Gianni Malpensa 8 articles
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Mobile Phones in Australia part 2

  • Posted by Gianni Malpensa
  • June 13, 2013 1:10 AM AEST

Mobile Phones in Australia. This article gives an overview of the main mobile phone networks operating in Australia as well as the virtual mobile phone network you may alternatively use.


Prices and mobile phone deals change all the time therefore it may be worth checking each network individually and their websites to see which one suits you the most.

Do some research to understand what deal suits you best.  


Telstra is Australia's most covered mobile network but unfortunately it’s also the most expensive one although it has to be recognised that their service works everywhere. Sure it may be nice to get access on a dirt track in the middle of the outback, but it shouldn't have to cost as much as it does.


Australia's second largest mobile network has excellent coverage in most parts of Australia, especially along the east coast; but there are some gaping holes where their network doesn't work such as WA and both the east and west coasts of

Tasmania. All in all, Optus is not a bad compromise between coverage and price.


Fortunately Australian Three customers can roam onto Telstra's GSM network when they are outside Three's coverage area. Why? Because their network is limited to just a few of the major Australian cities. Nevertheless Three is good value and they have some handy extra services (for example the ability to make free Skype calls from your mobile and free calls to other Three customers). Ultimately if you're planning on picking fruit or spending months travelling up the coast then you'd better look at one of the other networks.


Vodafone is one of the more popular mobile networks for many backpackers even though their coverage is pretty limited compared with Optus and Telstra. Vodafone SIM cards only cost $2, so it is cheap to get set up and they have some of the best value pre-paid plans.

Virtual mobile phone networks

First of all, it’s good to clarify what virtual networks are. They are companies that sell mobile phone service by making use of another company’s existing network infrastructure. They are normally the cheapest for prepaid services.

Not all the places in Australia have a good coverage area


It’s a cheap mobile service that includes free calls to Vodafone and other Dodo customers.


Savvytel uses the Vodafone network. Savvytel is probably the best value mobile phone company in Australia with capped pre-paid plans, credits that never expire and cheap call rates. It also provides the cheapest prepaid mobile deals in Australia.


Virgin is one of the biggest of the virtual networks with good value call rates. Virgin use the Optus network, which usually has better coverage than Just Mobile or Savvytel.


Just Prepaid Mobile is the only Australian mobile phone company that has no connection charge. No connection charge makes their rates easy to understand and coupled with low call rates makes Just a good deal if you make lots of short calls. Just Mobile uses also the Vodafone network.


If you've missed the first part, don't worry! Click here and check it out!