LATEST | Telstra has backed down on its decision to more than triple some international data roaming costs after an outcry from the telco's travelling customers.
Changes due to take effect from today would have seen the cost of excess data on the company's Travel Pass plans jump from 3c/MB to 10c/MB.
Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said he would "scrap" that increase, saying it "didn't sit well" with him.
"Customers clearly told us the same so it’s my responsibility to act on behalf of our customers.”
However, the shift of some countries into more expensive Travel pass 'zones' – including Indonesia and Thailand, which will see plan costs double – remains in place.
PREVIOUS | Changes to Telstra's global voice and data roaming plans will see many travellers paying significantly more for the telco's international travel passes from this week.
Although data allowances have been increased by 50% across the board, the cost of exceeding your overseas data allowance more than triples from 3c/MB to 10c/MB.
And while Telstra has added some 20 countries to its global roaming roster, almost 30 countries already covered by the travel pass scheme will see roaming charges increased by as much as 100% – in some cases without any extra data as part of the plan.
The sweeping revamp of the Telstra travel pass system kicks in on December 3: here's what you need to know.
Global roaming zones
Telstra continues to sort overseas countries into 'zones' for which you can buy a Travel Pass that's good for three, days, seven days, 14 days and 30 days.
These allow unlimited calls and text messages to standard numbers anywhere in the world, plus a data allowance valid for the duration of that pass.
(As always, the longer your say in any country, the better off you'll be by grabbing a prepaid SIM card for a local mobile phone network instead of paying roaming charges to your Australia-based carrier.)
From December 3, Telstra will increase the amount of data on tap – but also shift many countries from a cheaper zone to a more expensive zone.
Telstra international travel pass, zone 1
Zone 1 has previously covered New Zealand, Indonesia and Thailand, but from December 3 will be a Kiwi-only zone.
Pricing remains at $15 for a three day pass, $35 for seven days, $70 for 14 days and $150 for 30 days, but data allowances get a 50% boost.
For example, the entry-level three day pass goes up from a meagre 150MB to a marginally more useful 225MB; the seven day pass steps up from 350MB to 525MB.
Telstra international travel pass, zone 2
Zone 2 will be pared back from 35 countries across Asia, Europe and North America to become an essentially Asian travel pass for 12 countries around the region including China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, along with New Zealand.
Pricing for Zone 2 remains at twice that for Zone 1 – $30 for three days, $70 for seven days, $140 for 14 days and $300 for 30 days – but with the same amount of data.
Travellers to Indonesia and Thailand will feel a severe sting as those countries are moving from Zone 1 to Zone 2, so the cost of a travel pass becomes double what it used to be.
Telstra international travel pass, zone 3
Telstra has created a new Zone 3, into which it's rolling most of the countries culled from the new Zone 2 (bar Cambodia, which appears to have been dropped entirely from the travel pass network).
That includes Canada, Denmark, Fiji, France, Germany, India, Italy, Scandinavia, South Africa, Spain, the UK, the USA and the UAE.
The new zone also gets new destinations in South America (Argentina, Brazil and Chile), Europe (including Austria, Belgium, Egypt, Finland, Poland, Romania and Serbia) plus Mexico and Vanuatu, and encompasses all countries in zone 2.
Zone 3 pricing bands are $45 for three days with 225MB; $105 for seven days with 525Mb; $210 for 14 days with 1GB; and $450 for 30 days with 2.2GB.
It's good news if your bound for any new countries on the roaming list but bad news if your travel plans include a country which used to be within Zone 2, as your roaming costs have just gone up by 50% compared to Zone 2 pricing.
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