Overseas travel-mobile phone

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 18:15
ThreadID: 96534 Views:2236 Replies:8 FollowUps:3
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Gidday all.

Nothing to do with 4wd, but my wife is going overseas shortly to Italy, France and England (lucky bugga). She will be taking the mobile with her but we are wondering what you need to do to make this work overseas to;
1/ mobile phone access (phone home)
2 / email and Internet access for contact, banking etc

It is a connected to Telstra.


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Reply By: aussiedingo (River Rina) - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 18:37

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 18:37
G'day Greg, leave your telstra sim at home, international roaming is prohibitive - make sure you turn OFF international roaming on your phone before you leave home. When you get there buy a local prepaid and save lots! even if you have to buy a cheap one in each country, but there may be a single sim for your travels, have fun, hoo roo
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Reply By: didjabringabeer - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 18:45

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 18:45
Hi Get a prepaid sim over there.The one I used had good rates for calling back here.Dearer to make local calls. It was one of the more popular ones, shops everywhere.Brian
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Follow Up By: didjabringabeer - Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 11:03

Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 11:03
Just remembered, i made a call from Paris to here with the UK sim card. Was up the Eiffel tower had a signal and made a call to Perth. So France will proberly work
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Reply By: Stevesub1 - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 18:45

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 18:45
I travel overseas almost monthly, mainly for work. I take 2 phones, a dumb non smart phone and put my OZ sim card in it. I use that only to recive OZ calls and txt's from home. For my smart phone, I buy a local prepay sim card and use that for all calls, email, etc.

I have sim cards for NZ, USA and Singapore right now. If they expire when I leave, I buy a new one next trip.

You will find that usually the overseas calls, data, etc are much cheaper than here except for NZ.

By using a dumb phone for my OZ card, there is no bill shock when I get home. Just make sure that you take unlocked phones with you. If you have a Telstra supplied phone, it is probaly locked and will not work with a non Telstra sim card. I never get locked phones.

There should also be plenty of free or cheap WiFi but be careful doing say banking without a VPN as you could get hacked on free or hotel WiFi.

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Reply By: Member - blackbird1937 - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 18:46

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 18:46
Hi Greg, Tell your wife to be careful as a friend of a friend went to NZ recently . Used Telstra mobile at night to listen to radio in OZ . Got home to a $34,000 bill . After a lot of phone calls it is down to $18,000 but that looks like what she will have to pay . When I was in UK and IOM with a group , a friend rang his wife from phone box , I did not ring at all . Sent a card once in a blue moon . Vern
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Reply By: fawkesp - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 20:53

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 20:53

Generally you have three options, all cost different amounts and have various benefits.

The cheapest is to purchase a sim in each country your wife visits, however in her case, this will mean that she would probably have three different mobile numbers, one for each sim.

Slightly dearer is to purchase a 'TravelSim' in Australia, usually from your local post office. Calls using this sim are a little dearer but the benefit is that you keep the same number throughout all three countries, and any other countries she may stop over on during her travels to and fro.

Lastly, and the dearest, is to keep the Telstra sim, though to be fair, it would probably be cheaper for you to accompany her than pay their 'roaming' phone charges.

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Follow Up By: Member - Greg H (NT) - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 21:19

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 21:19
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 22:29

Wednesday, Jun 27, 2012 at 22:29
From personal recent experience, the option of buying a prepaid sim for your phone is not as simple as it sounds.

I was recently in Canada and as suggested by a local Telstra dealer, I visited a telco over there to purchase a prepaid sim for my phone.
Rogers is the largest Telco in Western Canada and I visited a store in Victoria (Vancouver Island).

I have an iPhone and they tried a GSM sim card in my phone which would not recognise it.
It would appear that the GSM sim card used in Canada is different than what is required for a GSM phone in Australia.

My iPhone with my Telstra sim card in it (with Global Roaming enabled) worked perfectly on both the Rogers network (most of Canada and Alaska) and the Telus
network (a couple of areas in Canada) and this is what I used, knowing that I may incur higher costs for calls made or received.
I used a Samsung Tablet via WiFi when I wished to use internet banking, but I had the benefit of free WiFi in most of the hotels I stayed at.

The only other option was to purchase a phone and prepaid sim package, but that was not considered a cost effective viability for the two or so weeks I was in Canada, or the week on a cruise with an American cruise line, which may have required a different solution again.

Europe may be a different proposition and the only advice I can offer is to ensure your wife has her current phone enabled for International Roaming, which will give her a very good "backup option". Then check with a large and reputable Telco network with coverage in the areas/Countries your wife will visit to see if a prepaid sim card or two is suitable for her phone.

If using your own phone and sim card while overseas, ensure that any "push" technology on a smart phone is disabled, then only use the phone for overseas calls when absolutely necessary.
You should also be aware that any calls, SMS and emails made to that phone while overseas will incur a cost for that phone, regardless of who initiated the call.

I found with careful use, I made a few calls home to my son, without generating exhorbinate costs.
One call I received from him which lasted a few minutes, did cost a fair amount, but it was a family matter that I was happy to pay the high cost of for him to be able to contact me at any time.

One needs to weigh up the potential cost of overseas mobile usage versus the convenience of being contactable by family, or being able to easily contact them if required.


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Reply By: mikehzz - Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 01:01

Thursday, Jun 28, 2012 at 01:01
Ring Telstra and get the data turned off for the trip. We use text messages daily to keep in touch but you have to have international roaming enabled. When we book a hotel we make sure it has wifi for emails and Skype. We have tried local prepaid sims in about 4 countries but they can be a pain to activate where English is not spoken and the performance is up and down as well. Learn to use Skype on wifi, it is the best way to have a chat without it costing a bomb. There is a Skype app for most smart phones. Did I mention turning your data off before you leave? :-)
AnswerID: 489581

Follow Up By: Member - Michael A (ACT) - Saturday, Jun 30, 2012 at 12:10

Saturday, Jun 30, 2012 at 12:10
Skype is gppd

Our son was in south America for a couple of months playing football
What we found useful was a small netbook computer using local wi-fi networks and Skype.

I am still trying to use up Skype credit of 20.00 after several months.



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Reply By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Sunday, Jul 01, 2012 at 08:13

Sunday, Jul 01, 2012 at 08:13
We posted a similar thread about 3 months ago prior to going to Europe for 3 weeks, search and you will find it.

We found that we could suffice with text messages and as my wife's phone is a "smart phone", where wi fi was available (free or purchased) SKYPE. WiFi Skype on a smart phone was fantastic, ultimately we didn't bother with a local SIM card.
E mails could be done through the smart phone, fortunately we didn't need internet banking.

Bon voyage
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