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desmodus's avatar

Best prepaid cell provider for a trip to Australia?

Asked by desmodus (158points) July 8th, 2010

Later this year I am traveling from Perth to Cairns (along the south-coast, melbourne, sydney, brisbane).

It would be a bit too expensive to use my European SIM-card to make and receive calls, so I am thinking on getting an Ozzie card. I am expecting to make and receive local calls.

It would also be great if there is a possibility to use 3G networks.

Any idea’s?

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8 Answers

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I use Virgin Mobile, and have found them to be very good so far. They use the Optus 3G network, and are cheaper than Optus, so I get the best of both worlds. Enjoy your trip out here!

rooeytoo's avatar

Once you get out of Perth, there is very little coverage at all. If there is any it will be with Telstra. If you want to be able to stay in touch at all times (and it really is a good idea, especially if you are going through the bush) to rent a satellite phone. It is definitely more expensive but worth it for the peace of mind. And then Telstra for non emergency calls.

shrubbery's avatar

If there are more than one of you travelling- I would recommend Telstra because you can get as little as $5 prepaid credit at a time (depending on where you buy it from) and you can text other Telstra mobiles for 1c. That’s a cheap and easy way to stay in contact with everyone. But if you prefer making calls, I think Optus have some great prepaid caps, but that is probably just Optus to Optus, so everyone in your group would have get the same. However I think they also have an international cap if you’re talking about ringing home while you’re away. Try this. Vodafone have some good caps too. While rooeytoo is probably right about the coverage, you’ll be passing through towns alllll the time. Unless you want coverage every single minute, you’ll be right.

rooeytoo's avatar

@shrubbery – If they are driving cross country from Perth to Cairns, you can go a long way between towns and not all road houses have coverage. If they are following the coast up to Broome (which doesn’t seem likely) the same is true. We just traveled from Darwin to Queensland and didn’t have coverage (even with Telstra) most of the time. I like to be able to call someone if my car dies in the middle of nowhere so I always take the satellite phone with me. Tourists get lost sometimes with dire consequences each year driving through the center, many dirt tracks there, I say better safe than sorry, spend the extra money. And don’t forget to carry 2 spare tires, lots of extra water and food is good too. If you do get stuck somewhere then at least you will survive until someone finds you. Always let someone know your intended route and next check in time. I am not being overly dramatic, this is reality when you venture inland in this country.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@rooeytoo If they are following the coast up to Broome

See the question details – “along the south-coast, melbourne, sydney, brisbane”.

rooeytoo's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh – you are right, I missed that. But is there coverage the whole way from Perth to Melbourne, that is a pretty long haul? I haven’t traveled that route. It looks as if they are taking the civilized route though, probably wouldn’t be too far between towns. I have been in the north too long, I forget what it’s like along the south and east coast!

Sorry @desmodus you won’t need a sat phone, but I would still stick with Telstra because once you are out of the major cities they have the best coverage.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@rooeytoo I have never been to WA, but I wouldn’t expect the coverage to be that good out towards Kalgoorlie or over the Bight. Telstra is probably the best bet then, since the smaller networks usually only have good reception in the cities.

desmodus's avatar

Thanks a bunch all.. Telstra it shall be then :)

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