Telstra to switch payphones to flat call rate

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Telstra to switch payphones to flat call rate

Telstra has changed the pricing for its public payphone calls to a simple flat rate for both local and selected international calls.

The changes are part of the telco’s payphone modernisation project announced in March, with upgrades to 1800 out of the 16,000 public payphones across Australia.

Pricing will shift from a distance-based model to a flat call rate of 50 cents unlimited to standard fixed line phones in Australia.

International calls were also tweaked depending on the country being called. Customers will pay 50 cents per 10 minutes to 11 destinations, 50 cents for 2 minutes to 22 destinations, 50 cents for 1 minute to 40 destinations, while the rest will pay 50 cents for 15 seconds.

“These are the most significant changes to payphone call costs in 13 years, giving users greater value for money and more ways to connect using our network,” Telstra payphone product manager Pete Manwaring said in a blog post.

Also for the first time, Telstra payphones will be able to receive incoming telephone calls.

“This will be of particular benefit to those communities where mobile phone usage isn’t as popular, allowing them to remain connected without a cost to them,” Manwaring said.

Manwaring added some of the new payphones will provide more services moving forward, including digital screens, wi-fi, 5G enabled technology, mobile device charging, as well as providing a space for communicating emergency alerts and other public service announcements.

Telstra revealed plans in March to install third-party advertising on the payphones through a collaboration with JCDecaux. Mumbrella reported that the telco caught the ire of city councils over this plan, specifically in the City of Sydney and the City of Melbourne.

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