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1. Posted by lmurray (Budding Member 21 posts) 8y


I will be in Australia for about 7 months and would like to have a mobile phone while I am there for emergencies. I was going to take the phone I have now as I can use it worldwide and just buy sim card when I'm out there. However, as luck would have it (or not as the case may be), just 2 days before Christmas I have broken my phone and it's not really worth replacing, just for one month before I leave. What have other people done about mobile phones in Australia? Is it worth just buying a phone out there? I have looked at the Vodafone Australia website and they seem to offer some good deals.

Any advice would be much appreciated!


2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4817 posts) 8y

Yeah, just buy a cheap pre-paid phone there; usually you can even find a used one from a fellow backpacker about to leave the country - check the hostel's notice board.

3. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 8y

You can buy cheap prepaid phones from as little as $60 or so.

Just be aware that the call costs on prepaids can be quite expensive.

4. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 8y

If you plan on using your phone in the USA any time after Australia, most the cheap pre-paid phones that you can get in Australia and most of the world will not operate in the USA. They will operate in most of the world but not the USA which uses a different bandwidth to what the standard cheap triband phones allow. You need the phone to be a quad band phone to allow it to work in the USA.

In Australia if you are going to be visiting more remote areas rather than just in big cities, you may want to consider buying a telstra pre-paid mobile due to a far greater reception. I've got a mobile that uses the vodafone network (only because I hardly use my phone) and anything more than about 20km outside of a major population centre I don't get any reception or only have 1 or 2 bars. My sister and parents mobiles which all have mobiles with Telstra usually have strong reception even in remote places 50 or so kilometres from any population centre with Telstra. I have used a Vodafone sim, Optus Sim, Virgin Sim, Dodo sim and a Telstra Sim (which is more expensive). None of the others come close to a Telstra simcard with regards to reception. Only issue with Telstra sim cards are that like James said, call costs (and fixed minimum monthly spend costs) are usually more expensive on Telstra and seeing I rarely use my mobile I don't want to be paying much more than I will use in a year let alone a month.

You could buy a vodafone pre-paid mobile and just get it unlocked to be able to put a telstra sim in it, but that unlocking charge would make it more expensive than just buying it from the Post Office, Supermarket, Phone shops or other places that sell pre-paid mobiles.

[ Edit: Edited on Dec 22, 2007, at 3:46 PM by aharrold45 ]

5. Posted by rborzillo (Budding Member 84 posts) 8y

I am in this same situation as well. I will be traveling in Australia for 40 days and only need a mobile phone for emergencies, incoming calls from the US, and for miscellaneous calls. Would you still recommend purchasing a mobile phone in Oz or rent one here in the US from dealers such as

Thanks...and happy holidays all...!