Telstra Finally Has Real-Time Data Usage Alerts

Telstra has finally implemented near-instantaneous alerts for its mobile phone and mobile broadband customers, improving on an existing system that was slow and clunky and responsible for more than a few accidental excess usage charges. Unintentional data overage should now be a thing of the past, at least for Telstra customers.

Telstra, as had all other Aussie telcos, previously sent out SMS usage alerts to customers reaching the 50, 85 and 100 per cent points of their data usage, but these SMS alerts were generally sent within an extremely generous 48 hour window, letting you rack up excess charges before that notification. I can't tell you the number of "106 per cent" usage alerts, and higher, that I've received in the past year.

Telstra's Super-Fast 4GX Is Now Official

Now, though, those usage alerts will be nearly instant — "within seconds" of hitting the Telecommunications Protection Code-mandated 50, 85 or 100 per cent markers in your data quota, you'll get a message from Telstra advising you. With the speed of Telstra's 4G networks, and the upcoming 4GX and LTE-Advanced rollout, it's easy to blow past your limit and rack up plenty of excess usage, Of course, it's a feature that has been available in the past to Telstra 24x7 app users, but it's good that Telstra is taking the effort to be proactive about notifying customers.

Consumer group ACCAN is keen on the change, naturally — according to CEO Teresa Corbin, excess usage complaints have grown by almost 30 per cent in the last year. Says Corbin: "Consumers not realising there can be a two day delay in the data usage notifications could easily use a gigabyte or two of data which would set them back between $50-$100. We’d like to see real time alerts being offered by all of the Australian telcos so all consumers can reap the benefits. Forty-eight hours is too large a gap to inform consumers they have reached their limit. We encourage the other telcos to follow suit and implement real time alerts as soon as possible."

What Is Telstra 4GX?

If you're one of Telstra's millions of existing customers, or whether you switch over, you'll have access to the real-time alerts very soon — they're rolling out across the consumer customer base right now, and should be available to all users by the end of November. That means that probably in your next billing cycle, you'll have a more accurate idea of how and when and where you're using your mobile data.

(Of course, it still pays to be careful, and there's no notification that real-time alerts are enabled, so give it a couple of months just to be safe.) [Telstra]



    Well that's good news. I got a nasty shock on the weekend (after getting a 50% alert on friday morning), to get a 95% alert on Sunday morning, without seeing the expected 85% in the middle.

    How long have the other providers had this for? Oh that's right, never.

    For some reason this feels like an attack on Telstra like "took your time, everyone else had this already".

    Particularly the finally bit.

    Last edited 12/11/14 11:33 am

      Are the others at least better than 48 hours though?
      If so, then it probably is a fair swipe at Telstra... being 24 hours behind is bad enough, but 48 hours is/was far worse.

      Edit: Optus is 24 hours..

      Last edited 12/11/14 1:09 pm

        Where are you getting the 48 hour number from? If you are referring to the line in the article, that refers to the amount of time allowed to providers, by the regulator, to notify you, not the time they actually take. I keep a fairly close eye on my usage, and I usually get the SMS no more than 6 hours after actually crossing the relevant threshold.

        Just because Telstra words the SMS to say that it "could be up to 48 hours old" is probably more of a push for people to log in and double check their usage.

          a) I think you misinterpreted the article if you think it's solely a swipe at Telstra, I read it as a swipe at all carriers - and the article does congratulate them too.
          b) I can't comment on the accutracy of the SMS warnings. I don't keep that much of a hawk eye on my usage to be confident of when I've actually gone over a landmark versus when I get notified.
          c) I'm on a Telstra reseller and I'm pretty confident that the best info I get from them even logging into their usage data meter is 36-48 hours old. I'm aware that it may be a reseller issue, but yes, I put 2 and 2 together to get the 48 hour figure.
          d) hopefully this rolls out to Telstra resellers too.
          e) time for the other carriers to pull their socks up, count data in kb and real time usage.

      Aldi text me as soon as I hit 50% usage and I think 75% & 95%..

    If only Telstra and every other carrier did throttling...

      Telstra announced they were doing it... 3 years ago:

      Last update I've heard hasn't been since June last year:

      Bit of a joke.

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