Home > Latest News > Optus, Telstra Try To Spin Mobile Price Hikes, TPG Holds Out

Optus, Telstra Try To Spin Mobile Price Hikes, TPG Holds Out

Telstra and Optus have both raised their mobile prices over the past few days, but have opted for different strategies in doing so.

While Telstra has simply passed on inflationary costs to its entire network, Optus has chosen to sting its legacy customers only.

All Optus Choice plan tiers, from the $39 per month/10 gigabytes option up to the $79 per month tier for 120 gigabytes, will cost an extra $4 from August 8. These are legacy plans, and not available to new customers.

Optus is lifting the data allowance on these plans, by way of compensation, however sports-loving Optus customers will also be stung by the removal of the popular Optus Sport offering.

Previously free to all customers, this will now cost an extra $6.99 a month, meaning some phone plans will effectively cost an extra $10.99 a month.

The SIM-only plans will remain the same price.

An Optus spokesperson cited “ongoing investment in expanding and upgrading services, the growing data demands on our network, and increasing costs of goods and services” for the price increases.

“We have contacted our impacted customers directly to let them know that their monthly plan fee will increase by $4 per month which will include extra data for them to enjoy.”

Telstra is also charging more for more, hiking prices by $5 per month on new Small, Medium and Large mobile plans, and $15 for the Extra Large plans.

The Small plan gains 10GB of extra data for a total of 40GB per month, while Medium and Large plans both add 20GB for a total of 80GB and 120GB a month respectively. Extra Large adds 30GB for a total of 180GB.

Telstra says “we’ve seen a fundamental change in the way Australians are living and working through the coronavirus pandemic”, pointing out the free 5G access to all plans above Medium.

In addition, they are offering existing customers a credit to offset the price rise for 12 months, if they move to our new tiers before September 30, and have committed to not raising the price of the Small, Medium, Large or Extra Large plans for 12 months.

This follows their decision to raise prices for legacy customers, adding $3 on top of its $55 monthly basic and $65 essential monthly plans, and a $4 upgrade to its $85 premium tier.

No doubt the idea is to simplify its offering further, by getting customers off its legacy plans.

This was a major goal of the T22 strategy, and has been remarkably successful, culling legacy and in-market plans on its books from a messy 1,800 to just 20 active options across its mobile and broadband markets.

This leaves TPG as the only hold out. They are in a weaker position than the two other majors, with its 17 per cent market share below targets.

Barrenjoey analyst Eric Choi said last month it was “very unlikely” that TPG would raise prices with such a delicate market position.

TPG Group Executive, Consumer, Kieran Cooney refused to rule it out, telling the AFR:

“We won’t foreshadow anything in respect to pricing changes.”

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