In January we announced some changes to the way we will charge for voice calls when customers are using a Telstra mobile overseas.

There are currently around 800 different charges for our customers, depending on which country you are travelling to and whether you are calling someone or taking a call. In March we’re reducing those 800 calling rates down to just 8.

These changes are being introduced to make it simpler to calculate the costs of using your phone when roaming.

Each country will have one rate for making and receiving 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 all call connection fees for our customers.

To create simple pricing in each country, we are generally decreasing the outgoing calls rates and increasing the calls received rates. The majority of roaming calls made by our customers when overseas (around 70 per cent) are outgoing — or back to Australia.

Examples of how this change will work for customers visiting two of our most popular destinations:

USA

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

  • Outbound Calls within USA: $2.19 per minute (charged per 30 sec block)
  • Outbound Calls to Australia: $3.35 per minute (charged per 30 sec block)
  • Outbound Calls to Other Countries: $3.57 per minute (charged per 30 sec block)
  • Calls Received: $2.00 per minute (including $1.72 per minute airtime charge) + 40c call connection fee (airtime charged in per 30 sec block, standard charge is per second)

In March, under the new structure, this will change to:

  • All calls made and received: $3.00 per minute (no call connection fee, 60 second block)

New Zealand

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)

In 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)

We have written to recent international roaming customers to explain the changes and have directed them to a guide on our website for further information as the changes are comprehensive and difficult to summarise in a letter. The guide can be accessed here.

We continue to look at ways to make the cost of using a mobile overseas simpler and easier to manage. Recently we reduced our casual international roaming data rates by 80 per cent and increased the amount of data in our 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 20 MB of data they use when roaming (currently excludes Hong Kong).

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