Telstra Promises Shaping For Mobile Broadband Users

Telstra Promises Shaping For Mobile Broadband Users

Mobile broadband is handy — but it’s also a handy way to quickly run up big bills. Telstra says it plans to introduce shaping for postpaid mobile customers later this year. That’s a handy potential improvement, but the details of how and when it will happen need clarification.Telstra will officially unveil the plans in a speech to the American Chamber of Commerce today, but was quick to send an outline of the proposal to media ahead of the event. What it hasn’t been quick with is details. This is essentially all it had to say:

[Customers]will be among the first in the world to have their data speeds slowed when they exceed their mobile data allowance and not be charged for excess domestic data usage. The changes are in development and will be launched by year’s end.

Unsurprisingly, the provisions will only apply to postpaid plans. Telstra also said it wants to make the costs associated with roaming data “clearer” via regular SMS alerts, but stopped short of promising to actually reduce those prices.

Shaping mobile broadband on dongles isn’t a new concept — Primus and Virgin had similar deals available as far back as 2008. Telstra has also shaping on its Next G plans, though that began when its plans were considerably pricier than they are now.

Would shaping make you more likely to use data on your phone? Tell us in the comments.


  • If it shapes to a useable speed it sounds like a great move. Aside from videos, most mobile content is quite slimmed down so it wouldn’t be so bad on a shaped connection (especially with page compression in Opera).

  • About time. I can understand from their perspective that shaping wouldn’t be in their best interests considering mobile data speed is not quite as important (as Dylan points out). However, this will hopefully reduce the “fear factor” many mobile users have of going over their quota and drive up usage, which will ultimately be in the best interests of telcos.

  • Doesn’t Bigpond already have shaping, I’m typing this from a Bigpond dongle, and I swear I got shaped last month.

    If Telstra are going to start shaping and offering green dot free content, then I am starting to the more expensive Bigpond product having no real advantage to the cheaper Telstra product (unless you happen to have a phone line).

  • Here is a tip I got from Telstra after getting $300 of excess data usage charges (which they refunded after asking nicely).

    SMS “USE” to 176 to get an update of your data usage. Apparently this is the most accurate method because the website doesn’t update as frequently.

  • Bigpond mobile broadband (previously known as bigpond wireless) plans are shaped to 64kbps after the download allowance has been reached.

    Also, to clarify, to check data usage on your mobile text the word use to 17686 or go to the bigpond portal on your phone.

    The URL for phones not purchased through telstra or iphones is

  • Is this for mobile phones, or for mobile wireless USB dongles, or both? Shaping is always a good idea, but the speed they slow you down to is important, as a dial-up speed of 64kbps can often feel like you don’t even have an internet connection. In the past, Telstra has charged around 15 cents per MB for excess usage, which works out to $150 per GB. I also wonder when Telstra BigPond will change its international roaming data charges, as these too make huge dents in one’s bank account.

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