Stay in touch when you travel overseas

5 July 2010

International travel is often an integral part of our roles at the University. To minimise the cost of overseas travel, ICT provides a number of options to stay connected without having to incur expensive mobile phone bills.

While you're overseas, making and receiving phone calls or accessing the Internet on your mobile phone can be expensive. A 13 minute call from a University mobile in New Zealand to a number in Sydney costs over $40.00 and using data roaming to check emails over a 50 minute period costs almost $650! To minimise costs, ICT recommends these tips and tricks:

  1. Buy a prepaid SIM card when you arrive at your destination and use this instead of your Australian SIM card. If you use a prepaid SIM card you will have a local phone number and will be charged at the local call rate instead of the international roaming rate (which is often very expensive!). If you choose to do this, you will need to contact the ICT Helpdesk to ensure your mobile phone is unlocked before you leave Australia.
  2. If you prefer to keep your Australian number while you are overseas then you will be charged at the international roaming rates to make and receive calls and to access the Internet on your phone. To minimise call charges contact the ICT Helpdesk to obtain anOptus Calling Card. You will still be charged if you receive calls or if you access the Internet on your mobile phone, but the cards allow you to make phone calls at a cheaper rate.
  3. Disable data roaming on your mobile phone, regardless of whether you are using an Australian or international prepaid SIM card. International data roaming can be expensive, so ICT recommends that you access the Internet via wireless hotspots in your hotel or in public places, or if you are visiting a university that participates ineduroam, you can use your UniKey to access their wireless network
  4. If you think you will use your phone for voice or data often during your overseas trip, take a look at the newOptus Business Roaming Value packsthat are available for University staff. The Roaming Value Packs are added to your mobile phone plan and your account is charged at the standard call or data rate of the network within the country you are visiting.
  5. Make sure you're prepared before you go overseas. At least one week before you leave, organise an Optus Calling Card or Business Roaming Value pack, ensure your mobile phone is unlocked and get global roaming activated on your phone. Once you leave Australia, make sure turn data roaming is turned off.

For more information, visit the Travelling Overseas section ofIT Assist.