Telco Terms Translated

Telco Terms Translated

The telecommunications industry has produced some very confusing jargon, which is hardly understood by anyone outside the industry. This is why we have decided to help demystify a difficult dialect, by providing you with an explanation of a different telecom term periodically. This post will be continuously updated, with the previous terms archived so you can access past terms whenever you come across them.

Think of it as an encyclopaedia of Telecom Terms.



This week’s Telco Term is:

SIM Replacement

SIM stands for Subscriber Identity Module, which is used to associate a mobile subscriber with a mobile network subscription. The SIM holds the subscriber’s unique MSISDN or essentially their mobile number, along with information such as contact lists, text messages sent and received and even sometimes small Java programs. As such, a SIM replacement encompasses the transferring of all of this data from one SIM to a brand new one, enabling it for use. SIM replacements are required when moving to a device that uses a micro SIM such as the iPhone and iPad or when troubleshooting.

We recommend issuing a SIM replacement when it is determined that the device or a fault on the carrier’s end is not the cause of the issue.


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Pro-rata is commonly used in the telecommunications industry when discussing plan pricing and inclusions. In general terms, pro-rata is defined as a “Proportionate allocation or distribution of a quantity (such as costs, income, shares, taxes) on the basis of a common factor” (source: When applied to telecommunications, pro-rata pricing is essentially partial charges or credits. It refers to the calculation of fees or credits according to the number of days your plan was active in your billing month. Pro-rata pricing is determined by the date your plan is activated, your usual billing cycle and if/when you terminate or change your plan.

To put it simply it’s like receiving a small piece rather than the whole cake.




Example: Telstra’s data roaming plans are calculated on a pro-rata basis, meaning the amount you pay (and the data included) is dependant upon the number of days your plan is active within your billing cycle.

If you select the $29/10MB data roaming pack to be added on the 26th and your billing cycle ends on the 28th, you will only pay $0.96 x2 ($29 divided by 30 days to get the daily charge and the plan is active for 2 days) which is $1.92. This also means you only get 1MB of the 10MB data allowance (10MB divided by 30 for daily allowance then times by 2 days). If you exceed 0.67MB within these 2days you will be charged an excess fee. Provided you do not change or terminate the plan within the next billing cycle, every bill after that will be for the full amount and you will have the full allowance e.g. $29 and 10MB, provided, of course, that you do not exceed the allowance.