Sim Card in Australia

Old Aug 18, 2017, 12:46 am
  #1  
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Sim Card in Australia

Will be spending 2 weeks in Australia, travelling to Sydney, Uluru, Cairns. What are my best options for a SIM card? I plan on using hotel and local wife so won;t make a lot of calls but will need to call the US sometimes.

I have Verizon at home and can add one of their international plans, but they seem to be expensive.
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Old Aug 18, 2017, 1:44 am
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Originally Posted by holocker
Will be spending 2 weeks in Australia, travelling to Sydney, Uluru, Cairns. What are my best options for a SIM card? I plan on using hotel and local wife so won;t make a lot of calls but will need to call the US sometimes.
Local wifi will also be available

A common question
Look in https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travel-technology-169/

It can be complicated
Having the facility to phone USA at a reasonable rate will need to be considered
https://www.finder.com.au/mobile-plans
https://www.whistleout.com.au/MobilePhones
https://whatphone.com.au

Will you have access to skype or equal?

Will your phone work in Australia?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_country_code
http://willmyphonework.net/

Edit
List of Prepaid SIM threads (country-specific and multi-country)

Edit 2
Prepaid SIM (Data or Voice) - Australia

Last edited by Mwenenzi; May 12, 2019 at 10:48 pm Reason: fixing links
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Old Aug 18, 2017, 1:45 pm
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make sure your phone is unlocked.

I just got the Flexiroam package because I tend to spend shortish amounts of time in several places. It's likely not the best deal possible but I like how many places it's usable.

You could also check into wifi calling (use Skype or Google phone) for calls to the US.
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Old Aug 18, 2017, 3:18 pm
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We have always been happy with Lebara; very reasonably priced.
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Old Aug 23, 2017, 7:50 pm
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Originally Posted by holocker
Will be spending 2 weeks in Australia, travelling to Sydney, Uluru, Cairns. What are my best options for a SIM card? I plan on using hotel and local wife so won;t make a lot of calls but will need to call the US sometimes.

I have Verizon at home and can add one of their international plans, but they seem to be expensive.
If you do happen to obtain a prepaid SIM within Australia, I'd suggest you test it out before you leave the store and keep your receipt and all paperwork. I went into a Telstra and got a pretty reasonably priced SIM/plan during my travels to SYD and MEL from the US earlier this year (2017). A friend was able to call my newly provisioned number, but I could not access data, send iMessages, etc. Thankfully, there was a Telstra store across the street from where I was staying. One of their tech's noticed that the original salesperson neglected to enter some number -- not the telephone number -- correctly when setting up the account. It was really odd that the number is entered by hand -- there was no barcode or anything, and that Telstra's system failed to indicate that the special number was invalid. I did get it straightened out, but it took about an hour or so.

I used WhatsApp for texting friends/family back home over WiFi and cellular data. I didn't use the voice feature, though if I wanted to do that I'd have ensured I was on a WiFi connection to avoid consuming too much cellular data.
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Old Aug 25, 2017, 7:22 pm
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Originally Posted by glennaa11
make sure your phone is unlocked.
Yes and make sure it can accept a SIM... Verizon phones don't necessary have a SIM card slot as they don't use a SIM.
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Old Aug 26, 2017, 4:19 pm
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Originally Posted by CPMaverick
Yes and make sure it can accept a SIM... Verizon phones don't necessary have a SIM card slot as they don't use a SIM.
And even when they can accept a SIM, many Verizon phones only use it for 4G - which means that at most you're going to get data but no voice (and even data is unlikely due to lack of band/frequency support)
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Old Aug 26, 2017, 9:32 pm
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If you have an unlocked GSM phone, both Optus & Vodafone stores in the SYD arrivals area sell prepaid SIMs for about A$32 that allow unlimited calls to a bunch of countries in Europe, Asia and of course North America. Also includes a few GB of data. You can activate it within 10-15 minutes, i.e. before leaving the airport and while still at the store. Best deal for a casual visitor, IMO.
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Old Aug 27, 2017, 1:07 pm
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I did the $10 a day Verizon plan and would start it say at 2PM and it would last (in essence) a 2nd day until 2PM. I have an iPhone though and using iMessage Voice was the easiest because I pretty much found wifi everywhere. Could also use iMessage free for texting (iPhone to iPhone for both).

I bought a Telstra Pre-Paid SIM Starter kit when I was there in February that I didn't even open. Happy to send it to you if you'd like? It's valid until June 2018. I assume you can PM people on this board???
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Old Sep 1, 2017, 4:16 pm
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Look at the sim only deals at Coles. They sold out on their own brand but had a Lebara one for $10 instead of $30 which came with enough minutes and text and 1GB data which was valid for 1 month and I did not have to top it up.
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Old Sep 10, 2017, 8:40 am
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A local SIM with data is a pretty good deal in Australia.

I used a prepaid Vodafone SIM for years in Australia since I was visiting 1-3 times a year. Switched to Telstra for a while but am now back at Vodafone.

Telstra has, or had, better coverage in rural areas but Vodafone has more customer service points and is more tuned in to visitor needs.

Make sure you register your SIM online with a password. By doing that I was able to replace it free with same number anytime I lost it or just forgot to bring it.

if you don't have an unlocked GSM phone, then you can buy a simple Nokia "dumbphone" , calls and texts only, in Australia for $30 or so.

A basic Smartphone like a Moto or Galaxy J1 comes in around Au$150, with some cheaper special offers.
https://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/...-mobile-phones

I get on very well with my Moto G4 as a spare travel smartphone.
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Old Oct 14, 2017, 6:23 pm
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SIM card for a short stay in Australia

When I visit Australia, I usually get myself a Vodafone or Optis SIM; on my last visit I paid A$30 for about 30 days of virtually unlimited calling. On my next trip, I will be there for 5 days only and was wondering whether there may be any cheaper options which will give me voice and data coverage. The data is needed only to get Uber rides and no other purpose. Any suggestions?
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Old Oct 15, 2017, 8:23 am
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It's possible to get smaller SIM's for shorter periods

Telstra has a $10 sim valid for 7 days with Unlimited calls, texts and 6GB data (drops to 1GB data on the 29th of January 2018).

Optus also have a $10 sim thats also valid for 7 days with 0.5gb data, 100mins of calls and unlimited texts.

Both can be purchased at places which sell the $30 sims you normally get. If you've still got on the the sims you had from last time then it may be possible to just load $10 onto it and get the same inclusions which saves the need to activating a new sim.
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Old Oct 21, 2017, 3:04 am
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Originally Posted by henrus
It's possible to get smaller SIM's for shorter periods

Telstra has a $10 sim valid for 7 days with Unlimited calls, texts and 6GB data (drops to 1GB data on the 29th of January 2018).

Optus also have a $10 sim thats also valid for 7 days with 0.5gb data, 100mins of calls and unlimited texts.

Both can be purchased at places which sell the $30 sims you normally get. If you've still got on the the sims you had from last time then it may be possible to just load $10 onto it and get the same inclusions which saves the need to activating a new sim.
Thanks very much, henrus. Presume the Telstra SIM would be good only for a CDMA phone?
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Old Oct 24, 2017, 5:07 am
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Originally Posted by puchong
Thanks very much, henrus. Presume the Telstra SIM would be good only for a CDMA phone?
There is no such thing as a CDMA SIM. SIM is for GSM, 3G or HSPA+/4G/LTE.

I don't believe there are any CDMA networks operating in Australia. 3G is also known as WCDMA, but despite the similarity in name it is not compatible with CDMA and very different in application.

Telstra has the best network coverage in Australia, and they have a variety of 3G, 4G/LTE towers. Telstra has shut down their 2G network, and I the rest are in process of decommissioning 2G, so you will need at least a 3G phone. For best coverage, use Telstra, but in major cities all carriers have reasonable coverage.

Last edited by CPMaverick; Oct 24, 2017 at 5:14 am
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