Although the USA and Canada have some GSM service (in the USA it is offered by
T-mobile and Cingular (including the former AT&T), in Canada by Microcell/Fido
and Rogers/AT&T) most cell phone service is of a different type or/and a
Fortunately for those who do own some of the
T-Mobile Samsung phones or Cingular
phones with GSM compatibility, they do have the perfect phones for use when
So, what does one do. Your first step is 'research'. There are a number of
good articles and resources online, some covering the topic extensively. Check
out our links below, including the excellent
Road Warrior Resources.
For travellers planning to visit an overseas destination you need to decide
whether you are going to use a local phone card that operates in the country you
are visiting (quite an economical way of keeping in touch), purchase a mobile
phone within the country you are travelling (which means you know it will work),
renting a mobile or
buy a mobile phone that will work anywhere.
For those planning to visit Australia, an inexpensive option is to get
yourself a GSM mobile/cell phone and purchase what is known as a 'prepaid SIM
card'. By using the prepaid SIM card you are able to easily manage your spend,
and it is a fairly easy process to top up the card. The other plus for visitors
that receive calls from the USA is that when someone rings you from there on
your Australian prepaid SIM card mobile phone, you
are not charged for the call3.
Australia offers a number of service providers with the main operators being
Telstra, Optus, Virgin and Vodafone. You can purchase the prepaid from a number
of outlets in Australia, including some supermarkets, post offices, electronic
and computer stores, just to name a few. Also keep your eyes open for the stores
sale brochures that come out periodically with some great mobile phone specials.
This article is continually evolving, so come back as we update and add more links here...