Telstra has begun rolling out usage alerts for some mobile customers in a bid to comply with expected changes to the Telecommunications Consumer Protection code.
Users on Telstra's Freedom Connect plans were notified today of the new alerts, which would notify users when they reach 80 percent or 100 percent of their available SMS, voice or MMS allowances.
Other mobile plans would likely be offered the alerts in future.
But a spokesman confirmed the alerts would still be sent up to 24 hours after a user reached their threshold.
Eligible users were told today by SMS that the alerts are "a guide only".
They would not be alerted when nearing their mobile data allowances but instead encouraged to visit a recently revamped portal to monitor usage.
The spokesman said the company had plans to reduce the time taken to send the alert but that real-time notifications "aren't possible".
"At this stage, usage records are compiled on a daily basis and real-time alerts aren't possible," he said. "Our messages are clear that the alerts are not provided in real-time and are provided as a guide only."
Optus implemented similar alerts for users' data allowances across mobile and fixed line broadband products in September this year, providing "near-real time" information for users.
However, outgoing director of government and corporate affairs Maha Krishnapillai said at the time that the feature is "quite complex" to implement as it requires the integration of several disparate billing systems.
"As soon as somebody hangs up a call or a data session, you've got to get the information back from the other carrier if it's been overseas, or from the other mobile company if it's been on a mobile plan, or whatever the case may be," he said.
The usage alerts are one of several measures implemented by Telstra and other service providers in recent months to comply with recommendations made by the Australian Communications and Media Authority in its 'Reconnecting the Customer' inquiry.
The recommendations form part of the TCP code being drafted by the Communications Alliance and expected to be registered by February.
Other measures required include unit pricing for mobile services, a ban on soft caps and a summary of plan details, which Telstra has also recently implemented.