Telstra launches $10/day international roaming

Telstra launches $10/day international roaming

EXCLUSIVE | Telstra will today launch a flat $10/day global roaming deal in 57 counties around the world, with a cut-price $5/day for New Zealand. 

The carrier will scrap its complicated Travel Pass packs in favour of the simplified scheme, which covers most countries in Europe, Asia, North America and South America as well as the UAE.

However, while the new International Day Pass is simpler to buy and manage, it comes with a meagre daily data allowance of just 100MB per day.

Travellers who inevitably bust through that ceiling after a bit of Web browsing and email, some Google Maps navigation and a dollop of social media posting will be charged at 3c per MB until their current 24 hour period expires.

Telstra will however sell a 1GB 'day pass data top-up' pack for $25, which will be valid for 31 days from the day of purchase.

Pre-launch material for the new scheme, issued to staff and sighted by Australian Business Traveller, also say that customers will get “unlimited international calls & SMS” under the plan.

Arch-rival Vodafone charges $5 per day in 57 countries with free roaming in New Zealand, and – unlike the new Telstra plans – is based on the more generous data allowance of the subscriber's Australian plan rather than an overseas 'allowance', which means you're able to tap into gigabytes per day rather than megabytes.

Telstra customers will be able to activate their International Travel Pass online, using the Telstra app or at their destination.

David Flynn

David Flynn (David)

[email protected] / @djsflynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

32 Comments

  • Truie

    Truie

    10 Jul, 2017 09:10 am

    Buy a Glocalme mobile roaming hotspot, arrive in 100+ countries (or better still do it before you leave) choose a plan and you have a mobile data hotspot with you 24 hours a day and can connect up to 5 devices and will still cost you less than Telstra. I just used them in Europe and they are so much better than most other options.
    No member give thanks

  • GaryR

    GaryR

    11 Jul, 2017 11:10 am

    Bottom line for me and many others is that we don't want to fiddle around with alternate solutions.  We just want our phone to behave the same way as it does at home whilst respecting current time zones and all of the time-related settings on various apps (eg night time).  The roaming hotspot is a great idea if your main inward communication is via Facetime/Skype/etc.
    No member give thanks

  • reeves35

    reeves35

    10 Jul, 2017 09:12 am

    You're right about the current travel pass being complicated.  Last time I went overseas, it took 3 unhelpful phone calls and a 45 minute web-chat to to set up a 2 week pass.

    This new proposal sounds easier but the 100MB daily data limit is pretty unsatisfactory.  You will still be forced to have data turned off on your mobile and only turn it on when you absolutely need it and don't have access to free wifi.  Firtunately European cities have plenty of free fast wifi hotspots.

    Member who gave thanks

    Melbin

  • GaryR

    GaryR

    10 Jul, 2017 04:58 pm

    The Telstra Travel pass was expensive and complex and the new roaming offering is less complicated but very mean.  100MB limit per day (and $30 per GB overage charge per day if you forget to buy the top-up plan).  This just does not cut it when compared to Vodafone's $5 per day (for days used only) while remaining on your standard Oz plan.  After many years with Telstra we have changed to Vodafone which has some drawbacks locally but great coverage OS and with a plan that you can understand.
    Member who gave thanks

    jeff.francis

  • David Ryan

    David69

    10 Jul, 2017 09:28 am

    I recently spent 2 weeks in Beijing and pre-purchased Telstra's international travel pass using China Mobile's network. The data service was very scratchy. Occasionally you'd get a 4G signal but you'd need to stay still or it would drop back to Edge. Other travellers used Vodafone's package and they had reliable 4G in most places.
    Members who gave thanks

    David, jeff.francis

  • Alpha  Charlie

    AV

    10 Jul, 2017 09:56 am

    Come on Telstra, this is not competitive.  Vodafone is half your price.  Why pay $10/day for 100MB when Vodafone offer $5/day for Gigabytes?
    Members who gave thanks

    David, jaxwax, jeff.francis

  • P1

    P1

    10 Jul, 2017 03:15 pm

    Vodafone operates all over the world, Telstra only operate in Australia. I can see how Telstra are at a disadvantage offering roaming services overseas. But then again, it might just be normal Telstra gouging.
    Member who gave thanks

    jeff.francis

  • simoncozens

    simoncozens

    10 Jul, 2017 03:15 pm

    When I used Voda's roaming last year in the UK, the data speeds were unbearably slow. When questioned in the Vodafone store on Regent St, the staff admitted that roamers were throttled heavily. It was unusable.
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  • fatty

    fatty

    10 Jul, 2017 09:59 am

    Will this be for post paid only or will it include prepay numbers as well?
    No member give thanks

  • ScottB

    ScottB

    10 Jul, 2017 10:13 am

    3c per MB equates to $30 per GB so the $25 top-up option doesn't really make sense unless you're guaranteed to use the full quota.
    No member give thanks

  • rob01

    rob01

    10 Jul, 2017 10:59 am

    Hmmm happy to pay but the service needs to be up to scratch. I'm with Telstra but have a Vodafone work phone. Even somewhere like Singapore I've been unable to get decent data speed with Vodafone.
    Member who gave thanks

    AnthonyvB

  • AnthonyvB

    AnthonyvB

    10 Jul, 2017 02:39 pm

    Hi rob01 - I am also with Vodafone for work and travel to Singapore every few weeks.  Had the same issue with slow data speeds until I upgraded my phone (from Samsung S6 Edge to iPhone 7).  Might be a pure coincidence but am getting super fast speeds now (am in Singapore at the moment)
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    10 Jul, 2017 02:46 pm

    Remember, you can always toggle between mobile networks when roaming and choose the one that's giving you the fastest speeds (which may not be the one you're automatically connected to). Vodafone's $5 roaming covers you regardless of which network you use in each country - so as long as the network lets you connect, you're good to go!
    Member who gave thanks

    davidban69

  • rob01

    rob01

    10 Jul, 2017 04:15 pm

    Sounds like a good excuse for a tech upgrade! Thanks :)
    No member give thanks

  • vbarberini

    vbarberini

    10 Jul, 2017 11:24 am

    Pick yourself up a prepaid sim for about 10GBP / 10EUR in Europe and you can roam the entire Continent now. Telstra's 10AUD per day looks like typical Australian corporate gouging.
    No member give thanks

  • jubbing

    jubbing

    10 Jul, 2017 11:32 am

    I still prefer to go to the location and get a sim card there. Usually it's trouble free and I've not had any issues signing up as a foreigner. Europe is especially easy. 
    No member give thanks

  • Michael Gibbons

    rowwdy

    10 Jul, 2017 05:43 pm

    The pre-paid plans can sometimes leave you with throttled speeds though. France especially. Looks like the new Telstra deal with a portable wifi and Simcorner data sim will be good for those of us who need to keep our Telstra number. 
    No member give thanks

  • romaau

    romaau

    10 Jul, 2017 12:36 pm

    I am going to Europe at the end of this month for 2 weeks - Greece, Germany, Belgium and Spain. I am looking at the Australia post sim which is $25 and at the moment comes with 1gb in Europe. Can someone recommend something better. Is it easy to buy a prepaid sim in Greece? I don't want to waste time looking for somewhere to buy. I am on Telstra prepaid and they currently offer $29 pack for 100mb. Not sure how this will change with the above.
    No member give thanks

  • Japanfresh

    Japanfresh

    10 Jul, 2017 01:31 pm

    You could try Flexiroam. They have a SIM sticker that overlays over your existing SIM, (phone cannot be network locked) and you can switch between your normal SIM and theirs, without having to find a paper clip. It also offers coverage in 100+ countries.

    The rates aren't as cheap as buying a local SIM, but it sure is more convenient. A starter pack is ~$30USD with 1GB. They also offer smaller country specific bundles for shorter trips that are much cheaper.
    Member who gave thanks

    brendankok

  • brendankok

    brendankok

    10 Jul, 2017 04:59 pm

    $30, 1GB , 90days, 100 countries, no changing sim, no additional gadgets. 
    No member give thanks

  • Dredgy

    Dredgy

    10 Jul, 2017 02:16 pm

    I've got a trip coming up and I bet none of the countries I'm worried about are covered - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, EU, Mauritania, Brazil, Suriname, Uruguay, Argentina.

     
    Just need to be able to get enough data to use Uber or check maps a couple of times a day.
    No member give thanks

  • 2527

    2527

    10 Jul, 2017 02:56 pm

    Any suggestions for what is best for a month in the US?
    No member give thanks

  • romaau

    romaau

    10 Jul, 2017 06:21 pm

    I suggest picking up a local sim from ATT or TMobile. TMobile is cheaper but ATT has better coverage and speed.
    You could also preorder in Australia but it may cost a little extra
    (I used to use TravelSimsDirect and he is pretty good and it's activated on the day you arrive so you have internet/phone  access as you land and don't need to find a store.)
    No member give thanks

  • V Champion

    Vulch

    10 Jul, 2017 10:14 pm

    US prepaid SIM cards I used last trip. Fabulous service, 6Gb to use in Canada and US over 30 days. 
    No member give thanks

  • simoncozens

    simoncozens

    10 Jul, 2017 03:13 pm

    Why why why do the telcos bother insulting us with meagre data caps - 100MB? Local SIM every time.
    No member give thanks

  • Serg

    Serg

    10 Jul, 2017 03:23 pm

    Heh? Phones are for calls  - free WiFi spots are abundant everywhere
    No member give thanks

  • Serg

    Serg

    10 Jul, 2017 03:22 pm

    Is it working automatically or I have to per-organize it as with the "pass"?
    No member give thanks

  • eminere

    eminere

    11 Jul, 2017 03:30 pm

    READ the article.
    No member give thanks

  • patrickk

    patrickk

    10 Jul, 2017 03:29 pm

    The Auspost SIM is good for data and SMS but hopeless for calls. Just spent three months in the US with one. Will get a ATT SIM next time.
    No member give thanks

  • Mavers

    Mavers

    10 Jul, 2017 03:54 pm

    As a long term Telstra customer, this is dissapointing. I'll stick to buying local sim cards in the country I arrive into.
    No member give thanks

  • Les White

    Les White

    10 Jul, 2017 04:32 pm

    Anyone know the best way to get coverage in Japan? I am lead to believe they have wifi everywhere, is that correct/
    No member give thanks

  • worldwanderer

    worldwanderer

    10 Jul, 2017 04:39 pm

    Hi Les

    Suggest you use this guide - fairly accurate and up to date.


    No member give thanks

  • P1

    P1

    10 Jul, 2017 05:04 pm

    @Les White - Vodafone $5/day roaming worked perfectly in Japan for me last year
    No member give thanks

  • Geoff J Booth

    GMG

    10 Jul, 2017 05:09 pm

    I spend on average 150+ days a year overseas and apart from 1 or 2 not covered countries (Canada - Sheesh) have always been able to connect and get decent speeds with Voda, the $5 per day has been a godsend, compared to the past. Telstra are just leveraging their current customers loyalty.
    No member give thanks

  • Chris Chamberlin

    ChrisCh

    10 Jul, 2017 06:38 pm

    GMG: Canada is now included in Vodafone's $5 roaming deal.
    No member give thanks

  • Geoff J Booth

    GMG

    10 Jul, 2017 11:06 pm

    Excellent, it was a year ago that I was in Canada.
    No member give thanks

  • P1

    P1

    10 Jul, 2017 05:28 pm

    @GMG Not sure about Canada, but Mexico isn't covered by their $5 roaming either, you have to use their PAYG roaming in Mexico.
    No member give thanks

  • Geoff J Booth

    GMG

    10 Jul, 2017 11:07 pm

    @P1 yeah Mexico is one of the countries I get to spend a couple of weeks a year in, have always accepted the local limitations and haunted the WiFi vs Data Roaming Rip Off.
    No member give thanks

  • timster

    timster

    10 Jul, 2017 06:10 pm

    It's Telstra. What do you expect ? Seriously. You're just lazy if you're still with them for anything.

    No member give thanks

  • Michael63

    Metoo

    10 Jul, 2017 06:13 pm

    I agree local SIMs are the best. Calls, data and available at every airport. Some hotels even provide a local mobile to use. I recall sitting next to an American in Hanoi who was using their  mobile to make/take calls. I said to her this must be costing her a fortune. She said it was part of her US plan at no additional cost.  Aussie telcos are ripping us off when it comes to roaming.Until they get it right I'll be using a local SIM. That being said, I do understand that some travellers may need to get calls/messages on their Aussie number, but at what price?  
    No member give thanks

  • OzDino

    OzDino

    10 Jul, 2017 07:24 pm

    Haha Telstra (and Optus) need to get out onto the real world. For the last 2 years, my Voda Red Sim has given me full access to my data, 10gb at 4g speeds, in Europe and UK with free calls and txts back to Oz, all for $5/day. Oh and its all free in NZ too. Shhh keep it  to yourself!
    No member give thanks

  • OzDino

    OzDino

    10 Jul, 2017 07:30 pm

    0h and I should add, it means keeping your existing number, so you can receive calls and have access to message bank etc. without having to divert calls. Great for business users. 
    No member give thanks

  • moa999

    moa999

    10 Jul, 2017 08:40 pm

    Dual-SIM android phones for the win.
    Local SIM with data.
    Aussie SIM just for voice, SMS etc.

    Can be even cheaper if you are ok using VOIP SIP clients on divert from your Aussie mobile
    No member give thanks

  • Jeffrey FRANCIS

    jeff.francis

    10 Jul, 2017 09:42 pm

    I think Telstra management are living in a cave!!!
    I travel 3 months of the year, and the cost of using Telstra and mobile sim cards was upwards of $1k per year.
    I also had to buy another phone number so I could keep all my contacts for emergencies.
    I now pay Vodafone $5.00 a day and I keep my phone and number! Goodbye second phone!!!
    I travel throughout Asia, including mainland China and the phone works just as good there as it does in Australia!!!!
    All for $5.00 per day with unlimited calls and 15G of data!!

    Telstra, $10.00 for 100MB of data??? You have to be joking!!!
    Member who gave thanks

    OzDino

  • dragonfly

    dragonfly

    10 Jul, 2017 09:49 pm

    This is great, and long overdue, for Telstra customers. Unfortunately it govt/enterprise customers will continue to be screwed by Telstra with exorbitant and unreasonable charges.
    No member give thanks

  • Terry Jones

    terryj

    10 Jul, 2017 10:07 pm

    All EU carriers must now allow customers to roam within the EU at no additional charge using allowances from one's plan. I was recently in the UK and purchased an EE prepaid sim which gave me 1GB for 30 days for 10 pounds plus included call minutes and texts. I was able to roam elsewhere in the EU using this allowance although included calls and texts were only to a UK number.
    No member give thanks

  • V Champion

    Vulch

    10 Jul, 2017 10:16 pm

    At $300 p/m still a laughable rip off compared to just about any other option.  
    No member give thanks

  • eminere

    eminere

    10 Jul, 2017 10:32 pm

    Still too little, too late.
    No member give thanks

  • John Phelan

    John Phelan

    10 Jul, 2017 11:50 pm

    And, once again, NOT available to users on any form of corporate plan. Telstra continues to force these subscribers to pay the extortionate rate of $3 per minute for calls when overseas.
    No member give thanks

  • AlexTravAddict

    AlexTravAddict

    11 Jul, 2017 10:01 am

    Agree that this is a shocking offer. So if you are away for 4 weeks you will pay $280 and I assume you will also need to pay your normal monthly fee which would probably bring the total charge to somewhere in the vicinity of $350 and still you are having a massively compromised service with the data limits they impose. I would rate this 1/2 star out of 10 and that is being generous. I am in Brazil at the moment and I bought a VIVO sim for about $5 and can top up with 700MB of data for around $4 which lasts 7 days. If a regular consumer can get this kind of offer then Telstra with their buying power must be making astronomical margins on this kind of product. As for the unlimited SMS, can someone remind me what year we are in? Are we back in 2008? I can't remember the last time I sent an SMS.
    No member give thanks

  • eminere

    eminere

    11 Jul, 2017 11:49 am

    I actually value SMS and data above phone calls.
    No member give thanks

  • Iain Smale

    ismale

    11 Jul, 2017 10:57 am

    Worth a read about Telstra's wifi roaming in today's AFR, just NZ at this stage. http://www.afr.com/technology/telstra-makes-wifi-calling-easy-and-cheap-20170706-gx5rq3

    No member give thanks

  • Melbin

    Melbin

    11 Jul, 2017 01:52 pm

    Telstra always the follower never the leader 
    No member give thanks

  • eminere

    eminere

    11 Jul, 2017 03:31 pm

    They definitely are the leader in price gouging.
    No member give thanks

  • James Zhang

    pkjames

    11 Jul, 2017 07:16 pm

    Thanks god my contract expires this month. Bye bye Telstra!
    No member give thanks

  • Cameron Donaldson

    camtripper

    12 Jul, 2017 07:45 am

    I am in Europe now (visiting France, Germany and Italy). I bought a Telstra travel pass (equivlant to $10/day). I cannot recommend it. First there was a total outage when in Paris as Telstra were "patching" some servers. Now in Germany the service has been terrible. I cannot reliably be called, I cannot send nor receive SMS in a timely fashion (sometimes they arrive many hours later). Data is patchy, mostly 3G only (this is in the big cities), and iMessage has not worked well.

    We are contemplating using a local Aldi SIM, but beware, the rules have changed since 1 July, and there is now an identiifcation requirement. I am unclear at this stage whether an Australian passport will be sufficient to confirm identity.

     
    No member give thanks

  • deejerydoo

    deejerydoo

    29 Aug, 2017 05:02 pm

    This kind of extortion is why people are walking away from Telstra. My contracts are up for renewal in a couple of months and Vodafone or Optus are going to win the business.
    No member give thanks

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24 Sep, 2017 02:19 am

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