cellphones are proof we live in the future
June 1, 2012 7:56 AM Subscribe
What cellphone and service should I choose for an upcoming 6-week vacation to Australia?
posted by jepler to Travel & Transportation around Australia (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Later this year, I'll be taking a 6-week vacation in Australia with my wife. Probably we'll spend the majority of our time in these areas: Cairns, Sidney, Melbourne, Tasmania (in particular, we have no plans to get out into "the outback").
We want to have a phone to make reservations and call friends we'll be visiting. I'd be surprised to hit 200 minutes of in-country calling; I'd have to guess we'd do less than 10 minutes of international calling ('hi mom, we made it to australia, ok bye') and would skip it entirely if the costs are unreasonable.
It would be nice if the phone is a smartphone that could act as a browser/tether/hotspot to the tune of 100-300MBs over the course of the whole trip (basically, in case we're in an area with cellular service but at a hotel without free internet service it would be nice to check e-mail and find restaurants). Again, if the costs are crazy this is not a requirement.
It would be a convenient bonus if the phone could be used in Europe (germany/france/england mostly) by swapping out the SIM card for a local provider, so I'm looking for an unlocked phone. (I think this is feasible, but if you can educate me a bit about the various GSM frequencies and regions that wouldn't hurt)
What cellphone should I buy, and what service provider should I choose? Is there any problem activating a cellphone without a permanent Australian address? Can I and should I buy the phone while in the US, or wait until I'm in Australia (we start in Melbourne)? How much should I expect to pay for service, given my usage predictions?
I live in the US and my current cellphone is a CDMA-only Android (ting.com on sprint's network) It's unimportant whether the cellphone I buy for this trip will work in the US as I have no desire to replace my current phone.