Take your data global
SimCorner has prepaid travel SIM cards to get you connected almost anywhere in the world.
- Get cheaper data
- Avoid hefty roaming charges
- Calls or data-only SIMs available
- Worldwide delivery available
To avoid returning home to several thousand dollars in excess data charges, you'll want to explore your global roaming options before you travel. That's why we've put together this guide on how global roaming works and what you need to know to stay connected without paying a fortune.
SimCorner has prepaid travel SIM cards to get you connected almost anywhere in the world.
For many business travellers, remaining in contact while overseas is a must, regardless of the costs involved. And if your company is willing to foot the bill for the luxury then you're one of the lucky few. For the average consumer, however, remaining in contact 24/7 might not be a priority (especially if you're chilling poolside in Fiji). If you're an average mobile user, you have four main options when travelling overseas.
Whenever someone uses their mobile phone while overseas, they are actually connecting to a foreign mobile carrier's network. If the customer is using their Australian service in a different country, it means their mobile carrier (eg Telstra, Vodafone, Optus) has a roaming agreement with the foreign network's carrier.
Roaming agreements vary drastically from carrier to carrier and country to country, as do the charges involved. For example, in Hong Kong, mobile data roaming could cost you as "little" as $1 per megabyte (MB) if you're an Optus customer. If you're a Telstra customer, however, you could be slugged as much as $3 per MB.
Again, where you can use international roaming is entirely dependent on what countries your mobile carrier has established agreements with. As such, it's critical that you check with your carrier before leaving the country. For example, Optus customers travelling to Suriname will find themselves in a spot of bother if they've planned to use their mobile during their trip, as Optus does not permit global roaming in Suriname – Telstra, on the other hand, does.Back to top
Depending on which mobile provider you're with, you might be able to purchase a travel pack for your existing phone service before heading overseas. These packs differ between mobile providers, but they typically come with a set amount of call and data inclusions for use in specific countries. Any usage outside those countries will be charged at standard roaming rates though, so be sure to double-check eligible destinations if your trip involves a lot of border crossings.
For the current travel packs offered by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, check out the tables below.
|Unlimited standard national and international calls||Unlimited standard SMS||Not included||200MB per day||$10|
Eligible countries: Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA, Vanuatu, Vietnam.
|Unlimited standard national and international calls||Unlimited standard SMS||Not included||100MB per day (charged in 10KB increments)||$10|
Eligible countries: Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Guam & the Northern Marianas, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Monaco, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, USA, US Virgin Islands, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City.
Vodafone's travel pack is charged differently from Telstra and Optus. For a fee of $5 a day, Vodafone customers can use their included plan value in over 60 different countries. The handy thing about Vodafone $5 Roaming is that, so long as your plan was connected after 23 April 2014, you don't have to go out of your way to activate it, meaning you're free to set off on your travels without worrying about setting up a travel pack.
Eligible countries: Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Serbia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Turkey, Uruguay, USA, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Wales.
If you're a prepaid Vodafone customer, there are also options available for you when travelling overseas. On Pay As You Go, the roaming rates are as follows:
Some companies offer prepaid travel SIM cards that boast far lower call and data rates than local telcos typically charge. These SIMs are handy for those who don't want to deal with purchasing a fresh SIM card in a country they've never been to before since you don't need to worry about speaking the local tongue or carrying around local currency – purchasing and recharging your travel SIM is all done online.
Regular travellers or those hopping between multiple countries in one trip can save even more thanks to the value bundles many travel SIM companies offer. These bundles come loaded with data and call minutes to use in specific regions like Europe or America, and typically work out quite a bit cheaper than paying as you go.
Best of all, it's not necessary to have friends and family memorise a new phone number when using a travel SIM: many companies now offer the ability to redirect your existing mobile number to your temporary travel SIM. If you're going to be overseas for a decent chunk of time, you may also consider adding a local landline number from Australia to your travel SIM. This will allow anyone from Australia to call you overseas for the price of a local landline call rather than forking out international call rates.
The fourth and often most wallet-friendly option when travelling overseas is to purchase a prepaid SIM card when you arrive at your destination. You won't be using your Australian phone number, but it will work out a lot cheaper since you'll be accessing the local mobile network directly rather than through a pricey roaming agreement. If you already have a destination in mind, check out our comprehensive round-up of the best international SIM cards for hundreds of destinations around the world. Otherwise, here are our top tips for purchasing a SIM card overseas:
Your last option is to not use roaming or even a SIM card at all. Most modern devices can connect to a Wi-Fi access point, and most hotels and resorts these days offer a (sometimes free) Wi-Fi connection. Not only that but most cafes, restaurants, libraries and airports also offer free Wi-Fi, so you can get connected pretty much anywhere for free.
With the amount of communication services available on the Internet these days, you really don't need your SIM card to stay in contact with loved ones while travelling abroad. There are many alternatives, like Facebook, iMessage, WhatsApp and Skype, for contacting home, all of which can be used over a Wi-Fi connection.
You can still use your smartphone or tablet during the day to take photos, record video and listen to music with airplane mode switched on (which blocks all incoming and outgoing mobile data from your device). Then, if you want to upload the truckload of selfies from the day, you can put it all up on Instagram when you return to the warm embrace of free Wi-Fi.
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