How Much More Do Telstra Customers Pay For Mobile And Broadband?

Telstra outages hits NBN and ADSL services across Australia

Telstra is known to charge its customers more for its telecommunications services and has been getting away with it by being the "premium" provider. The telco boasted reliable services and excellent coverage across Australia, often being the only provider of mobile phone or internet that can service remote areas. But with the recent string of network outages, can Telstra continue to charge more for its services? Just how much more are Telstra customers forking out? Consumer group Choice has done an extensive pricing comparison. Read on to find out.

Image: Getty

In the past few months, Telstra's mobile and broadband services have experienced a number of outages, outraging customers. The company has been forced to offer free data days and credits to apologise. But is that really enough?

Telstra is the most expensive telecommunications provider in Australia, but the company could afford to charge more because it was offering quality services. But despite committing $250 million to fortify its telecommunications networks against further issues, there were a few more outages that have occurred since then.

Speaking to ABC News, consumer advocacy group Choice is encouraging Telstra customers to request to break their fixed contracts with the telco. Choice spokesperson Tom Godfrey said:

"There's only so much free data Telstra can offer before they have to admit that their network is failing on a fairly regular basis and that promised premium network is a thing of the past. Telstra should do the right thing and let those seeking to get out of a fixed term contract do so.   "Telstra claims its real point of difference isn't data limits or cost but its network. Log those outages, record your loss and then if Telstra doesn't agree to let you out take the fight to the TIO because they're clearly charging you a premium price and you're not getting a premium service."

Choice has also did a breakdown of just how much more Telstra customers are paying when you compare the telco's offerings with those of its competitors. The advocacy group analysed over 280 products offered by some of Australia's most popular telcos to do this. Choice only looked at like-for-like products and found that 53 Telstra products could be fairly compared with products offered by Vodafone, Virgin, Optus, iiNet and TPG.

Here's what the group found:

Category Cheapest Competitor Product Telstra product Telstra tax*
ADSL2+ broadband
    TPG $59.99 Basic Bundle

  • No data limit
  • Calls charged separately
  • $99.95 upfront costs
  • 24-month contract
$115 Large Broadband

  • 1000GB data limit + double monthly data 3 months per year
  • Calls charged separately
  • $203 upfront costs
  • 24-month contract
ADSL2+ broadband with unlimited phone calls TPG $59.99 Basic Bundle with $10 Oz Talk

  • No data limit
  • Unlimited national and mobile calls
  • $119.95 upfront costs
  • 6-month contract
Belong $85 Bundle

  • 1000GB data limit
  • Unlimited national and mobile calls
  • $1 upfront costs
  • 12-month contract
  • 6%
    NBN broadband TPG $89.99 FTTN Large

    • Up to 100/40Mbps
    • NBN speeds
    • 500GB data limit (split between peak/off-peak times)
    • Local and national landline calls included
    • 129.95 upfront costs
    • Month-to-month contract
    $89 Medium Bundle with $30 speed boost

    • Up to 100/40Mbps NBN speeds
    • 200GB data limit + double monthly data 3 months per year
    • Local and national landline calls included
    • $179 upfront costs
    • Month-to-month contract
    Broadband, phone & TV streaming Optus $110 My Entertainment Bundle with $10 speed boost

    • Up to 50/20 Mbps NBN speeds
    • No data limit
    • Unlimited national and mobile calls
    • Yes TV streaming device
    • 24-month contract
    $149 X-Large Bundle with $20 speed boost

    • Up to 50/20 Mbps NBN speeds
    • 1500GB data limit
    • Unlimited national and mobile calls
    • Telstra TV streaming device
    • 24-month contract
    Mobile plan with handset Optus My Plan Plus

    • $100/month plus handset costs
    • Unlimited national and mobile calls
    • 15GB data limit
    • 24-month contract
    X-Large Go Mobile

  • $135/month plus handset costs
  • Unlimited national and mobile calls
  • 15GB data limit (plus 10GB at "Telstra Air" Wi-Fi hotspots)
  • 24-month contract
  • 35%
    SIM-only mobile iiNet $19.99 Mobile Voice

    • 2GB data limit
    • Call and text credit for 186 2-minute calls a month
    • $10 SIM charge
    • Month-to-month contract
    $35 Small Go Mobile BYO

    • 500MB data limit (plus 10GB at "Telstra Air" Wi-Fi hotspots)
    • Call and text credit for 150 2-minute calls a month
    • No SIM charge
    • Month-to-month or 12-month contract
    Mobile broadband SIM Optus $35 My Broadband Plus

    • 10GB data limit
    • No SIM charge
    • Month-to-month or 24-month contract
    $55 Large Go Mobile Broadband

    • 10GB data limit
    • No SIM charge
    • Month-to-month, 12-, or 24-month contract

    *Comparison based on upfront and monthly costs for each product, paid over the length of the Telstra product's contract term, or 12 months for month-by- month products.

    As you can see, Telstra customers are paying up to 92 per cent more for their telecommunication services. A Telstra spokesperson has told The Sydney Morning Herald that the Choice analysis was "flawed", claiming that the advocacy group didn't pick the telco's most comparable plans and the analysis "doesn't consider the elements our customers tell us are important, such as the breadth, speeds and availability of our network and the included extras".

    What are your thoughts on the Choice analysis? Are you currently a Telstra customer? Let us know about your experiences with the telco in the comments.

    [Via Choice]


      um, am i seeing something different between the top two rows? both ADSL2, 1000GB, yet the disparity ranges from 92% and 6%????

      my experiences, all i can say is that i've nothing to complain about. the stuff works (Telstra cable 100mbps+ and telstra mobile) to which both haven't seen the meltdowns reported in the press.

      EDIT: forgot to mention, i switched to the 'premium' provider a few years ago due to the poor network on Optus and shocking ADSL from multiple providers.

      Last edited 11/07/16 10:15 am

        Hi mr_stevey,

        You need to look at the contract terms and upfront costs as well. If you look at the bottom of the table: *Comparison based on upfront and monthly costs for each product, paid over the length of the Telstra product's contract term, or 12 months for month-by- month products.

        Hope this helps.



      Im a full Telstra customer, im paying about $400/m for ADSL2+/phone and Mobile phone.

      Phone is $70/m
      Internet is $70/m
      Monthly bill is $400/m after additional charges, NFI what all the charges are and neither do Telstra customer service apparently but they still need to charge me for it.

      Telstra is the only telco that gets signal in the area I live / work / visit so my hands are kinda tied.

        You need to call Telstra and make them explain to you what the extra charges are. If they can't give you a reason they're charging you, they must stop charging you. I'd be inclined to request a refund of all charges you've paid, also. If they refuse, call the Telecommunications Ombudsman. Every time I've told Telstra to quit trying to scam me for bogus charges and they've refused, calling the Ombudsman has resulted in them fixing everything within a week. Hell, even just demanding to speak to a manager and telling them you've calling the ombudsman (and asking for their name so you can include it in the Ombudsman's report) will normally give you a fair resolution almost immediately.

          I think the biggest thing that pissed me off was them sending out an NBN modem (in a non NBN area) and they told me i HAD to connect it and move to NBN so I told em to get stuffed, now they are sending the debt collector after me because I wont pay for postage to send it back when I never wanted it, optus and TPG have done the same.
          a free compulsory upgrade that I will have to first null my existing contract.
          I left the modem by the mail box and said they can pick it up whenever they want...

      I think the 6% in the second row is an error.
      I live in an area that only has a Telstra exchange (therefor no other ISP/Phone provider available), I'm lucky to average 4Mbps on an ADSL2+ connection yet pay an absolute premium. So much for their ".........breadth, speeds and availability of our network and the included extras”.
      I would also like to know what "extras"? the only extra I see is cost, we pay Extra for less.

      Hey @spandaslui the last two paragraphs are repeated?

      Last edited 11/07/16 11:04 am

      As I neared the end of my handset contract I contacted Telstra to find out what I could expect from a SIM-only plan at the end. Apparently a great deal of confusion and neglect. They couldn't really work out whether I would get their best offer (reserved for non-Telstra customers) but they kept saying they'd get back to me.

      Two months later, they still hadn't gotten back to me, despite multiple promises and a number of "how are we doing" calls and emails*. I switched to AMAYSIM two months ago, at half the price, more data and no discernible difference in connection quality.

      *I notice as well that Telstra can't afford to have anyone proof-read any of their emails and surveys, which often looked like a groc'er's' s'pecial's board.

      No surprise there - Telstra has always been a total ripoff. Premium service? Obviously they've never had to call their own "service" centres! As for network reach, I was recently involved in a project via my work to look at mobile phone black spots in the outer Perth metropolitan area. Much to our surprise we found that the Optus network covered many areas where the Telstra network failed.

        My brother drives around rural NSW in his job and he discovered much the same thing when he had a work phone on Telstra and his own on Optus. He often had to phone customers on his own phone because the work phone had no signal.

        I have been using the Optus network since about 1998 and I can honestly say it has been years since I was somewhere I couldn't make or receive a call. I could even maintain a call in a lift, all the way down to the second level basement where I parked my car at my previous job.

      Telstra is a joke and has been for the last couple of years.
      I live in an area where Telstra is the only company that has an exchange and if you want "cheaper" internet you go with Telstra because all the other telcos either don't offer there service or charge extra to use the Telstra Network.
      There speed and reliability is a joke, we experience daily/hourly drop outs that cannot be explained. Speeds are pathetic, at home I am lucky to reach 1Mb/sec but at work a 5min drive away and over a river we can easily pull 4 - 5 mb/sec, why the difference?
      My brother has moved into a rental house 6 months ago and because there is no "room" at the exchange he cannot have internet or phone connect to the house. Customer Service keep telling us they will be rectifying the issue, but why would they, they are a call center that isn't even in Australia and cannot understand us. The real response that we got was from a repair man that told us, because of the NBN Telstra has told there repair guys to "Duct tape and Glue" What you can because they are not putting new infrastructure in. Where does this leave people like my brother?

        I live in an area where Telstra is the only company that has an exchange...

        That's your definition of a joke? Sounds like all the other carriers are in on the joke then.

      Have Telstra cable, which I begrudgingly signed up to because the ADSL2+ speeds were < 1.5Mb/s, and IINet couldn't fix them because it was telstra's copper where the issue was.

      The internet connection is fairly stable and very fast. "service" however is nowhere to be seen when wanting to engage a human in discussing an issue. We were also forced into having a home phone with Telstra, then practically forced into a private number by the sheer volume of scam callers despite the do not call register. 3 numbers later and private listing we still get calls. We don't even give the number out because we don't want people ringing it.
      Premium... not quite. Can't wait for the HFC cutover to NBN...

      now be fair and compare to TPG ADSL2 off-net.
      Let me do it for you....
      $99 per month for 500G + line rental.
      Hardly an exciting deal there!!

      I think this table is a case of "find the cheapest plan that Telstra doesn't offer, then find the something Telstra does offer that's more expensive"

      I'm on a $40 p/m SIM only plan with 5GB of data and more than enough phone calls and text messages that I could ever use.

      Optus and iiNet equivalents come with 3GB/2GB more data respectively, but I get to go to the movies with Telstra for $12 any day of the week, so that evens out. Vodafone only gives 3GB of data for $40, which doesn't come close.

      So I'm happy to pay the Telstra tax. Which, as you can see, doesn't really exist.

      Telstra pre-paid SIM only FTW. $40/month gets me 3+3GB data + unlimited calls and texts.

      For ADSL2+ in my area (3219) There is no REAL competition. Telstra works (at shitty speeds) but the other option is the optus line and that is either oversold or has shaping. As everyday at 4pm the internet is useless for a few hours.

      Couldn't agree more. With Telstra pre-paid, $50/month gets me plenty of data and I can use my credit to buy more data if needed. Optus coverage at a friend's place in South Yarra was woeful. When he drove into his car park, the call dropped. Several stories up the coverage was equally woeful.
      Also have driven through parts of Regional Tas where an optus SIM has zero coverage yet plenty of coverage with Telstra. Definitely happy to be with Telstra. AFAIK coverage is superior with Telstra.

      Broadband on the other hand, that's a different story. IMHO Steer clear of them for broadband.

      That's great if you can get a TPG exchange, some of us are stuck on Telstra infrastructure and they are the best bang for your buck on that.

      In my area I could only get ADSL2+ with Telstra, all other ISP's said I could only get ADSL as ADSL2 was not available at the exchange. So it was either be stuck with less than 1500kb speeds with ADSL (TPG) or go with Telstra and get about 8000-10,000kb speeds. Kind of sucks paying more but I am getting much faster speeds now...

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