Short Term Prepaid Mobile in the Bush

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 13:49
ThreadID: 119137 Views:2194 Replies:10 FollowUps:10
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I am with Optus for my mobile phone as it is cheap and suits 99.9% of my needs when at home.

However we all know it is crap outside the major population centres but certainly in NSW it hasn't been too bad in remote NSW towns - or so I thought.

Was recently in Cobar (phone no data), Wilcannia, Menindee, Pooncarie and Mungo and environs inbetween and had no coverage where there was Telstra all the time.

So for future trips i am going to have to get some sort of Telstra prepaid and divert my Optus number to it.

In addition to phone, I need data (probably) less than 1.5gb as I use the phone as a wifi hotspot for a tablet and laptop. As my trips are less than a month I have been looking at 28-30day prepaid options.

Telstra have a $30 28 day prepaid that has a call allowance that suits me and 1.3gb of data but I know many companies have other plans that may not be advertised and not generally promoted.

So does anyone know of other Telstra plans that might suit my needs.

Thanks

Garry

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Reply By: Gronk - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 14:01

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 14:01
Don't know of any other Telstra plans, but I have recently gone from Telstra to Boost ( still Telstra ).....$20/mth for 100 mins of calls....1Gb of data plus an extra 500Mb of a sunday..........or $40/mth for unlimited calls....3 Gb of data plus an extra 1 Gb of a sunday..

Boost is only 3G, but who cares...especially in the outback !
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 18:21

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 18:21
I think Boost only uses part of the Telstra network.

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Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 18:24

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 18:24
I just Googled it, they use the full 3G network, but no 4G.
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 21:11

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 21:11
I'm pretty sure that's what I said above !!
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 08:51

Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 08:51
Several use Telstra, but not the full network, such as Aldi, I thought Boost was one of them!!
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Reply By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 14:08

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 14:08
Another T option is to go on their Simplicity prepaid plan. You buy as much credit as you need, 30 day and up expiry, and call costs are only 15c a minute (inc to some o/s countries such as the US). And buy browse packs for data (eg. 700 meg for $20). The SIM can lie dormant for some months before you risk cancellation.

Don't forget to get a Blue Tick phone for the improved reception in the bush.
AnswerID: 554776

Reply By: TomH - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 16:47

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 16:47
Your Optus phone may be locked to Optus and if so may not even pick up Telsta 3G as Optus is 900mhz and Telstra is 850mhz. You need a tri or quad band phone to pick up both.
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Reply By: Nifty1 - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 17:14

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 17:14
Aldi mobile use the Telstra network. You can get a data only service of 1.5Gb for $16.50, or 3Gb for $30. Both expire in 30 days.
AnswerID: 555784

Reply By: Doc - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 17:26

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 17:26
Just to clarify, only Telstra themselves and Boost have access to the entire Telstra mobile network, all other Telstra resellers (including Aldi) only have access to part of the network, so not full coverage. Only Telstra have 4G, Boost is limited to 3G. If you are happy with 3G the Boost plans are great value, and less confusing than the Telstra options.

So if you want the best coverage, choose between Telstra & Boost. If you want 4G, go to Telstra.

As someone else said, you will need to make sure your phone supports the correct frequencies for Telstra, or buy another handset that does. There are several cheap prepaid handsets that will support the Telstra network. Note that a Boost prepaid handset will work with a Telstra sim, and I believe that a locked Telstra handset will work with a Boost sim.
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Reply By: birdnerd - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 18:09

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 18:09
I will second the Aldi vote. We both have prepaid with them and have had no problems on our road trips "out bush".
Amanda
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 18:13

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 18:13
Can't help you with a cheap prepaid, Garry, but do have a cheap phone suggestion.

Needed a second phone in case my current Telstra unit spat the dummy. Bought a Telstra T96 from local electrical shop.......only $49!!!

Turns out I later buggered the charge socket in the main phone and now use the cheapy as a charging unit. Pretty sure it's a Blue Tick, though haven't used it as a phone. :-)

Bob

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Reply By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 21:04

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 21:04
Boost is the only way to go....and I am writing from experience.......

It uses 100% Telstra network...NB ....All towers even the "private" mining sites etc. The only drawback is pegged at G not 4 G speed...that is hardly an issue as if travelling away from towns etc 4G isn't available any way

My phone is Telstra post pay...the wife's is Boost pre pay.....100 % same quality of signal and service out in the bush.........mines 4g in the major towns...simple as that

cheers

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Follow Up By: Gronk - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 21:15

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 21:15
I don't think I have needed to use 4G anyway ( when I was with Telstra )...making phone calls and texting and accessing web sites like this are fine on 3G Boost !!
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Follow Up By: Jos - Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 11:02

Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 11:02
In the same situation as Bungarra. We live in the remote outback. Husband has Telstra (work phone) and I have Boost. Same service and quality.
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Reply By: garrycol - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 22:44

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 22:44
Thanks for the input - handset is a Samsung Galaxy S4 that has never been attached to any network so will work with any service provider of the standard digital networks.

Most other companies using the Telstra network do use the cutdown version so may not have the same cover though it does seem Boost is different.

4G is not an issue as Canberra where I live does not have 4G on Optus yet the highway up the road does.

I will investigate the Boost option further.

Thanks for the input.

Garry
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 23:06

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2015 at 23:06
That's because Boost IS Telstra..
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Follow Up By: TomH - Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 08:33

Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 08:33
????? You say you are on Optus but that your S4 has not been connected to anything.

Depending on where you bought it it may still be locked to a provider.

Eg Telstra Optus and Vodaphone usually lock their phones that you buy direct off them.

If you buy from Kogan or a 3rd party seller it will likely be an unlocked version.
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Follow Up By: member - mazcan - Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 12:34

Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 12:34
hi garycol
i have a samsung S4 it is a good reliable phone with good features that my daughter gave me she bought it from optus so it is locked on optus network ive been using it here in Bunbury but i have had a belly full of optus signals dropping in and out in the middle of calls
so i'm changing to the only mobile network worth having when my current pre-paid runs out shortly and that will be back to telstra
i used to be a telstra m/bile customer with my previous original A701 samsung flip phone that i bought new and lasted 8 years
i have tried Amazim as well a total waste of time even worse than optus and they tagged onto optus network
my daughter will be passing her current samsung S5 to me shortly that i will have to have unlocked to use on telstra when she receives her upgrade to an optus supplied samsung S6 thanks for the thread it is full of interesting replies and imfo from other posters
cheers
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 13:33

Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 13:33
Thanks Tom - the phone is an independent purchase not attached to any service provider - simply removed my sim from my old phone - also an independent purchase (from Hong Kong) and plugged it into the Samsung.

cheers

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Reply By: Member - RUK42 (QLD) - Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 20:09

Thursday, Jun 11, 2015 at 20:09
I'm currently two thirds into a trip including Kakadu Gibb R Rd Karajini WA Goldfields Flinders Ra Birdsville track. I'm using a $50 Telstra prepaid plan. It gives me 2gb of data that we use for web and FaceTime calls to out family. Phone time also is in excess of what we need for our frequent calls back to family. Telstra coverage has been very good. I think the only place with no reception was Gibb R.
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