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Cell Phone, help please :)

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Cell Phone, help please :)

Last Post This thread is marked as being about Australia
1. Posted by kelly03 (Budding Member 10 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Hey I am going to Oz for 7 months. I was looking at cell phone SIM cards for Aussie, I found Telestial, they seem to be good. But not too sure really. Anyone know of a good company to get a sim card to use in Oz?? I have a cell that can be used there, I just don't have a card for it.

2. Posted by JessieG (Full Member 67 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Optus is really good.
Vodafone has good plans, but pretty shitty coverage.. I live in Cairns and that's the case up here anyway.. so I guess if you're travelling you're going to need something that picks up reception. My bf has vodafone and he gets bad 'black spots' i think that's what they're called aanyway. Telstra.. hrmm nah, i don think they have the best plans.
You should get an optus sim card and go the turbo charge. $30 = $120 worth of credit.
Hope that helps..

3. Posted by timtravels (Respected Member 350 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!


For 7 months you're probably best getting a pre-paid sim, that way you can just throw it away when you leave. Lots of mobile phone companies here offer you a prepaid startup kit which consists of a sim and credit for the price of the credit alone. So a $30 startup kit gives you $30 credit and a sim card.

Network coverage is a whole different ball game and varies from company to company, for example in my house in the Blue Mountains, optus reception is not good enough to have a conversation whereas vodafone is fine. At my parents house optus reception is fine and vodafone is poor. If you're staying in populated areas then it probably doesn't matter who you're with as it will even out and you'd be better off looking for the provider who has call/text rates that best suit you.

Some major providers in Australia are Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Virgin and 3. You can google them and look at prepaid mobile for their rates and more info.

4. Posted by mista2kool (Budding Member 40 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Ive never heard of Telestial, haha.
I use Vodafone 29$ prepaid giving 130$ in credit. I bought a sim card for 2$ in Officeworks. I dont make too many calls, and therefore I never use up all my credit unless I try by making overseas calls before the credit expires.
But yes, the coverage isnt awesome, but none will be in rural areas.
I think the whole mobile phone plan system in Australia is way better than elsewhere, like Canada.

5. Posted by Cool Paul (Respected Member 611 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

I had optus and it was pretty decent. it didn't work out in the bush though. but it def worked in all the towns I went to. don't worry about it till you get there. there are phone shops everywhere. just buy a card for like $30 when you arrive.

6. Posted by Carl_1970 (Budding Member 16 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Hi Kelly.

I'll assume you're only after GSM and not 3G access...

Telestial are an American company (I think) that are basically reselling services from Australian companies "amichi" and "Just Mobile" which both in turn are reselling access to the Vodafone network in Australia. I haven't compared their prices, but with all that reselling going on, I would guess that it would be cheeper for you to simply get a prepaid sim when you get to Australia rather than going through Telestial, but I could be wrong. Check out the prices for yourself. It is easy to buy a sim when you get here from a supermarket or a post office. Just make sure your handset isn't "locked" to a certain provider.

There are many companies selling mobile services in Australia, but there are only four network providers, being "Telstra" "Vodafone" "3" and "Optus". In cities, large towns, and on major highways, they will all work fine, but everywhere else, Telstra will be the only provider in many cases. Of course this comes at a cost... Telstra is generally more expensive than the others. So the first thing you need to decide is "how important is coverage to me?"

One other thing to consider (and coming from Canada you'll probably understand this) is that if a network claims to cover 94.52% of the Australian population that might sound really good, but you need to remember that the Australian population is incredibly concentrated in the cities, so that 94% population coverage might only be 2% of the land area.

My advice would be to try to find a provider that resells the Telstra mobile network at a good price and use them.

Some links:
List of companies seleling mobile services

If you think you won't use the phone much, then a good low usage plan on the Telstra network (the best coverage) is offered by Southern Cross

7. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3891 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

I bought a vodafone sim when I was travelling in oz - they did have some good deals on free texts etc, but the coverage was poor in certain places. When I was in the Grampians, VIC, I had no coverage for the 3 days I was there, and the same for Kakadu national park.

8. Posted by fussy (Inactive 208 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Aside from purchasing an asutralian SIM, there are excellent phone cards you can purchase to make cheap international calls. MAny hostels offer free internet access so you could also consider Skype.

9. Posted by andy11 (Full Member 136 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

As far as i know any sim will do, i had to get mine unlocked for international calls, cost about 10 pounds to unlock it.

A phone card is a good idea, don't know if you can use them on a mobile but they obviously make calls very cheap from a payphone.

[ Edit: Edited on Sep 7, 2008, at 9:25 AM by andy11 ]

10. Posted by sophia88 (Budding Member 21 posts) 9y Star this if you like it!

Deffinatly go for vodaphone,I had no problems with signals and saved alot of money with 30pound caps !good luck!