At $15 per megabyte, Telstra's roaming rates for overseas use have long been synonymous with "complete and utter rip-off". So we can only welcome the news that from 14 October, they will drop substantially — though not to the point where you'd want to use roaming as your main connection.
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The new rates, revealed in a Telstra Exchange blog post, are now $3 per MB for casual usage. If you want to purchase a bundle in advance, there are also some slight discounts (all plans have a 30-day expiry):
- $29 for 100MB
- $85 for 300MB
- $160 for 600MB
- $350 for 1.5 GB
Telstra is also promising alerts for each 20MB of data usage.
All three major local carriers have adjusted their data roaming rates this year, but despite the 80 per cent fall, Telstra is still the most expensive of the three. Optus charges between 50 cents and $1 a megabyte, while Vodafone offers a flat $5 fee to use your existing allowance, but only for some countries.
Given the stupidly high original rates, this is an improvement, but at $3/MB, using local Wi-Fi or a local SIM will still work out cheaper much of the time. Avoid roaming mistakes and plan carefully before you travel.