International travel and your mobile device

Using your mobile phone when travelling overseas, while necessary, is expensive. Receiving calls also incurs a cost so please only take those you need to receive.

Understanding how charges are incurred and what options are available can help reduce the expense.

This information should be read in conjunction with our UON mobile phone user guide (PDF, 142KB).

Before you travel

  1. Activate international roaming on your phone. Log a job with the IT Service Desk at least seven working days before you intend to travel. We will then send a request to Telstra (the University's carrier) to enable the service.
  2. Check international roaming for the country you are visiting (Telstra has pricing agreements with carriers in many countries. Your device should automatically pick up the 'partner' carrier. If your phone does not, see your phone user guide - point 4 below). Visit the Telstra web site and read the international roaming user guide (PDF, 357KB).
  3. Convert the numbers in your phone book to international format. Add +61 to the beginning of the phone number without the leading 0 of the STD number or mobile number eg (02) 4921 5000 becomes +61 2 4921 5000 and 0435 673 199 becomes +61 435 673 199.
  4. Pack a copy of your mobile phone user guide (useful for turning off data services and knowing what to do if you can't connect to a network). If you can't find the user guide supplied with your phone, download a user guide or instruction manual from the manufacturers web site. Some common sites are:
  5. Decide if you need to access the internet from your mobile while overseas. International Global Roaming (IGR) is expensive in most countries and is turned on by default on UON provided mobiles. Users who have not traveled before, should check this feature is enabled before departure as some mobiles may have this feature turned off. On arrival overseas, the first use of Voice, SMS, Apps or Data will trigger the addition of a $10 International Day Pass. The Day Pass provides unlimited voice and sms calls in the subscribed countries (click here to view the Day pass Data Sheet), and 100 Mb of data. Any excess data used that day will be charged at $10 per 500Mb or part thereof. Internet enabled iPads/Tablets or 3/4G Hotspot dongles will also activate the Day Pass on each service if turned on. If you are cost conscious, consider turning Data Roaming off to keep costs down. If extensive data use is expected log a job with the IT Service Desk via serviceUON at least seven working days before you are going to travel to discuss the current data pack options.

Alternative communication options

  • If you are travelling to another university check if it is an eduroam member. Visit eduroam for a list of international members.
  • In available countries consider purchasing a local pre-paid sim card. Buy a cheap unlocked phone (either in Australia or overseas) and purchase the sim when you get to your destination. Due to some countries International Terrorist/Security Policies many western countries no longer allow the purchase of prepaid sims unless a client can prove residency. Please check your destinations laws and policies before you leave and adjust your plans accordingly.
  • Use your phone's built in Wi-Fi capability. Use the free Wi-Fi networks in hotels, cafes and other hotspots.
  • Use the in-hotel wireless internet connection. For extended internet access, investigate the cost of using the hotel Internet connection. The majority of hotels will offer either a fixed line or wireless Internet connection on either a fixed price on a daily rate, or as a complementary service. The Qantas Club and other International Airlines usually offer complementary wireless for member use while in their facilities.