Home Home Tech Telstra makes calls free from home phones and payphone 24 to 26 December 2017

Australia's top telco, Telstra, is turning out the Christmas cheer, offering free local, national and standard mobile calls from Telstra home phones and 16,000+ payphone across Australia.

The Christmas cheer continues cheering when we also learn that Telstra is offering "free Wi-Fi at selected Telstra Air public hotspots", too.

Telstra characterises it as dialling up the Christmas spirit and the gift of free phone calls, with the company's head of Fixed Products, Jana Kotatko, noting that "our busy lives, combined with the changing role of technology, often means we choose a text message or social media post over a call and while these are wonderfully convenient ways of getting in touch with our friends and family, nothing quite beats the emotional connection we feel when hearing a loved one’s voice."

Kotatko added: “Telstra’s 2016 free payphone calls campaign was testament to that, with more than 271,000 free payphone calls made over three days. This year, by giving people even more ways to contact their friends and family for free, we expect to see this figure rise by at least 10 times.”

Clearly, this sounds like part of Telstra's corporate social responsibility initiatives, with the company stating that phone calls are "a powerful tool for creating positive social bonds and fostering meaningful, lasting connections, Telstra’s free calls and Wi-Fi initiative aims to help Australians reach out to those who matter most this Christmas".

And, "in addition to connecting those separated by distance or circumstance, Telstra’s free calls and Wi-Fi initiative is also set to break down barriers to social connection for some of the country’s most disadvantaged communities".

Salvation Army Major Brendan Nottle said "Christmas is an inherently social occasion for many people, but for those faced with personal hardships, such as homelessness, it can be one of the most difficult and lonely times of the year."

Major Nottle added: “A phone call can go a long way in combatting these feelings of isolation, but many people find themselves without the technology or financial means to get in touch with their loved ones. This initiative from Telstra is helping to provide an invaluable solution to the problem, by offering everyone in the country — regardless of their personal situation — the chance to connect this Christmas."

Now, given that Telstra says the calls from home are from "Telstra home phones", this would presumably mean that you need to be a Telstra customer for your home service. However anyone can use a payphone or free Telstra Air Wi-Fi no matter who their current provider is.

After all, Telstra’s payphone network spans the entire country, from capital cities to remote areas, and in case you don't remember where your closest payphone is, you can access Telstra’s payphone register and locator here.

Finally, Telstra reminds us that the offer "excludes international calls, 13 numbers and premium and directory services". 


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One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.


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