Cell phone

Sep 18th, 2007, 04:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 668
Cell phone

Is there a way to be able to use a U.S. cell phone in Australia and N.Z. for local calls in those countries without them being treated as international calls?
judilie is offline  
Sep 18th, 2007, 07:08 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,018
You can buy a pre-paid SIM card for local calls.
Bokhara is offline  
Sep 18th, 2007, 10:11 PM
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judilie, if you search this forum you'll find several older threads with lots of useful information.

To summarise, though, you'll need an UNLOCKED GSM (Global System for Mobiles) phone that at the least handles the 900 and 1800 Megahertz frequency bands. A quadband phone will do that and can also be used in North America, where the bands are 850 and 1900 MHz.

Most American cellphones use not GSM but a standard called CDMA, although GSM coverage is growing in the US (Cingular is one major carrier that uses it - I forget the other). An American CDMA phone won't work in AU/NZ or most other countries.

As Bokhara says, once you have that phone you can buy a SIM card that gives you a local number and your choice of prepaid call credits.

Or you can buy a phone with prepaid credits in Australia - a typical deal is $89, with $10 included calls. Problem with that is that it will have been locked to the issuing carrier. Unless Vodaphone* has some special AU-NZ deal, that would stop you buying a new SIM for it in NZ.

* The major AU mobile carriers are Telstra, Optus and Vodaphone (plus a bunch of resellers like Virgin). In NZ, Vodaphone I think is still the dominant carrier.

Neil_Oz is offline  
Sep 19th, 2007, 06:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 8,018
My Sprint phone worked just fine in NZ, with no changes or new SIM, but it was definitely at international rates even for local calls. But if you aren't going to use it a lot, big deal.
flygirl is offline  
Sep 19th, 2007, 11:41 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 5
I have a Blackberry with cingular and AT & T service in new york city. will my cell phone work in Australia? I noticed that it has GSM.
JakeRoberts is offline  
Sep 19th, 2007, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 9,922
Jake, see my response to judilie, especially with respect to GSM frequencies in AU/NZ. If your Blackberry only has US frequencies it will not work in most other countries of the world, including AU and NZ.

flygirl, judilie specifically asked about using a US mobile in the less expensive domestic mode in AU/NZ, which is why the option of having the US carrier provide international roaming was not addressed. From previous posts she will be temporarily resident here.

Back to Jake - IF your phone will work on AU-NZ frequencies the options are (a) as explained in my response to judilie or (b) the flygirl option, which is known as international roaming. Your cellphone carrier may need to activate roaming before you depart.
Neil_Oz is offline  
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