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Australia

Basics Edit

After the merger of Vodafone and Three in 2009-13, three national networks remain in Australia:

  • Telstra
  • Optus (yes)
  • Vodafone Australia

This is added by a very competitive MVNO market on all three operators. They are sometimes cheaper, but some of them still don't offer 4G/LTE or only good data SIM cards: ALDI mobile, amaysim, Belong Mobile, Boost mobile, Catch Connect, dodo, exetel, gotalk, Hello Mobile, Kogan Mobile, Lebara mobile, Lycamobile, TPG, Vaya, yomojo amongst others. Some MVNO companies left the market recently: Global Gossip, Savvytel, Virgin mobile and yatango (rebranded as yomojo) amongst others are not listed anymore.

In 2017 local cable provider TPG acquired spectrum for a nationwide 4G network. They began rollout in 2018 and it came to an halt in January 2019 after the Australian Government decided to ban Huawei equipment due to security concerns. Simultanously, 2018 Vodafone has agreed to a merger with TPG pending legislative approval. So TPG's own operator plans seem to be shortlived.

The Australian external territories have a special article as they are not served by the providers mentioned here. This refers to Christmas Island, Cocos (Kneeling) Islands, Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island. They are listed in a special article instead.

Frequencies and coverage Edit

2G: All operators shut down their 2G networks in 2017. You need a 3G or 4G/LTE enabled device in Australia.

3G on 850 MHz, 900 MHz, 2100 MHz.

  • Telstra has the best coverage in Australia on its "Next G" network on 850 MHz (B5). It covers 99% of the population. 2100 Mhz (B1) was switched off (to allow refarming to 4G) in March 2019.
  • Optus is in 2nd spot on 900 MHz (B8) covering 98.5% of the population. Back up on 2100 MHz for some locations.
  • Vodafone uses 900 MHz (B8) and 2100 MHz (B1) frequencies to cover about 96% of the population. It intends to progressively refarm all B1 3G to LTE (4G) by the end of 2019.

Older phones, including some with LTE support may support only one of 850 MHz (B5) or 900 Mhz (B1) depending on which part of the world they come from. Due to the absence of GSM (2G) all calls are handled using the 3G networks, unless VoLTE is supported.

Travelers from the Americas with older phones should check support for 900 MHz (B8) as this frequency is not common in that region of the world. If it is not supported, Telstra is probably best. Similarly, phones from Asia and Europe may not support 850 MHz (B5), in which case Optus and Vodafone would be preferable.

4G/LTE: 700 MHz (band 28), 850 MHz (band 5), 900 MHz (band 8), 1800 MHz (band 3), 2100 MHz (band 1), 2300 MHz (band 40 in TDD), 2600 MHz (band 7):

  • Telstra: already covers 90% of the population with 4G in 2015. Its main frequencies are 1800 MHz (B3) and 700 MHz (B28) nationwide, backed up by 2600 MHz (B7) and 2100 MHz (B1) in population centres. 900 MHz (B8) is also used for a small number of sites.
  • Optus: covers 90% of the population using mainly their 700 MHz (B28) and 1800 MHz (B3) frequencies. This is added by 2600 MHz (B7) in rural areas, 2300 MHz TDD-LTE (B40) in metro areas.
  • Vodafone: was the last to start with 4G/LTE. It uses mainly the 850 MHz (B5) band mostly with some 1800 MHz (B3) and 2100 MHz (B1) supplements in regions.

The crowdsourced state of mobile networks report by OpenSignal from Nov. 2017 showed all 3 networks tied for the best 4G/LTE coverage slightly above 85%. Average 4G/LTE download speed was fairly high too and ranged between 30 and 38 Mbps on all three providers.

According to OzTowers at the end of 2017 Optus had 6123, Telstra 5637 and Vodafone 4617 towers working on 4G/LTE .

Both Telstra and Optus use the relatively 700 Mhz (B28) band for national coverage. Similarly, Vodafone relies heavily on 850 MHz (B5) for its national coverage. 4G coverage outside of metro areas, and in some indoor locations is likely to be significantly reduced on devices that do not support Band 28 (Telstra, Optus)/ Band 5 (Vodafone).

As Band 28 was previously uncommon, it's worth confirming support prior to purchasing a Telstra or Optus sim card, particularly for devices from North America, which allocates 700 MHz differently. Similarly, band 5 support was uncommon outside of North America.

Regulations Edit

For all Australian prepaid SIM cards, you used to show some photo ID (drivers licence or passport) in an outlet of the operator. Nowadays activation is mostly done online through the website of the operator. There you have to fill in your personal data before the SIM card will activate. Usually a passport and any Australian address (like your accomodation) is sufficient.

The major brands like Telstra, Optus, Vodafone or resellers like amaysim or Lycamobile are sold in kiosks, newspaper stands, fuel stations, major supermarkets and other stores all over the country. Only smaller brands or brands linked to a distribution chain must be bought in their special outlets.

Be aware that some supermarket brands like those of Aldi, Coles or others can only be activated online. For this you need a WiFi connection or a secondary SIM. Most foreigners can only be verified by a small debit on your credit card. For this you need a Master- or VISA-card (not common in China) and the possibility to check your debits in real time. If you don't have such a credit or debit card, stick to the brands of the operators and activate them in their branded stores like at the international airports.

First the three network operators are shown in order of their market position in the country (what coverage or customers are concerned), followed by some of their MVNOs in alphabetical order.

All prices quoted in $ are in AUD$ (Australian dollars).

Telstra Edit

Telstra

Telstra, officially Telstra Corp. Ltd,. is the former public telco of the country, but for long been privatised now. As such it has the most extensive coverage at the highest prices. It's 3G and 4G networks are the best in the country and has the best coverage, especially in rural areas although there isn't much difference in most major towns. While historically the cost is higher than average, if you are looking to connect from remote areas, this is sometimes the only network available and/or reliable: coverage map.

Frequencies Edit

Telstra closed down its 2G network on 1st December 2016. 3G: 850 MHz (main frequency, countryside), 2100 MHz (back-up in centres). 4G: 700 MHz (Band 28), 1800 MHz = main frequency (B3) , 2600 MHz (B7 in CBDs). In 2017 Telstra announced that it covered 99% of population by 4G. This gives the best 4G coverage in the country, but leaves many areas in the outback still uncovered. Without a fallback to 2G, for a good coverage in the countryside on 3G you'll need to have a 3G 850 MHz device which is not so common in some parts of the world, 2100 MHz covers many urban areas.

Availability Edit

In Telstra T-Life stores and many other places. However, not all T-Life stores are run by Telstra, some are franchises: store locator Their prepaid SIM starter kit comes in three varieties in all SIM sizes open for 4G/LTE:

  • for free: without any credit loaded
  • $10: including unlimited domestic mins and SMS and 1 GB data for 1 week
  • $30: including $30 credit
  • $40: including $40 credit

You can top-up by voucher, available at many stores, service stations or supermarkets, by debit/credit card or PayPal online on your Telstra account. To check your balance type #100#.

Prepaid SIM card Edit

You can choose between 4 different prepaid tariff lines. All prepaid Telstra offers provides free Telstra Air WiFi data. These are the WiFi hotspots located on top of the Telstra public pay phone boxes located nationwide. Their three lines of plans are:

  • Pre-Paid Extra: features all-in combo packs with data and unlimited domestic calls and texts included valid for 28 days. Take care: overuse is charged at $2 per MB! Data up to 50 GB rolls over when you top-up at least $30. Special add-on packages can be added for extra data:
    • $30: 2.5 GB, $5 credit
    • $40: 5 GB, $10 credit, unlimited calls to 10 countries
    • $50: 7.5 GB, $15 credit, unlimited calls to 10 countries
    • $60: 10 GB, $20 credit, unlimited calls 10 countries
  • Day2Day: For $1 per day you get unlimited domestic calls and SMS and 100 MB data regardless of usage. A day is based on the 24h clock in the AEST time zone. Any additional data block of 100 MB is for another $5. Any top-up is valid for the equivalent number of days in $. Note, that there are no other add-on packages available for this line.
  • Long Life Plus: Here default data is charged at $0.10 per MB. A top-up of $20 is valid for 60 days, $30-50 for 6 months and $70-100 for 12 months with data roll over. Standard packages can be added.

Data feature packages Edit

Data packages differ according to plan:

  • for Pre-Paid Extra (previously called Pre-Paid Plus) you can add by #100#:
    • 1 GB for $10
    • 2.5 GB for $20
  • for Long Life Plus plans you can add by code to 125 7587:
    • $5: 30 MB - activation; BROWSEPLUS5
    • $10: 200 MB - activation: BROWSEPLUS10
    • $20: 700 MB - activation; BROWSEPLUS20
    • $39: 1 GB - activation: BROWSEPLUS39
    • $49: 3 GB - activation: BROWSEPLUS49
    • $59: 4 GB - activation: BROWSEPLUS59

There are no packages for the Day2Day plan.

Data-only SIM Edit

For their data-only SIM aimed at tablets and modems, you need to buy a special prepaid starter kit designated "for tablets": They are sold like the voice SIMs for $2, $10 or $30 (see above) in all SIM sizes. They only contain data and text, no voice.

To get started you’ll need to activate your SIM Card online here. Make sure you have your new service number or SIM serial number. You’ll find this on the packaging.

Take care, that without a package, you stay at the expensive default rate of $2 per MB. You can add these packages:

Data Time Price
2 GB 14 days $ 20
5 GB 28 days $ 30
10 GB 28 days $ 50
25 GB 28 days $ 90
10 GB 180 days $ 70
30 GB 365 days $ 150

Your unused data will roll over to the next month when you recharge before your credit expiry date.

More info Edit

Optus (yes)Edit

Optus

Optus a.k.a. yes is the 2nd oldest telco in Australia. It is now owned by Singtel. So their official name is Singtel Optus Pty Limited. It's the biggest rival of Telstra in Australia. The coverage is not as good as Telstra's in the countryside, but in most cities and towns, there is little difference between the two of them. Optus has a very detailed coverage map system that gives expected service quality information for voice and data and is available here.

Optus is a wholesaler for a number of smaller MVNOs which often offer less expensive services with the same network as Optus and can be found further down the page.

Frequencies Edit

2G coverage is no longer be available since August 2017. 3G: 900 MHz, 2100 MHz. 4G/LTE: 700 MHz (band 28, national coverage frequency covering 90% of the population), 1800 MHz (other main frequency), 2300 MHz (TDD) (metro capacity frequency), 2600 MHz (regional capacity frequency).

Availability Edit

In all yes Optus stores (locator), many Australian post offices and other places. Their prepaid SIM starter kit comes in 3 varieties in all 3 SIM sizes and is open for 4G/LTE:

  • $2: without any credit
  • $10: including $10 credit
  • $30: including $30 credit
  • $40: including $40 credit

You can top-up by voucher, available at many stores, service stations or supermarkets, by debit/credit card or PayPal online on your Optus account here.

You will also need to log on to Optus website to activate SIM here. You will need an Australian address to activate your SIM card. You can give an hotel address or any other for it.

Credit expiry depends on how much credit you top up with and which prepaid plan you have activated. To check your balance text the number 1 to 9999.

Prepaid SIM card Edit

They have 4 different plans for prepaid based on daily or monthly rates:

  • Daily Plus: For $2 per day you get 500 MB data and unlimited AU voice and text debited only on the days you are using your phone. A day is based on the 24h clock in local time zone. Using more data, you will charged another $2 for 524 MB up to $4 per GB in one day. If you need even more data, you can buy an add-on of 500 MB for $2 by texting 'MENU' to 999. A $10 or $20 top-up is valid for 30 days, any larger amount for 6 months and any unused credit will roll over when you top-up before expiry.
  • Long Expiry: Data is charged at 7c per MB, but packs can be added (using the Optus website or app). Data starts at $5 providing 500 MB for 14 days and $10 providing 1.5 GB data which also lasts for 14 days. A $10 top-up last for 45 days, $20 for 90 days $30-50 for 186 days and a $60 top up providing 365 days validity.
  • Prepaid Epic Value: All plans are valid for 42 days and come with unlimited domestic talk and text:
    • $30: 1 GB
    • $40: 5 GB
    • $50: 10 GB
    • $60: 12 GB
    • $70: 13 GB
    • $80: 14 GB
    • $100: 16 GB
  • Prepaid Epic Data: All plans come with 10 GB free streaming on Netflix, Stan and ABC iView.
Top-up Validity Data Extras Credit
$ 10 5 days 500 MB 100 mins, unlimited text ----
$ 20 10 days 12 GB 200 mins, unlimited text ----
$ 30 28 days 5 GB unlimited calls and texts $ 5
$ 40 15 GB unlimited national calls

unlimited national texts

calls to 18 countries

$ 10
$ 50 25 GB $ 15
$ 60 40 GB $ 20
$ 70 45 GB $ 20
$ 80 50 GB $ 20
$ 100 60 GB $ 20

For extra data on Prepaid Epic Value or Data, you can buy add-ons at $5 for 500 MB for 3 days, $10 for 1.5 GB or $20 for 3.5 GB both valid for 7 days. You can roll over up to 50 GB when you recharge before expiry.

Data-only SIM Edit

Optus finally released data-only plans called Prepaid Mobile Broadband. Starter kits in all three SIM sizes are offered with preloaded data volume:

  • for $2 without data, max. 1 per customer
  • for $10 with 1 GB data valid for 3 days
  • for $30 with 5 GB data valid for 30 days

As a promotion you get 10 GB bonus on your first recharge, when that recharge is $30 or more. Activations from 04/06/18. Recharge by 02/09/18.

These reloads for the Prepaid Mobile Broadband are sold:

Data Time Price
5 GB 30 days $ 30
25 GB 90 days $ 60
40 GB 365 days $ 130

You need to top-up online by credit card, debit card or PayPal here . You can roll over your unused data up to 50 GB to the next month when you recharge before expiry.

Roaming Edit

Optus has launched roaming add-ons for prepay customers. The $ 20 Roam Data option offers 10 GB to use in Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, UK and the US over 5 days.These add-ons are available on the Prepaid Epic Data Plan and Prepaid Epic Value Plan and customers can purchase them online or via My Optus app.

More info Edit

Vodafone AustraliaEdit

Vodafone

Vodafone Hutchison is the 3rd and smallest of the national providers in Australia. 2009-13 it merged with Three (Hutchison), and network integration has been finalized. It now has a fairly good network, mostly on par with the two leading operators. But for remote areas, better check coverage first: network checker. In 2018 Vodafone has agreed to a merger with local cable supplier TPG pending government approval.

Frequencies Edit

Vodafone closed down its 2G network in 2017. 3G: 900 MHz (countryside), 2100 MHz (cities). 4G: 1800 MHz = main frequency and 850 MHz. LTE coverage is mainly in the population centres so far (see network checker above).

Availability Edit

Their SIM card is sold in Vodafone stores (locator) and other places or online to be sent to an Australian address. Their prepaid SIM starter kit comes in different varieties in all SIM sizes and open for 4G/LTE:

  • $1: without credit

They also offer $30-50 starter packs with an expiry of 350 days and data combo plan starters:

  • $20: with 9 GB, unlimited dom. calls and texts for 35 days
  • $30: with 3 GB, unlimited dom. calls and texts for 28 days
  • $50: with 12 GB, unlimited dom. calls and texts for 35 days

You can top-up by vouchers, available at many stores, service stations or supermarkets, by debit/credit card (even AmEx) or PayPal online on your Vodafone account starting from $10.

You will also need to log on to the Vodafone website to activate SIM here. You will need an Australian address to activate the SIM card. You can give an hotel address or any other for it. A Vodafone SIM will stay active for 365 days after the credit has expired before being terminated.

To check your balance either call 1512 or text 'BAL' to 1512.

Data feature packsEdit

To their prepaid SIM cards, you can add $30, $40 or $50 recharges after 28 days to get more data. Default use is $0.02 per MB for Prepaid 365 Plus. To their prepaid SIM cards you can further add these top-ups:

Top-up Time Data Extras
$ 30 25 days 3 GB unlimited national calls

unlimited national texts

$ 40 35 days 9 GB
$ 50 12 GB
$ 60 15 GB

MyMix Edit

Vodafone introduced a new offer called MyMix for prepaid customers to create their own bundles. Using the MyVodafone application, users can design their own recharge from a menu of different voice, data and international call options, as well as different validity lengths. MyMix offers many possible combinations and can be adjusted each time a customer recharges.

Time Data dom. Calls internatl. Calls Price
7 days 1 GB 120 mins

included

unlimited:

+ $3-5

none included

+ 120 mins: $10

+ 300 mins: $20

$ 8
4 GB $ 15
8 GB $ 25
11.5 GB $ 35
28 days 1 GB 120 mins

included

unlimited:

+$5

none included

+120 mins: $5-10

+300 mins: $5-15

$ 20
4 GB $ 30
8 GB $ 40
11.5 GB $ 50
90 days 1 GB 120 mins

included

unlimited:

+$5-10

none included

+120 mins: +$5

+300 mins: +$5-15

$ 55
4 GB $ 60
8 GB $ 75
11.5 GB $ 90

All plans include unlimited domestic SMS and 50 internatl. SMS

Data-only SIM Edit

Their data-only product for modems and tablets is called "Mobile Broadband" and has text too, but no voice. The starter SIM pack contains data valid for 30 days. They come in all 3 SIM sizes as:

  • $30: SIM with 5 GB for 30 days
  • $40: SIM with 10 GB for 30 days
  • $50: SIM with 10 GB for 180 days

Their Mobile Broadband SIM card can be recharged with these packages:

Data Time Price Bonus
1 GB 30 days $ 10 100 MB
2 GB 30 days $ 20 200 MB
5 GB 30 days $ 30 500 MB
10 GB 30 days $ 40 1 GB
10 GB 180 days $ 50 1 GB
12 GB 365 days $ 60 1.2 GB
30 GB 365 days $ 125 3 GB

You get 10% bonus data when recharging your Mobile Broadband service online by credit card or PayPal. You can rollover up to 50 GB of unused data to the next month, if you recharge your service before your expiry date. Unused data will be forfeited after 18 months.

More infoEdit

  • Tethering is supported

ALDI mobile Edit

Aldi mobile

ALDI mobile is a MVNO of the German-based supermarket chain Aldi using parts of the Telstra network on the 3G and 4G/LTE bands. Aldi mobile claims to have a combined 3G/4G footprint covering 98.5% of the Australian population (92% on 4G).

It operates on the Telstra wholesale network, not the full Telstra retail network, which has better coverage in remote areas and claims to cover over 99% of the population. Aldi Mobile coverage is similar to Optus, or even better in some country areas.

Aldi mobile has typical download speeds of between 550 kbps and 3 Mbps on 3G, ranging up to a possible 20 Mbps. Their 4G/LTE is capped at 100 Mbps. If you can live with a downgraded Telstra network, ALDI gives out low rates.

Availability Edit

The SIM is sold in ALDI stores exclusively (store locator), ask at check out, or online to be sent to an Australian postal address. The starter pack SIM costs $5 and comes with $5 credit pre-loaded. All three sizes are available.

You have to activate the SIM card online here . From activation the SIM card is valid for 365 days, longer than any other SIM card in AU. Be aware that registration is only possible online and a bit tricky for non-Australians. You need a working internet connection, plus a credit/debit card (Master/VISA) and realtime access to your debits as they will charge you a small amount for verification, that you will need to specify.

You can buy recharge vouchers of $15 or $30 in ALDI stores or top-up online by credit/debit card. To check balance, text 'balance' to 590 or use the app.

Prepaid SIM card Edit

Data is at $0.05 per MB using standard prepaid Pay As You Go credit, valid for 365 days. This is best for low call/no data users, or you can add Data and Value packs. If using a Data/Value pack, excess data is also charged at 5c per MB until all credit is used.

Data and Value Packs Edit

To any prepaid SIM cards you can add data-only packages or "value packs" with data, texts and voice:

Data-Only Packs Edit

Pack Data Expiry Data rollover to next month
$15 2 GB 30 days Up to 30 GB
$30 6 GB 30 days Up to 30 GB
$65 60 GB 30 days Up to 60 GB
$95 24 GB 365 days Up to 30 GB
$395 240 GB 365 days None
  • Data Rollover: Cumulative unused data (up to the amount specified) from previous months can roll forward into the next month. To be eligible, your current pack must support data rollover, and you must add an equal or higher data pack within 24 hours of the previous pack expiring.

Further information is available at https://www.aldimobile.com.au/plans/data-packs/

Edit

Value Packs Edit

Pack Data Calls & SMS International Calls Price
S 2.5 GB unlimited

domestic

calls and

domestic

SMS

included

none $ 15
L 14 GB 100 mins $ 25
XL 26 GB 200 mins $ 35
XXL 37 GB 300 mins $ 45
JUMBO 48 GB 400 mins $ 55
  • Value Packs are valid for 30 days each, all come with unlimited free calls and texts within Australia:
  • Cumulative data rollover: Any unused data on the Value Pack rolls over to the next month, if you purchase an equal or higher Value Pack within 24 hours.
  • International minutes: All value packs with international calling include unlimited international calling and sms to 15 countries.

The included minutes, and 50 sms can be used for a further 35 countries. Included international calls are available to these countries.

Take care, if you add a Value Pack whilst you have a Data Pack running, you will forfeit the Data Pack and any remaining data. Any unused data on the Value Pack rolls over to the next month, if you purchase an equal or higher Value Pack within 24 hours.

Further information is available at https://www.aldimobile.com.au/plans/valuepacks/

Family Pack Edit

From 30 Jan 2019 until 28 Feb 2019 (or unless sold out early), Aldi Mobile is offering a Family Package for $80. The key features of this package are:

  • Multiple Users: Each package comes with four sim cards
  • Shared Data: The family pack comes with 40GB shared between the four users. A voucher is included for a bonus 40 GB in the first recharge. An optional per-user (per sim card) limit can be specified if required.
  • Unlimited calls and texts: Each user has unlimited domestic calls and SMS.
  • Data rollover: Any unused data rolls over to next month, provided you recharge with another family pack within 24 hours of expiry.

Further information is available at https://www.aldimobile.com.au/family/

More info Edit

AmaysimEdit

Amaysim-0

Amaysim is a MVNO using the Optus network in 3G and now their 4G/LTE network too (for details check Optus above).

Availabilty Edit

Their starter pack is available at: 7-Eleven, allphones, BIG W, BP, Caltex, Co-op Bookshop, Coles, Coles Express, Harvey Norman, Kmart, NewsLink, Officeworks, On the Run, Post Offices, Supanews, United, Woolworths (Store locator) and many more sales points. It's for $2 without credit loaded.

Ordered online on their website the SIM costs $5 and comes with $5 credit, valid for 90 days. When you buy an amaysim SIM card online or pick one up in-store, by default you’ll get one of the triple-punch SIM Cards.

Activation works online and they accept all major credit cards. Hotel addresses for registration are accepted.

As of May 2019, online activation requires you to be physically in Australia (if using a foreign passport as proof of identity). You have 3 chances (during online activation) to submit your foreign passport number, expiration date, etc., and if you fail all 3, an email to their HelpDesk is required (with photocopy of your passport and your visa). They DO check to ensure you have been marked as 'Arrived' in Australia, so no chance of activating this BEFORE you arrive. After you have registered and enable roaming (using the amaysim app), you are free to roam with this SIM card.

Voice and data SIM Edit

The pay as you go rate is at 7.2c per MB. These "unlimited" plans can be added. They contain unlimited domestic voice and SMS for 28 days and a data quota:

  • 1 GB: $ 10
  • 2.5 GB: $ 20
  • 5 GB: $ 30 + unlimited calls to 10 countries
  • 15 GB: $ 40 + unlimited calls to 10 countries + 300 mins to further 22 countries
  • 20 GB: $ 50 + unlimited calls to 10 countries + 300 mins to further 22 countries

Plan auto-renews every 28 days. Overuse is charged at pay as you go rate.

Data-only SIMEdit

These data-only plans valid for 28 days are offered for tablets and routers without voice or SMS.

  • 2 GB: $ 15
  • 5 GB: $ 25
  • 20 GB: $ 45
  • 50 GB: $ 60
  • 100 GB: $ 70

Additional data is 15.4c per MB or $10 per GB.

More infoEdit

boost Mobile Edit

Boost mobile

Boost Mobile is a MVNO which uses the Telstra network, since it migrated from Optus network in 2013. Boost is unique in that is the only MVNO to have access to Telstra's entire (retail) mobile network.

Other MVNOs using Telstra's network only have access to a smaller part of Telstra's network. This gives Boost customers equal coverage to Telstra customers. While Boost's coverage matches that of Telstra, it is not clear whether they are equal in speed. See this article for more info on Boost's network.

Boost customers cab also utilise VoWiFi and VoLTE.

Avaliability Edit

Buy a SIM starter kit for $2 without credit or for $40 with the same plan included from their outlets (store locator). Or online in all three SIM sizes to be sent to an Australian postal address.

You can recharge by vouchers, sold in their stores or online by credit card or PayPal. You need to activate it online here with an Australian Driver's Licence or Learner's Permit, a Medicare card, an Australian passport or an international passport with valid Australian visa.

Prepaid SIM card Edit

All boost prepaid plans include unlimited calls and texts in AU. Data (up to 4G) is as follows:

Price Data Time* Data

promo*

Data

rollover*

Internatl. calling

texting and MMS

$ 10 3 GB 7 days None No for all plans:

Unlimited calling and text to 20-30 countries,

100 minutes calling and text to 20-35 other countries

100 standard MMS to the above 40-55 countries

$ 20 5 GB 28 days None Yes
$ 30 20 GB 28 days 15 GB Yes
$ 40 30 GB 28 days 15 GB Yes
$ 50 40 GB 28 days 15 GB Yes
$ 70 52 GB 28 days 15 GB Yes
$ 100 60 GB 6 months None No
$ 150 80 GB 12 months None No
$ 200 150 GB 6 months None No
$ 300 240 GB 12 months None No

Time: All Boost plans with a 28 day expiring become monthly (30/31 day plans) if auto-recharge is set up.

Bonus Data: Boost is currently including 15 GB on the first five recharges for customers who join from 26 February 2019. This applies to selected plans only and the first recharge must be made by 13 May 2019. All remaining recharges must be used by 2 September 2019.

All boost plans include data free streaming of Apple Music.

Data rollover: On 28 day plans, unused data rolls over to the next month if you recharge to a 28 day plan before the plan expires.

International Calling: $20 + plans include international calling and texting to 55 specified countries. Unlimited calling and texting (sms) applies for 20-30 of these countries (plan specific) with limited minutes and sms to the remaining 25-35 countries. All plans include limited MMS to the 55 specified countries. Further information is available here.

More info Edit

Coles Prepaid (Coles Mobile) Edit

Coles

Similar to Woolworths, the other leading retailer Coles started its brand in 2015 as a MVNO on the 3G Optus network, now extended to 4G/LTE (for details check Optus above).

Availability Edit

The starter is sold for $2 exclusively at any Coles supermarket or Coles Express store in the country. The $2 has no credit pre-loaded. You need to activate the SIM online giving passport and visa data. The process takes 15 minutes to 4 hours.

You can recharge by using vouchers sold at Coles or online by credit card or PayPal. To check balance, text 'BAL' to 9999.

Prepaid SIM card Edit

You can choose between three plans, which can be changed by texting "MENU" to 9999:

  • $ 10: 1 GB, unlimited AU talk and text for 10 days
  • $ 20: 3 GB, unlimited AU talk and text for 35 days
  • $ 40: 10 GB, unlimited AU talk and text, 250 internatl. mins to 10 countries for 35 days
  • $ 180: 36 GB, unlimited AU talk and text for 365 days

To all plans 500 MB data to be used within 7 days can be added for $5. Beyond, their default rate of 12c per MB applies. The first recharge of the $20 and $40 plans will be doubled in data.

More info Edit

dodo Edit

Dodo

Dodo is an Australian multi-media organization focusing on triple-play. It sells SIM cards as a MVNO on the Optus network in 3G and 4G/LTE too.

Availability Edit

You can buy their SIM cards in many stores: where-can-i-buy for $2 or free. You need to activate the SIM on their website.

Recharges are possible on the same website by credit card: Visa, Mastercard, AmEx and even Diners are accepted. Recharges are from $10 for 60 days validity to $100 with 1 year's validity.

Prepaid SIM card Edit

Data on their only prepaid SIM stays at 5c per MB. They offer three packages valid for 30 days to be added:

  • $ 10: 1 GB
  • $ 25: 3 GB
  • $ 40: 5 GB

Data-only SIM Edit

They also offer a prepaid data-SIM which is on 3G up to HDSPA. These starter packs are sold:

  • SIM-only: for free
  • $ 40: 3G USB dongle and 3 GB included

You can top-up their data-only SIM with these packs:

  • $ 10: 300 MB for 30 days
  • $ 20: 1 GB for 60 days
  • $ 40: 3 GB for 60 days
  • $ 70: 6 GB for 90 days
  • $ 99: 10 GB for 180 days
  • $ 139: 15 GB for 365 days

Absolute data transfer usage limit of 10 GB applies per calendar month. SMS service is not available for prepaid wireless broadband accounts.

More info Edit

gotalk Edit

Gotalk

Gotalk is a MVNO on the network of Vodafone in 3G and 4G/LTE is available for gotalk customers too. For coverage check Vodafone above.

Availability Edit

Gotalk mobile SIM cards and recharge vouchers are available from many retail outlets throughout Australia. They can also be purchased on the this website. Alternatively, call 1800 GOTALK (1800 468 255) to find your nearest retailer.

You need to activate your SIM card here: activate. You can top up online with credit cards (Visa, Master, AmEx), PayPal or voucher.

Their voice & data prepaid SIM cards are not a good deal, as they always stay at the default rate of 5c per MB without any bundles available.

Data-only SIM Edit

Their prepaid data-only SIM is called BYO Wireless Broadband and comes in 2 starter packs:

  • $15: with 1 GB for 30 days
  • $20: with 2 GB for 30 days

Their data-only SIM can be topped up with these packages, all valid for 30 days and on 4G too:

  • $10: 1 GB
  • $15: 2 GB
  • $20: 2.5 GB
  • $30: 3 GB
  • $50: 5 GB

Recharge online, in-store or via phone.

More info Edit

Hello Mobile Edit

Hello mobile

Hello Mobile is another MVNO on the 3G network of Vodafone. From 2016 4G/LTE has been available for Hello Mobile customers. For coverage check Vodafone above.

Availability Edit

Hello Mobile SIM cards and recharge vouchers are available from many retail outlets throughout Australia find a store or bought online here to be shipped to an Australian postal address.

You need to activate your SIM card here. You can top up online by credit card (Visa and MasterCard only) or a voucher from a store from $10 to 100. As with gotalk, their voice prepaid SIM cards are not that interesting, as they either stay at 5c/MB with no bundles available or include data with lots of AU minutes or texts.

Data-only SIM Edit

Their prepaid data-only starter kit is available in all three SIM sizes:

  • $ 10: with 500 MB for 30 days
  • $ 20: with 1 GB for 30 days
  • $ 30: with 2 GB for 30 days

Their data-only SIM can be topped up online with these packages, all valid for 30 days:

  • 500 MB: $5
  • 1 GB: $10
  • 2 GB: $15

More info Edit

Lebara mobile Edit

Lebara

Lebara mobile in Australia has been using the Vodafone network in 3G and 4G/LTE as a MVNO. In 2016 it was acquired by Vodafone. They want to retain Lebara as a separate entity as well as maintaining the MVNO’s existing customer service channels now as a subsidiary of Vodafone.

Availabilty Edit

Starter packs are available at 7-Eleven, allphones, BP, Coles, Coles express, DickSmith, Harvey Norman, Kmart, Newsagent, NewsLink, Officeworks, On the Run, post offices, Ritchies, TeleChoice, United, Woolworths (storefinder) for $2 or online for free to be shipped to an Australian postal address.

SIM card comes without balance either as mini/micro or nano size. It needs to be activated online here: activation. Only Australian IDs are shown as options, but most internatl. credit cards are accepted too as reference.

You can recharge either by voucher or credit card online. For the first 3 recharges, you will get a $1 bonus each. SIM card will expire 365 days after activation of the last recharge.

Prepaid SIM card Edit

Lebara has these base plans for prepaid valid for 30 days:

Plan Data Price Extras
Standard 2c / MB free
XS 2 GB $ 14.90 unlimited dom. calls and SMS
S 3.5 GB $ 24.90 plus 2500 mins to 3 countries
M 7 GB $ 29.90 plus unlimited calls to 12 countries
L 16 GB $ 39.90 plus unlimited calls to 15 countries
XL 30 GB $ 49.90 plus unlimited calls to 50 countries
XXL 60 GB $ 69.90 plus unlimited calls to 60 countries

All packages are sold with a recharge bonus of 3 GB when you auto-renew the package.

Data feature packs Edit

These data packages can be added to any prepaid plan:

  • $ 5: 500 MB, activation: "DATA5"
  • $ 10: 1.5 GB, activation "DATA10"
  • $ 25: 5 GB, activation: "DATA25"

For activation, text code to 126 172. Data packs are valid for 30 days from application (with day one being the application date) or until the data has been consumed, whichever occurs first.

If the expiry date of the data pack after recharge is later than the current main balance expiry date, the main balance expire date will be extended so that they are consistent. If customer has multiple data allowances available (including from bundle plans), data will be consumed in the order of purchase; with the exception that included data from non-current bundle plans will only become available once the current plan expires.

Data-only SIM Edit

Aimed at tablets and modems they have released a "Mobile Broadband" SIM without voice or SMS. These plans are available valid for 30 days:

  • S - 5 GB: $ 20
  • M - 12 GB: $ 35
  • L - 25 GB: $ 45

More info Edit

Lycamobile Edit

Lycamobile

Lycamobile from Britain is using the Telstra network in 3G as a MVNO and added 4G/LTE access in 2016. The new deal means that Lycamobile’s expanded service provides a footprint of 95% of population and a combined 4G/LTE and 3G coverage footprint of 98.8%,

Availability Edit

Their starter pack is available in many stores nationwide for $2 or for free on their website here to be shipped to an Australian postal address. It's sold in all three sizes.

You need to activate your SIM card online here. Recharges can be made online by credit card on their website here for $10, $20, $30 or $50 or at their sales outlets.

Prepaid SIM card Edit

Lycamobile offers free voice calls amongst their AU customers. Calls to any Lycamobile numbers in Australia are unlimited. Customer must recharge by a minimum of $10 during each 28 days and should have a minimum account balance of $0.01 to be eligible for making calls. If customer not recharge, he/she still can enjoy the free call for the first 15 minutes with a flagfall of 29c per call (standard rate of 15c/min will apply afterwards).

Data feature packages Edit

Default data is 5c per MB. On Lycamobile you may or may not be on a plan. These plans with data are valid for 28 days each and come with unlimited AU mins and texts:

Data Price Activation
250 MB $ 5 *139*3103#
1.5 GB $ 10 *139*3020#
3 GB $ 25 *139*3030#

For data-only, you can activate these packages for 28 days as well as for extra data:

  • 250 MB: $ 5, activation: *139*3013#, add-on: *139*601#
  • 1.5 GB: $ 10, activation: *139*3020#, add-on: *139*602#
  • 3 GB: $ 25, activation: *139*3030#, add-on: *139*603#

Excess data usage beyond data bundle allowance is charged at 5c per MB. All plans auto-renew. To stop, type *190# and follow instructions. Validity of bolt-ons is the rest of the running time of the base package. 

Combo packagesEdit

Lycamobile also offers combo packages with unlimited minutes, texts, IDD minutes and some data valid 28 days: 

Plan Price Data IDD Calls Activation
10 $ 10 1 GB - *139*510#
20 $ 20 3 GB - *139*519#
XS $ 25 2 GB unlimited to 12 countries *139*524#
S $ 30 5 GB unlimited to 12 countries *139*529#
M $ 40 15 GB unlimited to 15 countries *139*539#
L $ 45 9 GB unlimited to 54 countries *139*544#
XL $ 50 20 GB unlimited to 54 countries *139*549#

For the first activation on a new SIM card all packages (except Plans 10 and 20) are discounted by 50-70%.

More info Edit

  • Lycamobile actively blocks tethering
  • APN: data.lycamobile.com.au

Woolworths Mobile Edit

WoolworthsMobile

In 2015 the two leading retailers in the country started their prepaid offers. Woolworths (locally known as "Woolies") has a MVNO using Telstra's 3G network and now on 4G/LTE too.

Availability Edit

Their starter packs are exclusively sold at Woolworths, Big W and Caltex service stations in 3 sizes and come with unlimited domestic calls and texts:

  • for $10 with 1 GB for 10 days
  • for $30 with 5 GB for 30 days
  • for $40 with 10 GB for 30 days
  • for $50 with 16 GB for 30 days

You need to activate your SIM card online giving passport and visa data. You can recharge using vouchers sold at Woolworths or online by credit card.

Prepaid SIM card Edit

Save 10% if you use a Woolworths Rewards Card - free to apply for one. For top-ups these 30 days allowances are offered:

  • $20: 2 GB, unlimited AU calls and AU texts, $20 internatl. call credit
  • $30: 5 GB, unlimited AU calls and AU texts, calls to 10 countries, data roll-over
  • $40: 10 GB, unlimited AU calls and AU texts, calls to 10 countries, data roll-over
  • $50: 16 GB, unlimited AU calls and AU texts, calls to 10 countries, data roll-over

Data will be shut off, when depleted, data roll-over up to 30 GB.

More info Edit

Yomojo Mobile (previously Yatango) Edit

Yomojo

Yatango used to be a MVNO in 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE on the Optus network. In 2015 they declared bankrupcy. Their customers were taken over by the new MVNO Yomojo Mobile that works on the same network. So far this new operator hasn't built up an offline distribution system in stores. As an online-only operator they remain unsuitable for travellers as you need a reliable delivery address. That's why they can't be listed here, even they give good rates.

Australian External Territories Edit

These are small island territories in the Indian and Pacific Oceans attached to Australia, but not served by Australian operators:

  • Christmas Island
  • Cocos (Kneeling) Islands
  • Norfolk Island

These islands used to be without major internet connections. This has changed since the Australian Government installed the nbn Sky Muster satellite services to cover remote areas in 2015-8. This has improved connectivity to these islands a lot as 4G/LTE networks are being deployed.

The availability of SIM cards to travellers is still unknown on many islands and 4G coverage may only cover certain parts of it. That's we moved these territories from our Blacklist to the Greylist. You still might think of using a satellite phone to be sure of connection.

Christmas Island Edit

Christmas Island is located in the Indian Ocean, around 350 km south of Java and Sumatra and around 1,550 km north-west of the closest point on the Australian mainland. It has an area of 135 sq km and a population of 1,800 residents.

Christmas Island Internet Administration Limited (CiiA), has started to build a 4G/LTE network to replace their existing fixed wireless internet service in 2015.The network has since then gradually grown to cover the majority of the island population, residents and visitors, but also extended the initial 4G/LTE data-only service to support VoLTE (Voice-over-LTE). At the end of 2017 CiiA ceased providing internet services to homes and businesses, effectively disconnecting one of Australia’s most remote islands.

As of 2018 there is extremely limited cellular coverage on Christmas Island, restricted only to the developed (small town/residential) areas of the island. There is zero coverage within the national park itself, on the hiking trails and at the beaches. This is a 2G mobile network operated by Telstra that can only be used for voice and SMS. There is *no mobile data coverage. WiFi coverage is also extremely limited, to some shops, cafes and the visitor center, and is charged at around AU$ 7 per hour. Some hotels may have wifi access provided as part of the room rate, but is also rather slow and spotty.

This situation is likely to improve in 2019 when the branch off to the INDIGO-West submarine cable is completed linking the Christmas Islands to Perth. There are unconfirmed reports that a 4G network operated by Speedcast currently operates and is sold from the post office - prices unknown - and operated by a company called Glonet.

Cocos (Kneeling) Islands Edit

The Cocos (Kneeling) Islands are a small archipelago approximately midway between Australia and Sri Lanka and closer to the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The territory consists of two atolls made up of 27 coral islands, of which only two West Island and Home Island are inhabited by around 600 inhabitants.

Norfolk Island Edit

Norfolk Island is a small island in the Pacific Ocean located between Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia. It has around 1,800 inhabitants living on a total area of about 35 km2

Lord Howe Island Edit

On Lord Howe there is no mobile coverage. There are paid WiFi hotspots at the visitor information center, museum and few other places and some hotels provide complimentary WiFi. Australian nbn SkyMuster has started broadband connections to homes via satellite.

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