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Australian SIMs

drj
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Australian SIMs

I'm going to Australia in September. I presently have Tesco Mobile on contract and Three on PAYG. The Three SIM was sourced for use in the USA last year where I could buy a bundle and "Feel at Home" getting calls, texts and data very cheaply. And calling America using it was MUCH cheaper at, I think, 16p/min than Tesco which was 89p/min for all calls.

 

Whilst Australia is also a "Feel at Home" destination meaning I can buy a bundle again, the call charges to Australia are horrendous at £1.40/min - and I've just checked - the USA is up to that figure now too. Perhaps because of European call charges having been forced lower? The youth in the Three shop - who couldn't give much advice since they didn't have ANY relevant printed material - suggested using Whatsapp Voice or other "non-phone" services instead since they'd use bundled data. The Tesco Mobile shop strangely couldn't actually tell me what it would cost to ring someone in Australia from Australia suggesting it was done at the local rate of whatever operator the phone connected to.

 

So I'm looking for an alternative SIM for cheap calls within Australia. Any ideas/recommendations please? Lebara seem to do one at a "too good to be true" cost of around £10 for unlimited minutes and texts, and 5GB data - http://www.lebara.com.au/30-day-plans/national

 

I have two phones one of which is dual SIM (though I haven't yet tested it with both existing SIMs inserted - must do that).

20 REPLIES
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Re: Australian SIMs

I take it your phone is unlocked 

 

I've no experience of Australia but generally I use Giffgaff with an unlocked phone in the UK and then when traveling I buy a local sim. I have done that in Saudi, Cameroon, Nigeria and Pakistan.

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Re: Australian SIMs

It's worth checking to see if your duel SIM phone will work how you want it to.

Some are constrained how they work like certain banded SIMs working in one slot while a different band works in the other. Meaning no two SIMs of the same network.

 

drj
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Re: Australian SIMs

Thanks both

 

I take it your phone is unlocked 

Both phones were bought SIM free. I have a Nokia 920 and a Medion E5004

 

It's worth checking to see if your duel SIM phone will work how you want it to.

Some are constrained how they work like certain banded SIMs working in one slot while a different band works in the other. Meaning no two SIMs of the same network.

 The instruction "book" is pretty useless - it hardly mentions the dual SIM functionality. I'm going to have to experiment a bit.

 

 

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Re: Australian SIMs

I have a medion e5004 which is dual sim... instructions barely make mention of that either... but it is very reliable. I can't say i've tested two sims on the same network so no clue on that but if i were in your shoes i'd be buying a sim out there in oz... although admittedly that does make it hard to give your number out to friends and family before you go.

What I would advise though is to check if your sim slots can both be used for data. Some dual sim phones only have one slot that can be used for data and this is a hardware limitation - normally the phones have two different sized sim slots. Mine can use data on either but you have to select which one you want to use in the settings but both slots are fully 4G / LTE usable. Only reason i'm making a point of this to you is that out in oz you've no idea what your coverage will be like whereever you travel and so if you need to find a phone number for someone or something.... or even get google maps when you're in the middle of a big desert....

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Mayfly
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Re: Australian SIMs

I had a Medion P4502 with duel sim but the second sim won't allow internet access.

 

Have you checked ASDA roaming rates? I think Australia to Australia rates are 87ppm

drj
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Re: Australian SIMs

Thanks both

 

7up - I'll be downloading maps before I go.   Smiley

 

I had a Medion P4502 with duel sim but the second sim won't allow internet access.

The E5004 appears to allow free choice of SIM for phone, text and data.

 

Have you checked ASDA roaming rates? I think Australia to Australia rates are 87ppm

I haven't  - but  I might as well use my Tesco SIM at 89/m - that's much more than I think I should be charged though.

 

I've discovered Three used to be about 13p/m - they've just increased it to £1.40p/m. I wonder there isn't an outcry!

 

 

 

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Re: Australian SIMs

This page may help....

 

http://whatphone.com.au/sim-only-byo-plans/compare/

 

And the "top prepaid" options page ....

 

http://whatphone.com.au/sim-only-byo-plans/best-prepaid-plans

drj
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Re: Australian SIMs

Thank you - hadn't come across those.

 

EDIT - this looks good:

 

https://www.koganmobile.com.au/1xl-30-day-prepaid-plan/?utm_source=whatphone&utm_medium=cpc&utm_camp...

 

Unlimited calls and texts and 1GB data for $16.95 - about £10

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Re: Australian SIMs

Can't add much at this stage, but as I am going in October, I am keen to benefit from the forum wisdom.

At the moment my thoughts are to pick up a local SIM for a spare phone, and use WiFi where possible for my normal one.

Then again, still need to sort a Sat Nav solution, loading maps before I go and using GPS unless a better way comes up.

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Re: Australian SIMs

@drj & @Mustrum

 

some very interesting reading here.....

 

 

https://www.roundtheworldflights.com/rtw-blogs/index.php/rtw-planning/budgetting/mobiles-in-australi...

 

If you only want to make phone calls, you can buy a cheap basic mobile phone on Telstra, for about A$26.... payg... has A$10 credit on it.. and that lasts for 30 days...

 

https://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/prepaid-mobiles

 

"Smart Phones" are a little more expensive ! !!  !!  ! 

 

https://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/prepaid-mobiles

drj
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Re: Australian SIMs

Thanks - that article mentions use of a non-Australian credit card may be a problem. I'd been hoping to sort it out before I arrive, but it might be better getting the friends I'm staying with to sort something out for me.

RobPN
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Re: Australian SIMs


Mustrum wrote:

..., and use WiFi where possible for my normal one. ...


If you're going to be using Wi-Fi why not use VoIP over the Wi-Fi?  There are accounts available which would enable you to call UK (landline and mobile) and Australian landline numbers for 0p to 1p per minute and you can configure them to give out any phone number you 'own' (e,g, either of your mobile numbers?) as CLI.  Australian mobiles are slightly more expensive at 1p to 2p per minute.

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Re: Australian SIMs


drj wrote:

Thanks both

 

I take it your phone is unlocked 

Both phones were bought SIM free. I have a Nokia 920 and a Medion E5004 


 


7up wrote:

I have a medion e5004 which is dual sim...

What I would advise though is to check if your sim slots can both be used for data. 


 

Apologies drj, when I replied I hadn't seen your further reply stating it was also an E5004. That being the case, you do have two 4G LTE slots. The phone can be set to ask you which phone connection you want to use each time you call or text or you can set a default. Only the data has to be permanently set with a default in order for the internet to be used at leisure but you can switch that whenever you need (though both sims will be turned off and back on each time you do this) 

 


Mayfly wrote:

I had a Medion P4502 with duel sim but the second sim won't allow internet access.


It's not the same phone. To be fair, the E5004 is a very good phone but it comes via ALDI as one of their specials. You can't buy it via Medion and Medions own phones don't match it for the price... in fact none of their phones seem to match it. I'm not really sure how ALDI managed to get that phone out of Medion especially at that price.

 


drj wrote:

Thanks both

 

7up - I'll be downloading maps before I go.   Smiley

 

The E5004 appears to allow free choice of SIM for phone, text and data. See above comment.

 

Have you checked ASDA roaming rates? I think Australia to Australia rates are 87ppm

I haven't  - but  I might as well use my Tesco SIM at 89/m


 For UK calls, ASDA are far cheaper than Tesco - they're the second cheapest after Three but they only offer 3G. My main number is a Tesco number and my backup is ASDA as they are on the EE network so I have two physically different network connections should one be unavailable.

 

As for downloading maps, be sure not to install and use the yahoo mail app on your E5004. I've no idea why but it screws up the GPS on this phone and it becomes very irratic and pretty unusable - at one point it told me I was on the other side of the county.. and then told me to do a U-turn when I was in the 3rd lane of a major motorway... and so many more. I took that phone back to ALDI and got another one. Did nothing with it for the first few days just to be sure the GPS was functional. It was fine.. until I install the yahoo mail app again and then it all went south. The moment I uninstalled it the GPS was back to normal again. So I've had two E5004s affected by yahoos mail app.

 

It is a great phone but it's only tri-band not quadband so be sure to look into the frequencies used in Oz before you go out there with it.

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drj
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Re: Australian SIMs


RobPN wrote:


If you're going to be using Wi-Fi why not use VoIP over the Wi-Fi?  There are accounts available which would enable you to call UK (landline and mobile) and Australian landline numbers for 0p to 1p per minute and you can configure them to give out any phone number you 'own' (e,g, either of your mobile numbers?) as CLI.  Australian mobiles are slightly more expensive at 1p to 2p per minute.


Could you advise what to look for please?