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The defining decade of smartphone

Devices

Posted on November 1, 2017

3 min read

The arrival of the world’s most anticipated smartphone later this week signifies just how far mobile phones have come in 10 years.

From small screen wonders that could surf the web at dial-up speeds, smartphones have evoled to glass and aluminum-clad computers that have changed the way we organise our day, how we consume content, the way we communicate – even romance!

They’ve ushered in the dogface filter, revived the GIF, mainstreamed the emoji and made settling arguments about trivia a thing of the past.

Since 2007 when Telstra launched Australia’s first consumer smartphone — the Nokia N95 – these devices have become central to almost every digital task we carry out, expanding the social connections we make and the entertainment we consume.

Our latest Telstra Smartphone Index, released this week, shows smartphone ownership is now almost ubiquitous with 91 per cent of Aussies mobile users now owning one.

They’ve now all but replaced the digital camera, with 96 per cent of owners snapping photos on their phones, and they’ve rendered sat navs virtually obsolete, too, with 80 per cent of smartphone owners using their mobiles to help them get from A to B.

And it looks like cash, cards and good old-fashioned courting might be next on the list to bite the dust. Almost a third of Aussies are now using their smartphone to pay for goods or services – a figure that rises to 47 per cent among 25 to 34-year-olds. And the same age group is also leading the charge on on-demand dating, with 26 per cent using their smartphone to access apps like Tinder, Bumble and Happn.

With all of this additional data-driven activity, it’s no wonder Telstra customers consumed 420 million gigabytes worth of data this year alone (a 180-fold increase since 2008).

To support these changing habits – around the country and the clock – the past decade has seen us introduce a whole host of new measures to help you get the most out of your mobile. Things like one million extra Telstra Air Wi-Fi hotspots and generous data allowances of up to 100GB per month.

It’s exciting to think about what the next ten years might hold. As smartphones evolve and we move into the 5G era there will be a new raft of sophisticated features that make them even more indispensable. High quality augented reality, virtual personal assistants that anticipate your needs and virtual doctors that monitor vital signs are just some of the technologies that are on the horizon.

For more information on the latest smartphones to arrive to Telstra, visit https://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones

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Making the right call on third party subscription services

Devices

Posted on August 29, 2017

3 min read

We know how frustrating it can be when unexpected third party charges appear on our customers’ mobile bills and we have been working for some time to fix the problem.

Last year we made a number of changes to improve the sign up process, but customers continue to tell us the experience is poor.

We have taken the decision to withdraw support for new third-party content subscriptions.

These charges typically relate to subscription purchases of content like mobile games, apps, and videos which involve recurrent charges on a weekly or monthly basis.

Last year we directed service providers to improve the sign up process for these services by introducing a double opt-in for subscription content purchased when browsing the web on mobile devices.

Telstra was the first telco to require this and the change aligned with the double opt-in process already in place for Premium SMS content. We also set up a team specifically trained to help customers with questions about these services.

While these steps helped, some customers have continued to tell us they receive subscription charges for content that they don’t believe they signed up for, so we have taken this extra step.

This means, from December 3 2017, third party service providers will no longer be permitted to charge new mobile content subscriptions to our customers’ bills. Customers will be free to purchase subscription mobile content using alternative payment methods, however the current arrangement where a customer can elect to purchase a subscription for third-party content and charge it to their Telstra bill, will end.

Customers with existing subscription services can continue to use these and we will continue to support one-off payments like charity donations and voting for TV gameshows.

We expect this action will further help our customers to avoid unexpected charges on their bill.

Tips for managing third-party content purchases on your mobile

  1. Be aware of what you sign up to – always read the terms and conditions to understand any ongoing costs associated with an app download or content service.
  2. If your kids like to play with your smartphone or tablet use parental controls to monitor purchases and access to content.
  3. If you’re not sure about a charge on your bill, contact us on 132 200 and say ‘Third Party Purchases’ and we’ll help you.
  4. If you no longer wish to receive a subscription to the third-party content, you can cancel the subscription by texting “STOP” to the number outlined in the confirmation SMS.
  5. You have the option of barring these services from the mobile number(s) on your account. This will restrict future access. You can contact us to set this up. Call 132 200 and say ‘Third Party Purchases’.

Tags: mobile,

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Seamlessly switch between work and play with the Samsung Galaxy Book

Devices

Posted on August 25, 2017

3 min read

We’re excited about this month’s launch of the Samsung Galaxy Book – the ultimate tablet that will take you from work to leisure. The 2-in-1 device is a hybrid between a laptop and a tablet, bringing together the power and functionality of a laptop with the convenience and portability of a tablet.

With fast, reliable streaming on Australia’s largest and fastest mobile network (based on national average combined 3G/4G mobile speeds), our customers can enjoy their favourite music and video content during their commute, or take part in a video conference with less buffering on the go in 4GX areas.

Here are my favourite features of the Galaxy Book:

Vibrant display

The tablet, which comes in two sizes – 10.6” and 12” – is the perfect device for entertainment on the go. Customers can experience their favourite TV show in bright, vivid colours thanks to the stunning 10.6” FHD display or the 12” FHD+ Super AMOLED display.

High Performance

The Galaxy Book is engineered with a powerful 7th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 processor (12” variant) or 7th Gen Intel® Core™ m3 processor (10.6” variant), meaning efficient multi-tasking on the move without interruption.

Redefined S Pen

Whether you’re working on a project or taking down notes, the Galaxy Book’s included S Pen is designed with the familiar feel of a real pen and features an ultra-precise 0.7mm tip. You can create with accuracy and precision, plus the S Pen is battery free so you never have to worry about charging.

Versatile keyboard cover

Also included is a versatile keyboard cover that connects on contact for seamless switching between touch and type. The keyboard cover also allows for multiple view angles, making typing, drawing and note taking a breeze.

Customers who take up a Samsung Galaxy Book 10.6” on a $45 Go Mobile Data Plus Plan or My Business Mobile Data Plan will pay $80/month with 10GB data, with a minimum total cost of $1920 for 24 months.

They’ll also enjoy a host of exclusive extras like access to unlimited Wi-Fi at over one million Telstra Air hotspots around Australia and 20 million Fon hotspots worldwide, and data free streaming of every AFL, NRL and netball game this year.

For more plans and pricing information please go to telstra.com/samsungbook10-6 or telstra.com/samsungbook12.

The Telstra Mobile Network offers 4GX in all capital CBDs and selected suburban and regional areas and is progressively rolling out to more places. In other coverage areas around Australia, you’ll automatically switch to our fastest available 4G or 3G. Check coverage at telstra.com/coverage.

Tags: Samsung,

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Tips to reduce your mobile data usage

Tech and Innovation How to

Posted on August 3, 2017

4 min read

We live in a data-driven society. Network speeds are becoming faster, storage capacities larger, and smartphone capabilities smarter – all of which has contributed to data consumption levels hitting an all-time high.

And while most of us will put this down to an increase in activity, there are also a few lesser known factors that could be sapping your personal data allowance without you even realising it.

Here are some of the most common culprits:

Autoplay videos

Video content is now dominating our social media feeds, with the footage set to start rolling as soon as we scroll across it. While browsing social media sites like Facebook doesn’t typically use much data, video streaming does, so make sure you turn off the autoplay function in the in-app settings. It’s also possible to set apps like YouTube to stream lower quality videos – you might not notice a dramatic difference on screen, but it could save you up to 50 per cent data usage per video.

Music streaming

Even if you’ve pre-downloaded playlists from sites like Spotify, or you only listen to them while you’re connected to Wi-Fi, there’s a chance your phone is still streaming them via your mobile network. To be on the safe side, head into your settings where you’ll be able to select the option for specific apps to only work over Wi-Fi.

Email

The sheer quantity of emails we send and receive on a daily basis can be enough to eat into significant amounts of data, particularly given that these messages might contain large file attachments. To reduce the impact of email on your data usage, try reducing the download frequency to every hour or even manually. Go to the Mail section within your Settings menu and change your Fetch New Data selection. For those who prefer to keep email downloads up to date, another option is to choose for attachments to only download when you have a Wi-Fi connection.

Background app refresh

Even when you’re not actively using an app, it will often continue to update in the background – and secretly drain your data. Put a stop to this by turning off the Background App Refresh function on the apps you don’t want working overtime. If you have an iOS phone, head to the General section on the Settings menu. If you’re on Android, use the Data Saver to pick and choose the apps where you want to restrict data consumption.

Automatic updates

Your apps are continually being improved by developers, which means regular updates to the software. If these are set to download automatically onto your phone, they can eat up some serious amounts of data, so disable automatic updates on iOS via the iTunes & App Store option on the Settings menu. For Android users, go into Settings within Google Play, where there’ll be an Auto-update option you can alter.

Wi-Fi Assist

If you use an iOS device, it’s important to be aware of the Wi-Fi Assist feature. Wi-Fi Assist helps you to stay connected to the internet by automatically switching to your mobile network if a poor Wi-Fi connection is detected. While this feature can be useful, you might use more mobile data than you think. This feature is enabled by default upon updating to iOS9 or later, however it can easily be disabled by turning off Wi-Fi Assist in Settings > Mobile.

A few small changes like these can go a long way towards helping you conserve your valuable data. To keep an eye on your monthly usage, make sure you’re using Telstra’s self-care tools, like the free 24×7 app and your online My Account. Both options give you full visibility of the data you’ve used and what’s still in the bank, so check in regularly to avoid any unexpected billing surprises. We’ll also send you SMS notifications when you’ve hit 50%, 85% and 100% of your monthly allowance, so you know exactly where you stand and whether you might need to rein in your online activity to avoid additional charges.

And remember, eligible Telstra mobile and broadband customers can access free Wi-Fi data in more places with unlimited Wi-Fi at more than 1 million Telstra Air hotspots around Australia, plus millions of Fon hotspots overseas.

Tags: mobile, Network,

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An easier way to keep in touch when travelling

featured How to

Posted on July 31, 2017

3 min read

When it comes to travelling overseas, few nations do it better than Australia. In 2016 alone, 9.9 million of us jetted off to far flung lands in search of sun, sea, sand and adventure.

And while we know how important keeping in touch with friends, family, and even colleagues back home is to our customers, we also know they want peace of mind and control over their mobile data when travelling overseas.

That’s why we’ve updated our International Roaming pass with a simplified Day Pass and will soon introduce a new top-up mechanism for customers who use up their daily data allowance.

Our new International Day Pass is available in 58 countries, including popular holiday destinations like Canada, USA, Indonesia, and Mexico. It costs $10/day (or $5/day in New Zealand) and includes 100MB of data – up from approximately 75MB per day on the previous pass – along with unlimited calls and SMS to standard international numbers.

The new International Day Pass is part of our ongoing effort to make staying in touch easier, while catering to our customers’ growing appetite for data. Customers can opt-in to a Day Pass any time before their trip as they will only be charged for the days they use their mobile and will have more data to use when accessing travel services like maps, translation and social apps.

We are also replacing the current per megabyte excess data charges and introducing a new top up mechanism for customers that use up their daily data allowance. From 20 August, if a customer goes over their International Day Pass included daily data allowance of 100MB, they will receive an Automatic Day Pass Data Top-Up of 500MB for $10.

Data from a 500MB data top-up will be valid for 31 days from the date it was added for use in any of the eligible countries once a customer has exceeded their International Day Pass allowance.

We want our customers to enjoy using data on their smartphones overseas with confidence. Instead of counting megabytes, the automatic Day Pass Data Top-Up will allow them to focus on the things they really love about using their mobile overseas, like sharing photos and social updates with friends and loved ones back home.

With the introduction of the automatic Day Pass Data Top-Up, customers will receive more frequent data use notifications than previously. They will receive text message alerts if they reach 50%, 85% and 100% of their additional data and customers can also easily monitor their data use via Telstra’s self-care tools including My Plan Manager, 24×7 App and My Account.

Telstra post-paid mobile consumer and small business customers travelling overseas can also access free unlimited Wi-Fi at 19 million Fon hotspots worldwide as part of the Telstra Air Wi-Fi network.

Telstra Air includes one million Wi-Fi hotspots across Australia and millions of Fon hotspots overseas, giving our customers access to free data in more places when travelling without having to dip into their International Day Pass data allowance.

Customers can easily enable an International Day Pass online or through the 24×7 app at home, at the airport or at their destination without needing to make a phone call.

For more information about Telstra’s new International Day Pass, visit telstra.com/overseas.

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