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Telstra fixed to mobile prices up.

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Some Telstra fixed to mobile call charges are rising today on standard Telstra plans. Calls from standard Telstra home phones to some non-Telstra fixed mobile phones will rise by up to 5c per minute.

Telstra previously charged calls to Telstra wholesale mobiles at the same rate as Telstra mobiles. Telstra already charge up to 5c per minute more to call some non-Telstra mobiles from standard home phones. Now all non-Telstra mobiles will be charged at this rate.

Telstra has already come under criticism for charging more for Telstra home phone customers to call non-Telstra mobile phones. These latest price changes have made this problem worse by increasing the number of non-Telstra mobile phones.

Rather than increasing the range of “off-net” call types that can be charged at a higher rate Telstra should consider charging the same fixed to mobile rate for all mobile phones. This would help ensure fairer competition in the mobile phone market.

Telstra’s revenue from fixed to mobile calls was a massive $1.517 billion in 2002-03. This figure is increasing at around 7% per year and is set to earn Telstra more revenue than local calls in 2003-04. Now Telstra is increasing fees on some of these fixed to mobile calls.

Telstra is also increasing prices on some operator assisted services and reverse charge services.

Despite earning $3.4 billion in profits in 2002-03 with the help of massively increased line rental fees, Telstra is still pushing prices up at every opportunity. These price rises are just a taste of things to come if Telstra is privatised.

November 24, 2003

For further information contact Lindsay Tanner or Peter van Vliet on 02 6277 4428 or 0408 188 055.