11Shopping for a phone plan and data

Shopping for a phone plan and data

Plans and carriers

Telstra, Australia’s largest telco, is one of the main carriers with probably the best coverage nationwide, which can be very useful if you’re taking road trips and run out of gas in the middle of the Outback (… just don’t!). However, extensive coverage has a price, and Telstra is far from being the cheapest option.
If coverage is your main concern and if you’re travelling as a couple or with friends, consider signing up with different carriers to get the best possible coverage and maybe splitting costs and minutes.

The other two main carriers are Vodafone and Optus. Optus still offers good nationwide coverage but Vodafone is best if you’re only sticking to big cities.

A few low-cost carriers lease service from the main networks, including:

  • Boost (Telstra)
  • Aldi (Telstra)
  • Woolworth (Telstra)
  • Amaysim (Optus)
  • Yomojo (Optus)
  • Ovo (Optus)
  • Dodo (Optus)
  • Coles (Optus)
  • Kogan Mobile (Vodafone)

With these low-cost options, coverage is generally not as good as if you were with one of the big three. For instance, Aldi and Woolworth use Telstra’s network but offer less coverage and a slower connection. Boost, also on Telstra network, seems more reliable.

Many WHV holders go for commitment-free prepaid cards to manage their budget but one-year or two-year plans are also available if you suspect you’ll be using your phone a lot. No contract plans (e.g. month-to-month plans) can be a good compromise for flexibility, even if they cost a bit more and you may need to pay a certain minimum amount monthly.

Shop around to find the plan or prepaid card that fits your needs. If you know you’ll be spending a lot of time in the Outback, Telstra or Boost may be your wisest option. However, if you’re sticking to big cities, don’t splurge for nationwide coverage.

Forget about unlimited data, you’ll buy data packs (1 GB, 2 GB, etc.). In big cities, 4G devices work well, not so much in rural areas.

Buying a prepaid card and signing up for a plan

It’s easy, just do research online, then go to the chosen carrier’s nearest retail store. Note that you will need to bring your passport.
If you brought your unlocked phone, you should be able to use it in Australia. Otherwise, shop around for a new device in Australia, the cost will depend on your plan and carrier.

Finally, remember that 000 is the primary national emergency number in Australia.

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Cofondatrice de pvtistes.net, j'ai fait 2 PVT, au Canada et en Australie. Deux expériences incroyables ! Je vous retrouve régulièrement sur nos comptes Insta et Tiktok @pvtistes avec plein d'infos utiles !
Cofounder of pvtistes.net. I went to Canada and Australia on Working Holiday aventures. It was amazing!

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