When you arrive in Darwin and Northern Territory you will need to explore mobile phone and internet options. Find some suggestions below:
Accessing networks with your current Mobile Phone – You may be able to use your existing phone if your ovovider has an International Roaming Agreement with Australian networks. Before arrival ask your local network provider for details and costs. Be careful though a this is often very expensive especially for data usage. Think about turning off your data and using your phone just for texts and short phone calls until you find a local suitable solution.
If your mobile handset is not locked to a mobile phone provider you should be able to use the handset and buy a local sim card.
Mobile Phone Pre-paid You can purchase a pre-paid handset, sim and calling credits from $50 to $250 depending on the make or model of the handset. Such phones are available at Post Offices, Supermarkets and most of the Phone stores. You can purchase additional calling credit as in supermarkets, newsagents or convenience stores and you can also increase your credit online. Calls will be in the region of 90c per minute at peak times and 35c off peak.
Mobile Phone Post-Paid Option –By taking a contract out with a phone provider you can get lower phone costs .Capped plan contracts offer additional benefits such as limitless texting or social data services plus bonus credit. It is worth shopping around for the best deal. Contracts are usually for a 12 or 24 month term. Sims only contracts, suitable if you already have your own handset, are approximately $20 a month or including a handset (which is charged over the course of the contract term) from $30 a month – for IPhone 4 or a later model you would be expect to be on $60 a month or above. Check call and data inclusions as by exceeding your quota you can end up with high excess charges. Watch your current data usage online or by calling the allocated number.
- Explore mobile phone plans for competitive rates for overseas calls.
- Calling cards give low cost overseas calls (you first dial a number and enter a Pin)and can be bought at convenience stores (from about $10) Top up calling credits with a credit card. See: www.cardcall.com.au
- Skype is still one of the cheapest ways to make overseas calls as long with an internet connection at home or a Skype App on your phone. You can see your friends or family if you have a camera function. www.skype.com
- Viber lets you make free calls and texts to Viber members. www.viber.com
- WhatsApp gives text free and sends photo messages to other WhatsApp users. www.whatsapp.com
- Voxer is a walkie Talkie style App permitting you to leave free voice messages for other Voxer users. Voxer is available from the itunes store: www.voxer.com
Mobile Internet To be connected to the Internet immediately with the added bonus of having a portable option you can get a USB modem which clicks into your laptop, a Wi Fi modem or a SIM (for ipad and mobile use). Costs differ between devices and providers but you would expect to pay at least $80 for a Vodaphone USB modem to up to $299 for a Telstra Wi Fi Modem. Top up data credits monthly online or in store. A 12 or 24 monthly data contract will often include the cost of the device so that it is spread over the term of the plan. A contract offers better rates but you are committed for a certain period – excess above your agreed usage will be charged at a premium. These portable internet devices are best for light to medium users with data quotas starting from 2Gig.
Wireless Internet – For broad coverage there are plans with many of the main providers including TPG, Telstra, DoDo. Users pay from $69 and above for the modem (plugs in to a phone line) and approximately $60 a month for unlimited data usage. This suits users needing higher usage who want to ensure no exorbitant excess data charges and those who want to access the internet across a range of devices in the home.
Free Wifi – Darwin and NT offers free Wifi in most of the libraries, some cafes and hotels throughout NT and in some public places. in order to find your nearest Wi-Fi outlet you can download an APP called WI-Fi Finder – see apps.apple.com.