Telstra Prepaid Mobile Broadband Now Has Usage Metering

A prepaid Next G broabdand dongle is a cost-effective way of getting Internet access, but annoyingly the supplied software doesn't actually track how much data you've used, which is pretty important information when you're being charged based on usage. A new update to Telstra's Connection Manager more or less solves that issue.

The account information provided by the new prepaid software is a bit basic and is shown in a browser rather than the client itself, but it does show how much data you've got left and what your expiry date is. The install process is also a bit fiddly -- the links to the file downloads are hidden in PDF files (which are hidden under the 'Latest Connection Manager' tab on the page linked below), and you have to uninstall the old software yourself first.

Despite that, keeping track of your usage is important enough for prepaid users that this is arguably an essential download. The software is available for Windows and Mac users, and is unmetered if you download using the dongle itself. Incidentally, Telstra attributes the lack of metering in earlier software releases to the fact that prepaid voice users only ever want to know how much money they had left, and no-one thought to change it when data entered the equation.

Telstra


Comments

    Interestingly this is posted just after the report that scams cost Australians millions per year...
    It's a scam that it has taken this long for such a basic "feature" to be added to Telstra's Prepaid services.

    Does anybody know if you can track your pre-paid iPad usage on Consume for the iPhone?

    Bjango haven't released their iPad app yet, but even viewing the iPhone app on the iPad (or on the iPhone that is always in my pocket) would be great until their iPad app is released.

    I also assume that Telstra's bigpond app for the iPhone would work, but I can only ever get that app to work on 3G which is fine if you're out and about, but a pain if you are located anywhere with a WiFi connection.

      Balance checking with Telstra generally relies on you using the relevant connection -- the same restriction applies to 3G on the PC. (Home broadband customers can check by logging in with their user account name, but 3G users don't have one.)

        I can check how much data I've used, and how much I've spent on calls on Consume for my Telstra mobile business plus account over WiFi.

        Perhaps it's because business accounts do have login details. I didn't realise that non-business accounts didn't have them, and although you can setup the iPad on a business account (http://bit.ly/aH0nKT) which can apparently auto-recharge every 30 days, the charges are the same as the personal plans but unused data doesn't rollover when you recharge.

    Will this work for a Home Gateway that's been modified to use a Pre Paid SIM?

      I would guess not; it won't access the metering without being plugged into the Next G dongle as far as I can tell. Happy to be corrected by someone who's tried it though!

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