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Millions hit by Telstra price hike

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A major Australian teleco has announced plans to hike prices.

Australians will soon be paying up to $72 more per year for their mobile phone plan following another bill price hike.

Telecommunications giant Telstra revealed earlier this month that it would increase the price of its phone packages by $3-6 per month.

The change, which will take effect from July 4, will impact not just new customers but all postpaid and mobile data plans.

Telstra small business executive Brad Whitcomb said the decision to hike costs was made in line with the annual consumer price index.

“Like most businesses in Australia, we are also responding to increasing costs,” Mr Whitcomb said.

“We know price rises can be hard for some people, especially when cost of living pressures are high.

“We want to be clear on why we’re doing this and what’s available if you need support.

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The change will affect not just new customers but all postpaid and mobile data plans.

“Increasing our prices means we can continue investing in the things that matter for our customers.”

Under the changes, an in-market mobile postpaid plan will increase from $47 per month to $50, with just 2GB of data.

The “basic” package, which includes 50GB of data, will increase by $4 to $62 per month.

Worst hit are users with a “premium” package that will increase by $6 per month from $89 to $95.

Similar hikes will affect mobile broadband-only packages, with the “large” package increasing by $5 per month.

Mr Whitcomb claimed CPI data showed telecommunications costs, including equipment, had not increased at the rate of other goods.

Furthermore, the price increase would allow for expanded mobile phone coverage and scam protection.

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Telstra small business executive Brad Whitcomb claimed the prince increase would allow for expanded mobile phone coverage and scam protection. Picture: Andrew Henshaw

The basic mobile plan and mobile bundle plan also received a data boost, with an additional 10GB provided.

In raising their prices, Telstra joined other major telecos who have made similar price hikes in recent months.

From April, Vodafone announced that it would be increasing the cost of its services by $5 per month.

Optus similarly hiked its prices late last year, with the $60 plan now costing $70 and the $70 plan now costing $75.

Coming into effect in July, the change will coincide with an electricity price hike that will cost households hundred of dollars more per year.

The Australian Energy Regulator confirmed that electricity prices would increase by between 20 and 25 per cent from July 1.

The change will impact about 600,000 customers in South Australia, Queensland, and NSW.

Deputy opposition leader Susan Ley told Sunrise the price hike, which will hit families and businesses hard, was a “huge mess”.

“I don’t see any real relief coming anytime soon,” Ms Ley said, “There is a huge stress on Australian households.”