Being a westernised country it is all too easy to set yourself up with a phone from when you arrive in Oz and begin to communicate. Personally I was a bit short of money at the beginning in Perth but it was nearly my birthday so Scotty bought me a basic Samsung handset from Vodafone for around $30 and the sim card was only $2. With the help of a very chirpy young girl I had my phone number set up and my account credited with a prepaid package costing $29. There are many different options when you are crediting your phone and the most popular packages for prepaid customers are the 30 day bundles. For my $29 I was entitled to 500MB of data and 300 minutes to other Vodafone customers and 150 ‘Flexi’ minutes to other network providers and Oz landlines. Text messages were unlimited. At first I thought this was a great deal as I was completely set up with a handset and 30 day package within half an hour for the total cost of $61.
Since being in Oz for a few more months I have learned that Vodafone are actually the worst provider to go with as you do not get anywhere near as much for your money as the likes of Optus, Telstra and my current network provider called Amaysim. These other companies have much more power and dominate the Aussie community and offer much better signal strength and freedom of use in the more remote and isolated areas of Australia (Ideal if you’re a backpacker who needs to complete 88 days of farm regional work in the often isolated regions in the Aussie outback).
My Amaysim prepaid service is $39 dollars for 30 days and offers me,
- Unlimited calls to any network
- Unlimited texts to any network
- Unrivalled signal strength all over Oz as it uses Optus signal masts
- A massive 4GB of data (which is impossible to use in 30 days unless you hammer Youtube 24/7)
- No ties whatsoever and the option to top up whenever you like through any newsagent or supermarket etc
I have used my phone religiously and without it I could not have found work as most employers in Australia rightfully so expect you to contact them via phone call instead of emails or text messaging. These prepaid packages are ideal for travellers as they offer ultimate flexibility and extreme ease of use so I would encourage anyone to use these services. The providers I regard the highest are Optus and Amaysim and the price is very small considering what you get from them.