Telstra delays mobile data shaping plans

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Telstra delays mobile data shaping plans

Technical issues push plans to 2012.

Telstra has delayed plans to throttle mobile broadband speeds for users who exceed their monthly quota, citing technical issues in implementing the service.

The service, in planning for more than a year, is designed to reduce "bill shock" for mobile users who accidentally exceed their monthly allowance.

Users would be shaped to 48 Kbps downstream on Telstra's Next G network under the scheme but would be able to receive full broadband speeds again by purchasing additional data packs.

The telco initially planned to offer shaping from November 21 this year but the date had gone by without changes to customer billing.

A Telstra spokesman confirmed the feature would not be available until next year.

"This is a complex technical project that is the first of its kind in Australia," the spokesman said.

"We want to make sure it's fully tested before we make it available to our customers, so we need to finalise testing before we can name a launch date."

It is believed that, despite the delay, some support staff have told Telstra customers that shaping was in effect from the November date.


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While throttling speeds is a common practice in fixed line broadband, Australian telcos have continued to charge for excess data on mobile networks.

Telstra generally charges 25c per megabyte downloaded or uploaded once a user exceeds their monthly data quota.

Customers are notified when they reach 80 percent and 100 percent of their monthly data allowance, but these messages often lag a day or more behind when the actual threshold is reached.

By comparison, Vodafone charges between 12 and 50c per megabyte, depending on the plan, while Optus charges between 25 and 50c per megabyte, also depending on the plan.

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