Telcos respond to effects of COVID-19 with bonus data offers
The three major telcos have pledged bonus data to customers as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues. Optus, Telstra and Vodafone are offering that extra data to accommodate their customers’ data needs as many Australians are expected to work remotely to prevent the spread of the virus.
So far, there have been 375 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia, 5 of which have been fatal.
Number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Australia as of 17 March. img src
The government is taking several steps to slow down and stem the spread of the virus, including travel restrictions and border/port screenings and surveillance. And as COVID-19 takes a hit on the global economy, Australia is delivering $17.6bn in economic support, as well as a $2.4bn health package to keep the most vulnerable safe.
These figures show just how serious COVID-19 is, and the numbers are even higher on the world stage. With the virus affecting literally every person and institution in one way or another, everyone can find a way contribute. Australia’s three major telcos have found a way to do that with extra data offers.
Details about the data bonuses from Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone
To slow down the spread of COVID-19, many Australians are expected to work from home. This will require a lot of data, and the three major telcos have stepped in to mitigate that data usage increase.
Here are the details:
Optus was the first to announce a data boost in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the extra data will be available in April:
- Eligible postpaid customers will get a one-off 25GB of data added to their plan. The bonus can be activated through the My Optus app at anytime in April, and will last for 30 days following that activation.
- Eligible prepaid customers who recharge with at least $40 will receive a 10GB data bonus for April.
Optus hasn’t elaborated on who qualifies as an “eligible customer”, but we expect those details soon.
Telstra followed suit with their data bonus offer a day after Optus’ announcement:
- Home broadband customers (ADSL, NBN, Cable) get unlimited data beginning Thursday 19 May through 30 April.
- Postpaid mobile customers can apply for up to 25GB of extra data (used within 30 days) for remote work through the Telstra 24×7 and My Telstra apps starting Thursday until 31 March.
- Prepaid mobile customers who recharge with $40 or more can apply for up to 10GB of extra data (lasts 28-30 days) through the Telstra 24×7 and My Telstra apps from Thursday until 31 March.
The postpaid and prepaid mobile bonuses will be activated 24-48 hours after approval.
Vodafone has now joined Optus and Telstra with bonus data offers. Because some of their plans already offer free unlimited browsing at throttled speeds of 1.5Mbps after plan data is exhausted, Vodafone’s bonus offer for COVID-19 applies to those who aren’t on such plans:
- Postpaid customers get 5GB of bonus data for use in April.
- Prepaid customers fet 3GB of bonus data for use in April.
If you’re an eligible Vodafone customer, the extra data will kick in automatically so you don’t have to take any extra steps.
Final words – Other free offers from telcos in response to COVID-19
While data usage continues to increase in Australia, phone plans are also used for other things. Telstra and Vodafone have included other relieving offers to address this, going beyond the data bonuses:
- Telstra – Beginning Thursday (until 30 April), eligible pensioners who have a home phone plan from Telstra can make unlimited local, national and 13/1300 calls, as well as unlimited calls to Australian mobiles, all from their home phones.
- Vodafone – Beginning Friday, all postpaid and prepaid customers can make unlimited standard national calls until the end of April. Also, from Wednesday, all federal and state health department websites can be accessed free of charge by Vodafone customers.
While these telcos are playing their part to mitigate this pandemic, you should too. Wash your hands frequently and try not to touch your face, and report any symptoms to your doctor. Visit the Department of Health to find out what you can do to stay healthy, keep others healthy, and prevent the spread of this coronavirus.