Telstra Announces SMS Alerts To Combat International Data Roaming Bill Shock

Telstra Announces SMS Alerts To Combat International Data Roaming Bill Shock

No one likes coming home from a fantastic, relaxing, exciting vacation to find a nice big international data roaming bill waiting for them.

While being able to access your emails, social networks or maps while overseas is great, international data roaming can become very expensive, particularly if you don’t add an international data roaming pack. Even when you have an international roaming data pack, if you manage to exceed the data allowance, you end up paying the pay as you go rate of $15/MB.

Telstra International Data Roaming Alerts

To help combat bill shock, Telstra have introduced SMS data alerts for every 20MB used while overseas.

These SMS alerts will be sent to users while they are roaming overseas, for every 20MB they use in every country except for Hong Kong.┬áThe cheapest international roaming data pack available is $29/20MB, which means that you will find out whether you have reached your data pack’s limit and should consider switching off data and only using Wi-Fi for the remainder of your trip. These reminders will be sent at increments of 20MB, so if you use 1GB of roaming data, you would receive 5 SMS alerts.

In terms of the time frame between you using 20MB of data and receiving the notification, Telstra have noted that the SMS alert will be sent to the overseas network (and then to the user) within 3 seconds of the 20MB threshold being reached. However, the actual speed in which it reaches the user may vary depending upon the performance and capability of the receiving overseas network.

How Can I Reduce Data Costs While Overseas?

Customers should ensure they take steps themselves to try and limit the amount of data used while overseas to avoid bill shock by:

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  • Switching off mobile data in your handset’s settings and using wi-fi where possible
  • Adding an international roaming data pack to avoid the $15/MB pay as you go rate
  • Turn off automatic notifications/ syncing (i.e. email, social networks, apps that run in the background) and software updates (apps and device OS). If these run without your knowledge, you can very quickly use a lot of data without even having touched your device.
  • Use a internet browser such as Opera Mini or Onavo Extend, which compress the data sent to your device when browsing the internet via their cloud server. Check our article on these data compressing browsers here.


For more information visit Telstra’s website for details.