Typically, when traveling out of the country, carriers such as Verizon, Tmobile, AT&T and others charge you roaming fees that are so high that you either do without your phone service all together or, if you can afford it, bite the bullet and pay whatever they charge you. Since most travelers going to Australia tend to stay for extended periods of time, biting the bullet can literally mean that your bill comes up to hundreds of dollars. There are other solutions and in fact, solutions that are free. However, like many free solutions, they entail sacrifices and many people are on vacation to have fun, not to make sacrifices. For instance, if you put your phone on airplane mode and resort to using Wi Fi, when and if available, you will not incur any fee. However, that means that when you are driving in the car or going from one place to another, which is probably when you need your phone the most in case you get lost or need to access Google Maps, you will be without any means of communication. Carriers realize this and…that is why they charge you the fees that they do. Luckily, there are other solutions that actually offer added services and benefits that the large telecom companies cannot provide.
When in Australia…do as the Aussies.
Australians, like everyone else on the planet, do not pay roaming rates when they are in Australia. As a visitor to Australia, you too can tap into what the locals are tapping into. Cellular Abroad is the US distributor for a local carrier in Australia called Lebara. While there are several carriers in Australia, Lebara is the only carrier that offers unlimited calling to the US and Canada as well as unlimited calling within Australia. Having a local solution means that you will have a local phone number. While that is great for when Australians try to reach you, obviously someone from the US or Canada does not want to an international number to reach you since that would be expensive. The solution that we offer is to give you a US cell phone number in addition to the Australian number. The US phone number is not your usual phone number but you do have the option of forwarding your current number to the new US one. Many people prefer just to give their temporary new number to a few select friends and family members instead of forwarding the number. The reason is that if you forward your number, every single person, whether you want to hear from them or now, will be able to reach you.
Unless you travel often, you may not realize that while calling is important, what is often more important is mobile data. Apps such as Google Maps, Trip Advisor and simply emailing pictures of your trip become even more relevant for many travelers than just making and receiving phone calls. Lebara offers an extremely generous amount of high speed data connectivity in addition to their unlimited calling within the country and back home.
Sounds Good..Now What?
You have several ways to get the unlimited calling and data plan. If your cell phone is unlocked (most Verizon phones are by the way) or if your cell phone is unlockable (ask your provider), you can just get an Australia SIM card, pop it in your phone, and you are up and running. AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint typically will not unlock your phone unless it is out of contract…but here is a tip: if your phone is not out of contract and you have your previous phone, just get them to unlock that phone and use that for your trip.
It is never to late, or too early for that matter, to become a groupie, a data groupie in this case. If you are traveling in a group or even with another person or if you carry multiple devices (like a smartphone and a tablet or a PC), a great way to stay connected is to rent a Mi Fi Hotspot with Unlimited Data. A mobile hotspot is a small, portable device that transmits your own personal and secure Wi Fi Signal with which you connect with any Wi Fi Enabled device. Up to 10 people or devices can connect simultaneously. This is a great way not only to save money but to have easy access to the internet virtually anywhere you go during your trip down under.
Got you Covered
While this article covers the needs for the vast majority of travelers to Australia, Cellular Abroad’s services cater to a vast array of needs – from anyone who just needs an emergency phone to video production companies who need to send huge video files back to Hollywood. If you need more information, please call us at 8002875072 and we will fine tune a solution particular to your unique needs