Australian Telstra Prepaid SIM card
The main problem with Telstra is activation prior to arrival in Australia.
Our best alternative is the OPTUS SIM (see info/buy here), which provides better value for money and can be activated online prior to entering Australia (they let you verify your ID by using any international credit card).
Telstra won't allow you to use a International passport+Visa number, if they Visa hasn't entered the country yet.
You can try requesting Telstra customer service reps to activate for you via their online chat service - sometimes this will work (mixed results), but really you can only do it yourself online post-entry. The Visa system updates that you have arrived relatively quickly (most times within an hour, or at latest 2-3 hours), and you can quickly activate and register your SIM online as an international visitor.
It may be still worth buying a Telstra SIM prior to arriving in Australia if you are spending lots of time in rural Australia, as they can be very hard to purchase at the airport due other telco companies having exclusive retail rights at the airport (ie you won't find a Telstra store at the airport).
Telstra Prepaid SIM for Australia
$30 Telstra Prepaid SIM Starter Pack for phone, data devices and tablets
These Telstra Starter Kits have $30 preloaded and can be activated onto either a:
- Phone plan (calls, SMS, and data), or
- Data only plan
The SIMs are easy to activate online overseas before you come (recommended), or after you land in Australia. You will need to enter your personal details, an address in Australia (hotel is fine), and can make any additional payment using a foreign credit card.
Any SIM size is available for your device (need help with SIM sizes?)
Make sure your device isn't locked.
We ship to anywhere in the world FREE
Express shipping is also available - shipping details here.
Full activation process is detailed here.
It is a four step process that takes about 15 minutes
The SIM comes with $30 credit preloaded.
To get the best value, it is best to choose a plan.
1. Telstra Freedom Plus is best value one with calls & data, or
2. The Beyond Talk plan is better if you want to add lots more data via a browse pack, or
3. See other plans here (Simplicity or Long Life plans)
$30 Freedom plus: gives $700 worth of calls/sms and 1.3GB Data (and 1.3GB bonus data between 8pm and 8am, AND free calls to other Telstra mobiles), plus $200 worth of international calling credit.
There are also higher value plans (eg $50 Recharge on Freedom plan offers unlimited calls plus 4GB data), that offer a bigger size cap, and data amount included.
EXTRA DATA, CALLS or SMS
Telstra offers 'Plus Packs' as add-ons their Prepaid plans - currently the Freedom plus plan you can add 1GB for $10 or 2.5GB for $20.
[Below; Freedom Plus plans available & below that; Browse Plus data packs ]
Tablet data plans
You also have the option to activate your Telstra SIM on a data plan for tablets (opposed to for a mobile phone plan as above). You can see the data only rates available below:
There are also talk and SMS packs- but they really don't offer too much value unless you are planning on making lots of calls or texts in addition to what your plan offers.
- International Data Roaming Packs
Telstra also offers prepaid international data roaming outside of Australia to a limited selection of countries.
Again this is not very good value, particularly compared to using one of our other specialised local or international roaming SIM products.
There a few ways you can monitor how much data you are using. The best two are either downloading the Telstra 24/7 App, or Navigating to m.telstra.com in on your phone whilst it is connected via 3G (not on WiFi). There is more info from Telstra on how you can manage your data here.
TETHERING (MAKING A HOTSPOT)
Tethering or making a hotspot is allowed for all Telstra Prepaid plans
Credit expires 28 days after activation.
Bonuses ("Cap Credit", Data, Mins, SMS) CANNOT be extended in any way whatsoever. They automatically expire 30 days from original recharge date, even if another recharge is done before that Credit Expiry Date. Bonuses related to any new recharge will expire separately 30 days from the new recharge date.
Recharge Credit (i.e. actual dollars paid) expiry CAN be extended by recharging before expiry date.
Calling overseas from a Telstra Prepaid SIM varies from country to country.
A few of the main rates are as follows (can check here for the latest for any country):
Connection fee $0.39 applies and call rate charged per 60 seconds (or part)
China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore: $1.29
Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand: $1.99
United Kingdom, Canada: $2.49
India, South Korea, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, France, Germany, Japan, Philippines, South Africa, Ireland: $2.99
New Zealand: $3.49
Remember, if you have a quality data connection (which Telstra provides), with plenty of data, VoIP options like Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, and Line offer much better international call and SMS rates!
Phones/devices should have 850Mz 3G capability (in Aust also called NextG).
Phones/devices which also have 4G/LTE work if they support Telstra's 1800Mz.
Make sure your device is unlocked.
Most modern high end smartphones (ie iPhones, Samsung, HTC devices, etc), should have compatible bandwidth capability. You can check what bandwidths are capable on your device here at gsm arena (top right search - enter model).
Otherwise Telstra has a compatibility checker here (using IMEI found by pressing *#06# on your phone- like you make a call).
See the coverage of the Telstra network here. Telstra has by far the best coverage and fastest network of any Australian operator.
Customer Service: 125 8880
Credit Card Recharge: 125 8885
Activations: 125 8887
Information: 125 8889
Balance/Recharge: 125 8888
Phone Menu: #100#
View Balance #100*2#
Change Offers #100*3#