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Getting a mobile SIM?

Newcastle upon...
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Getting a mobile SIM?

When I come to Australia next month I am going straight to Katoomba from the airport for a couple of days at the Blue Mountains. I am hoping to get hold of a mobile SIM so that I can get some data for my trip because roaming on my home network would cost a fortune.

I know there is an ALDI store in Katoomba, but what do they stock when it comes to mobiles?

I have an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S3 UK phone so I can probably just plug a SIM in and connect fine. Is this right? Will I have any problems purchasing a SIM? I hear some shops ask for proof of AU address etc.

I kinda need some form of phone usable because it seems a lot of day tours in AU require you to reconfirm 24-48 hours before departure, which I find a bit silly but it has to be done.

Sydney
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1. Re: Getting a mobile SIM?

You can purchase a SIM from Aldi, and also from many other convenience stores, supermarkets, etc. There are few competitive deals.

Your unlocked Galaxy S3 will be fine.

You don't need proof of AU address to get a prepaid SIM. All you need is identification, and your passport will do nicely.

If you don't buy from a branded shop, for some SIMs there may be an activation process that you have to do online or by phone.

Edited: 26 November 2013, 22:07
Des Moines, Iowa
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2. Re: Getting a mobile SIM?

I bought a Telstra SIM at the Cairns airport. But I think most airports have them. Maybe not the best price (not sure) but beats running around especially if you don't have a vehicle.

Newcastle upon...
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3. Re: Getting a mobile SIM?

Thanks for the replies.

There's no Telstra shop in Katoomba so it will have to be Aldi or the Telstra at the airport in Sydney. Problem with the latter is the shop is at the domestic terminal and I'll be in the international.

I was just looking at the Aldi activation process on their site and it says "You may be required to send proof of ID before we are able to activate your SIM card." which is a bit concerning. Can I not activate it in the shop?

It also says this on the activation page:

"It is a regulatory requirement that we perform an identity check for all SIM card activations. If we are not able to verify your identity electronically with the information provided then we may ask you to send us proof of your identity. We'll let you know if this is required once you have placed your order."

Edited: 26 November 2013, 22:27
Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: Getting a mobile SIM?

The arrivals hall at the international airport has a few phone sellers. Optus, Vodaphone and Telstra will all sell you a $2 sim and you just top up whatever amount you want to. There is a Coles supermarket in Katoomba also, they also have sims and plans. The cheapest call plans tend to be Lebara and Amaysim.

whistleout.com.au/MobilePhones/SIM-Only-Mobi…

Newcastle upon...
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5. Re: Getting a mobile SIM?

Thanks Able58. Maybe I will just purchase something at the arrivals hall then. Will that bypass the kind of activation process that Aldi require? I hear Telstra are the best for coverage so I will probably go with them.

I've never heard of the call plans you mention and there's a ton on that link so it looks like I will have to go study them all and see what's what. At the end of the day though my needs are probably going to be small, like 0.5-1gb of data, 20-30 minutes and 0 texts. I plan to cache all my maps before I go so I don't need a ton of data.

I think I'd be happy just getting up and running on any SIM for a reasonable price, no point running around trying to find a deal when I've just gone through 24 hours of flying. :P

Edited: 26 November 2013, 23:00
Brisbane, Australia
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6. Re: Getting a mobile SIM?

Telstra has the best coverage, but if you aren't going somewhere remote it won't make much difference. The benefit to do it directly with a provider is they can easily take you through the connection process ... I'm not sure you'd get the same level of service at a supermarket, I am having trouble wondering why they make this stuff so hard sometimes.

Sydney/Melbourne
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7. Re: Getting a mobile SIM?

Pre Paid SIMS are available in every supermarket and convenience store.

There will be at least half a dozen places in Katoomba other than Aldi where you can pick one up, even if there's no Telstra store. There's a huge Coles Supermarket that sells them for sure. You buy the card for $2 call the number given then follow the instructions in the voice prompts to load up the card using your credit card and activate it. It all takes about 1 minute.

Edited: 26 November 2013, 23:11
Newcastle upon...
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8. Re: Getting a mobile SIM?

I'm going to some remote places on day tours and a trip to Uluru but Telstra might even struggle with places like that. You could say why do you want your phone on a tour, but there's always boring segments of the bus ride.

It's good to know that it won't be a difficult thing to get this sorted. Definitely prefer the airport option because everything is together there and I'll be relying on a map to get me around Katoomba. Plus as Able58 says the level of service should be higher in a mobile store.

9. Re: Getting a mobile SIM?

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