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Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
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Telstra predicts mobile as the new TV, updates plans

As your eyes shift to your phone for apps, social, and the web, you may not be watching as much TV. If you can relate, you may well be replacing prime-time television with downtime on your phone, and if you use Telstra, that may turn into some free ways to watch.

This week, Australia’s largest mobile provider has announced it has looked into the way we consume content, and with the focus currently being on mobile, is looking to change its own plans to support the way we watch and listen.

“Australians have embraced streaming video services like Netflix in their lounge rooms and we are now seeing that appetite translate to phones and tablets outside the home,” said Michele Garra, Executive Director for Media at Telstra.

“As an example, network traffic surges during the morning and afternoon commute suggesting two new prime-time periods are emerging, as people discover how easy it to continue watching their favourite shows on the go.”

Telstra’s research cites that mobile video streaming is growing at a rate of more than 30 percent per year, with Australians admitting to streaming content in the bath, camping, boats, weddings, walking around, in the car, taking public transport, and bizarrely even hiding in cupboards at work. Yikes.

To account for this, Telstra has new freebies on the way for its customers, starting from August 23, with select mobile plans getting three months free on either Netflix, Presto, or Stan, while all Telstra plan subscribers will get Apple Music data downloads uncounted.

“Our focus on network quality has seen us boost data speeds for 4G customers by 20 per cent over the course of the last 12 months, making Australia’s fastest mobile network even better for streaming live sports and entertainment,” said Garra.

Telstra has been under increased scrutiny by customers over the past year, thanks in part due to several network failures that have brought connectivity to a standstill, though have been answered usually by free data periods happening later on.

As to whether Telstra’s streaming freebies will satisfy this for customers and keep them on the network, that remains to be seen, but certainly if you’re on a plan and presently subscribe to Apple Music (which is on both Android and iOS), this will sweeten the pot.

We’re checking to find out whether that means prepaid is included — we’re guessing no, but it’s always worth an ask — but don’t start downloading like mad yet, because that free streaming only goes into effect from August 23 onwards.

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