Home Your IT Mobility Telstra offers new phones after a year – but you pay for it
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Soon Telstra customers will be able to add the option to trade up to a-new smartphone after just 12 months if they sign up to a 24-month plan and pay an extra $10 a month.

With smartphone technology evolving so quickly, many people want to upgrade their phones more frequently than the two years that most mobile contracts tie them into.

Telstra has joined growing international trend to allow customers who sign up to a two year contract trade up their phones to a newer model after just 12 months. Telstra’s Warwick Bray, said Telstra had “listened to millions of customers” who said they wanted an affordable way to trade up to the latest smartphone more frequently.

“We know lots of Australians look forward to getting the latest smartphone technology and we want to give them the chance to experience that ‘new phone feeling’ more frequently. So we’re introducing the option for customers to get a new smartphone every 12 months as an add-on with selected handsets across our new 24-month consumer plans,” Bray said.

The feature, actually called ‘Telstra New Phone Feeling’, charges customers an extra $10 per month on top of their plan (minimum cost $120 plus plan and handset costs) and return their existing phone undamaged and in good working order to trade up to a new model on a new two year handset plan.

Bray says Telstra is the first carrier in Australia to make this offer “available across a range of plans for consumer customers.” That’s technically correct, but Optus has had a ‘trade-in trade up’ feature for nearly six months. Telstra is playing catchup and stretching the truth – something it took Optus to court for just last week.

Bray said Telstra had researched the market and found that:

  • Around half (46%) of Australians would like their telco to offer them the option to get the latest smartphone part-way through their plan.
  • The top reasons Australians want to update their mobile more frequently includes a desire to have the latest features, a love of having the latest gadgets and boredom with their existing device.
  • Those aged 25-34 are most excited about the prospect of a plan that includes the chance to trade up to a new phone every year, with 63% indicating they would like the option, followed by 18-24 year olds (61%) and those aged 35-44 (55%).

The plan launches alongside Telstra’s new Mobile Accelerate Plans, which Bray said come with a safety net for excess MMS and voice charges, with a maximum of $130 per month on eligible call types. Excess data rates in Australia have been reduced from 10 cents to 3 cents per megabyte.

“Our new plans cater for the continued demand for voice calling and the growth in mobile internet use. And because customers tell us cost certainty is really important to them, they offer peace of mind that they won’t face big surprises should they exceed their included allowances,” Bray said.

The new 24 month Mobile Accelerate Plans range from $55 per month with an option for light data users who want a new phone with their plan and tops out at $130 per month with a plan for avid communicators, which comes with unlimited national voice, SMS and MMS to standard Australian numbers, and 3GB of data to use in Australia.

“We think our new $70 Mobile Accelerate Plan will be particularly popular with customers,” said Bray. “It includes $700 worth of talk and MMS and unlimited SMS to standard Australian numbers while you’re in Australia and 1.5GB of data to use in Australia.

“Plus, for $10 more a month customers can trade up to the latest flagship smartphone on a new 24 month handset plan halfway through their plan

The new Mobile Accelerate Plans launch 4 March and offer:

  • Casual Plans. Customers can bring their own device and pay month-to-month, giving them the benefits of the Telstra Mobile Network with no long-term contract commitment.
  • Data Share Plans. Customers can share data allowances across multiple devices including a tablet and laptop all on a single bill allowing them to make their data go further.
  • BYO and BYO Data Share plans. Customers simply bring their existing compatible mobile to Telstra, and enjoy better value than the equivalent Mobile Accelerate Plan.
  • Optional data packs and data share packs to flexibly boost monthly data allowances.

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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