Information on mobile phones and the internet for international students University of Newcastle, Australia

Mobile Phones and Internet

Australia has a range of phone and internet services available, including public phones, fixed (landline) phones, mobile and internet.

Some of the major mobile phone and internet providers are Optus, Vodaphone, Telstra and Virgin.

Many providers will have outlets in major shopping centers. Mobile phones and SIM cards can also be purchased from some Post Offices.

Mobile phones

It is best to purchase a SIM card or Australian mobile number when you arrive in Australia, as using your home phone number will incur high costs. There are two types of mobile phone accounts you can choose from:

Prepaid

A prepaid service gives you flexibility because you control how much you spend and can stop using the service any time. Pre-paid SIM cards are sold in many shops and supermarkets, as well as by mobile phone providers. After an easy set-up process with the provider, you will have a working Australian mobile number which you can top up with credit as needed. You can usually top up your prepaid service online or at a range of retail outlets. Your mobile phone provider can provide details on how you can top up your service.

Contract

If you will be using your mobile a lot, and will be in Australia for a fixed period of time for study, a contract might work out cheaper for you. There are numerous mobile phone operators in Australia, and you can choose from a range of phone plans where you can get the handset with little (if any) up-front cost; you then pay a fixed price per month for a certain amount of calls, text messages and data.

Internet

Many internet providers in Australia are also mobile or fixed phone carriers, and they offer pre-paid or contract internet plans similar to the above. If you choose a contract service, will receive a modem, and just like a phone service, you pay a monthly rate to get a certain data allowance. Ask the providers you are considering for details of plans that might suit you.

Making international calls

To make international telephone calls from Australia, dial 0011 followed by the country code, the area code (if required) and the telephone number. To call Australia from overseas, dial 61 followed by the area code and telephone number. To make calls from one location to another within Australia, dial the area code (if required) followed by the telephone number.