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Call charges from mobile phones

Telcos set the charges for mobile phone calls and text services. Check what they charge so you don’t receive a big bill. Contact your telco with any questions.

The rates telcos charge depend on:

  • what type of phone plan you have
  • whether you are calling someone locally, long distance or overseas
  • what type of number or service you are calling, such as '13', '18' and '19' numbers

Always check the Critical Information Summary to understand your plan’s charges.

Calls to Australian landlines and mobile phones

Many telcos have plans that let you make an unlimited number of calls. These are usually for a certain type of call. Under other plans, they may:

  • charge a connection fee (flagfall) plus a cost per minute
  • allow free calls between other numbers on the same network
  • include some calls in your monthly limit

Texting while you are in Australia

If you send text or multimedia messages (MMS), your telco may:

  • include some messages for free as part of a prepaid or post-paid plan
  • charge for each message you send

Calls to international numbers

Your telco may:

  • charge a fee to connect the call (connection fee or flagfall) 
  • charge a high cost-per-minute rate. This varies from country to country so check with your telco

Using your phone overseas

You may pay a much higher rate for using your phone overseas. Your telco may also charge you for receiving a call, voicemail or text. Find out how to avoid the costs of international roaming.

Calls to '13' and '1300' numbers

Your telco may:

  • include some calls for free as part of a prepaid or post-paid plan
  • charge for calling 13 and 1300 numbers at a fixed rate, similar to calling from a landline

Calls to '18' or '1800' numbers

Calls to '18' or '1800' numbers are generally free. Some mobile providers charge for these calls, so you should check.

Using '19' mobile premium numbers

Mobile premium services cost more than normal calls and texts. Find out about the costs and how to stop mobile premium services.

Calls that are not answered or go to voicemail

Your telco may charge a connection fee for calls answered by voicemail, a message bank or services like voice-to-text. All phones have voicemail unless you choose to remove this feature. To remove it, contact your telco.

Some telcos may charge you for a call even if the phone you are calling is:

  • engaged
  • switched off
  • out of range
  • not answered

You can stop these charges. To do this, contact your telco.

Compare plans using ‘standard charges’

To help you compare plans, telcos have to show 3 standard charges.

These standard charges are for:

  1. making a 2-minute national mobile call from one network to another during peak time. The caller and the receiver are both in Australia
  2. sending a mobile text of no more than 160 characters from one network to another during peak time. The sender and the receiver are both in Australia
  3. downloading 1 megabyte (MB) of data

You’ll see these in your plan's Critical Information Summary

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