Telstra’s standard response. My response to that statement (which never received a reply) was the following.

      Your network in Australia may not be comparable to others but when it comes to roaming, it has nothing to do with your network coverage back home.

      2 out of the 3 Australian networks see flat rate roaming as the way mobile plans should be, along with many others in NZ, Asia, Europe and others. Does Telstra not want to be innovative like the others? Don’t we as valuable customers deserve a fair non antiquated deal like the others.

      No reply was given apart from “look I’ll take your feedback on board”

  30. David says:

    VERY well said Jason. It amazes me that telstra recommend using local sims or turning off data when roaming. Mind blowing.

    I use truphone which is a global roaming sim with an australian local number. At the end of my contact, i will be signing up for one of their post paid business plans which allows me to use the phone and data in a number of countries as part of the cap.

    All the telcos could do the same if they wanted. The global telco deals are coming and we will soon be able to buy plans from telcos in other countries.

    Then things will change and the australian telcos will realise they have left it all too late. I can’t wait for that to start unfolding.

    • Jason says:

      Hi David,

      It’s a nice freedom to have mate, I had a 1 hour phone call to Australia while driving from Wellington to Palmerston Nth.

      Cost me no more than the $5.00 flat rate for the day.

      In fact I used terminal server for a an hour in a cafe, joined a video conference for 20 mins, probably made over three hours of calls yesterday.

      $5.00 for the day is what it cost.

      I also had an issue with a flight, sat on hold for a while. No drama.

      Surfed the net looking at house prices while I enjoyed some lunch.

      I didn’t have to look on the window to see if they had “free wifi” sticker.

      I didn’t have to ask that horrible question at the hotel “how much is wifi for the night?” and gasp at the price. In fact I was able to order room service on the money I would normally have to pay for wifi :)

      $5.00 for the day is what it cost.

      Call home every night, spoke to the kids, actually asked them what they did at school today and let them elaborate on the answer, because I really didn’t care how long they took.

      I can do exactly the same thing in apparently 47 countries -- I don’t have to do the math on 8 different zones.

      Imagine if I used my Telstra phone.

      Telstra says they believe in freedom of choice. It is freedom of choice, at much lower rates. I’m certainly not sweating my bill when I return.

      If I don’t want to use my phone for the day, I don’t get charged the flat rate. (or I just have one less coffee that day to pay for the bill :)

      I love Telstra’s mobile coverage in Australia, but as an international business traveler, they are not assisting me in any way.

  31. David says:

    I also recently checked out the UK phone plans and they offer very reasonable rates for their customers when travelling in Australia. I wonder why telstra thinks it can’t be done in reverse?

  32. Jason says:

    Hi David,

    It’s the same with NZ. NZ telecom offer a deal where you roam and use Telstra over here you can use your phone as you would in NZ and pay $6.00 per day. Alas we can’t get the same deal across the ditch.

    By the way, got my vodaphone bill, I used 1.5 Gb of data while I was in NZ and made one 125 mins of calls. Cost me $35.00. If I used my Telstra mobile I would have been up for approximately $4,500. @ Jamie How does Telstra justify the $4,465 difference in roaming charges? Surely the NZ telcos don’t charge so differently?

  33. Jason says:

    Hi Jamie, yes it’s a great initiative. I’ve actually been working closely with key partners with this project overseas for some time. But my current concern is here and now.

    Look Jamie I appreciate to be the best carrier in the country you have to charge accordingly -- but your pricing structure compared to the others is outrageous. Especially in a changing market where some countries allow their subscribers to roam to other countries without charging them a single dollar. Telecom NZ is priding itself by expanding to 50+ countries and allowing their subscribers to use their data roaming and their existing data allocation for $10.00 per day. (Voice is different but it’s a start)

    Telecom NZ has 2 million subscribers to generate revenue from -- you have over 15 million.

    C’mon Jamie, lets not ignore it anymore, why won’t Telstra offer the option of a flat rate global roaming deal like the other two? It seems to be the question that Telstra avoids by directing the answer towards your non competitive “global roaming packs” rather than answering the direct question.

    It’s not much to ask, I just want the company I’m a customer of to answer my question directly.

  34. james hackett says:

    As you say earlier that you know aussies love to travel and there are thousands of us overseas at any one time why have extra charges at all. Can you tell me what additional costs you incur for travellers and don’t you think you would make more money if every traveller used your service while overseas rather than buy new sims and phones

  35. sriyantra says:

    I am going to Spain and will take my prepaid mobile with me. I want to send a couple of text messages a week and spend 5 minutes looking at my banking in Wifi locations. I will make a couple of calls a week within Spain and know that they will cost me $3.50 a minute. Do I buy an International Browse Plus Pack and a Data Pack or just a Browse Plus Pack. I will be there for 7 weeks so will also need to get a balance auto recharge set up. What do I have to switch off so I am not roaming. Am I right with all of this? Thanks

  36. Sean says:

    When i went to New Zealand at the end of April early may to Queenstown I got a local New Zealand Vodafone sim card for my iPhone and iPad and it worked out a lot cheaper then roaming and i had to local mobile phone numbers when i was over there and very cheap rates to call Australia and i wanted a local mobile phone number witch is a 02 number in New Zealand. I use Telstra in Australia and Vodafone in New Zealand. Vodafone in New Zealand uses the 900 MHz band for 3g in Queenstown and other parts of New Zealand just like Telstra uses 850 MHz in Australia. When going overseas checkout the mobile phone networks out with the lower frequency’s like 850 MHz and 900 MHz bands. I like networks that run on the UHF bands like Telstra does. I have got recption up to 45 km away from a tower on my iPhones on Fraser Island without problems but it sometimes can get a little bit choppy with the 850 MHz band on 3g and CDMA but very stable without an external antenna.

  37. Phillip Lodge says:

    Recently I travelled to Italy and France. Telephone bill inflated as expected but SMS bill doesn’t add up. Telstra sent me a log of the SMSs which suggests that I sent 89 in total. However, the log shows multiple entries for what I assume was just one SMS. Example, one sms sent whilst in Italy on September 13 is logged six times at exactly the same time, 2.12 am. There are numerous other examples of multiple entries in each of the countries we visited. Disregarding these anomalies, I calculate that I made 43 sms calls at a cost of $32.25. However,Telstra has charged me for every one for a total cost of $66.75. Am I missing something here or am I being ripped off?

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Phillip — please give us a call on 13 22 00, and someone will chat you through the details :) Thanks, Jamie.

  38. Peter says:

    Just read through the comments looking for possible answers to my questions but all I was reading was complaining complaining and more complaining I understand the need to explain your not a satisfied customer of Telstra billing but as most of you have pointed out you already have the answer to your complaints.
    Most seem to be Telstra customers anyway maybe because you already know its the best Telco in the best country in the world.
    Why not complain to Qantas that there flights are to expensive too, No just fly with another airline answer to the question.
    Vote with your feet (so to speak).

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Thanks Peter :)

    • Said says:

      How long have you worked for telstra Peter?

      The reality is that the prices are high. Very high and when compared to almost every other country, they would be considered ridiculously high. People who work in the telecoms sector know how much things really cost to deliver when roaming.

      How can you explain that with other telcos (local and global), when charging for roaming on the same networks that Telstra roam on, the prices are substantially lower? It means that one of the networks is whacking you on the price. Having said that, keep the blinkers on. Telstra relies on people who think that they are the best network in the best country. The land of wonder (unless you have ever traveled abroad to see a first world country in real life)

  39. Peter says:

    Hi Telstra,

    Thank you so much for offering us international roaming at such a competitive price.

    Although other networks roam on the same networks as you do, I know that you must offer a much better service, which is why you charge more for roaming.

  40. Jason says:

    Interesting way of stating it Peter. But it must be asked, can a company also be the best at pricing models too?

  41. Debra says:

    How much are calls to England on your telstra mobile?

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Debra, You can actually purchase International Travel Passes now. Read all about them here. Thanks, Jamie.

  42. Mark says:


    Noted your comment on Telstra now offering travel passes.
    I’ve roamed on Telstra in Asia, PNG and NZ. I have all my old bills. The travel passes look a much better deal -- especially now that Telstra has increased its roaming rates and is now also charging per minute vs per 30 seconds. Its just so disappointing that not only have the roaming rates so useful for casual travel gone up but the travel packs are only offered in week lots of one, two or four weeks. Optus offers their travel packs by the number of days. I can’t see how Telstra can justify both putting up its casual roaming rates and saying a travel pack is great value when you need to buy more days than you are going to use. I’m now an Optus convert for my OS trips. I also take it Telstra do not really want a share of the OS travel market for their brand.

  43. Simon says:

    I work for a multi-national mining company, with a corporate supplied mobile. I recently travelled to Mongolia and disabled data roaming because of the abhorrent charges. However, I have just received my Feb bill through our internal systems and have been charged $193 for 15 incoming calls, where 11 of the 15 were sub 2 minutes (7 were sub 1 minute) due to us not being able to hear each other. So, thank you for making it easier for me to calculate how much I am being ripped off by charging in 1 minute blocks @ $3.25 per minute. Appreciated.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Simon, Please give us a call on 132 200 and have your account number handy, and we’ll look into the charges for you. Thanks, Jamie.

  44. Jason says:

    Hi Jamie,

    I received a positive email from Telstra today saying that they will be increasing the data allocation for my home cable internet plan from 200 to 500gb at no extra charge. Which is really great. Cheers

    I also received another positive email that stated that from April 7 I can change to a new plan on my mobile and my data allocation will increase from 3gb to 10gb. Again great and thanks Telstra.

    Please tell me that you also have a fantastic offer for global roaming on Telstra that will finally allow us to kiss goodbye to local sim cards and hotel internet because we can finally use our Telstra phones with ease just like the other two Telcos.

    I trust you have good news which is not an add on package.



    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Jason, Nothing to share regarding International Roaming at the moment, but I’m so happy to hear that you’re happy with our current upgrades! :) You must be ready for an upgrade, because the extra mobile data is for re-contracting or BYO customers -- more details here. :)

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