As most of us use mobile phone/smart phone for our daily life, choosing and using the right mobile service would avoid high expense on communication. Just like in Indonesia, with the right combination, communication expense could be controlled with your budget.
Australia has 4 big operators and some other operators. The main operators are Telstra, Vodafone, Optus and 3 (Three).
These 4 operators have their own plus points.
Telstra has the fastest 3G/HSDPA network, Vodafone has the advantage of its value added such as mobile TV, Optus has the advantage of its friendliness to help international students and 3 (Three) offers cheap call between 3 (Three) users.
Australia is one of the first countries that apply number portability which means, you could change your operator without changing your phone number. Number portability will ease the process of switching operators and the process of switching from prepaid to post-paid service. This part will give you information about communication service and internet in Victoria, including how to utilize available choices to get the superior value.
PRE-PAID MOBILE SERVICE
Just like in Indonesia, pre-paid mobile service is the most favorable choice for Indonesian students in Australia. With prepaid mobile service, you do not have to pay monthly payment and you can control your expenses. All you have to do is to buy a pre-paid SIM starter pack at the nearest operator store.
You could use your new SIM card to communicate after registering to the operator. To be noted, you have to give the full right information to ease you if any problem occurs in the future such as switching operator. You will be asked to give 4 digits PIN number to identify yourself. You have to memorise and save this PIN safely as it will be needed if any problem occurs in the future.
In Australia, you could buy credit with a value more than how much you have paid. For example, by buying credit $19 caps, you could get value of $50 or credit $49 caps could give you value of $300 and so on. With this system, you could get more value than you have paid but the credit will expire after a certain of time (e.g.: one month).
POST-PAID MOBILE SERVICE
Some students in Melbourne choose to use post-paid mobile service as they could get new cell-phones for free or at a more favourable price. In general, you have to sign a contract for one or two years to get a free cell-phone (or at a more favourable price) with an operator.
In general, to use post-paid mobile service, you will need:
Your passport and Certificate of Enrolment for the institution that you will be studying at and address (in the form of bank statement or invoice) and bank statement with balance of at least $1,000 and statement of income from your sponsor (scholarship, parents or any other private source).
If you have credit card from bank in Australia, it will be an advantage as it will help you to pass credit check for the registration of post-paid service contract. To be noted, the contract for Vodafone rejects all the statement of income from outside Australia. If you do not have any income from a job in Australia, you could not use Vodafone’s post-paid mobile service.
Just like pre-paid mobile service, you could choose between normal contract or caps contract in post-paid mobile service.
In the two options of contract, you have to pay amount of contract that you have chosen every month. The difference is, with the normal contract, you would not be given as much value as you would if you choose caps contract however the value given could be used for next month (rollover).
If you choose a pricy cell-phone, or shorter period of contract (e.g.: 1 year contract), you would pay a handset repayment with the contract each month.
SKYPE CALL AND TEXT (SMS)
If you have not heard of Skype, now is the right time to learn. Skype is a call service via Internet that could save your expense on communication effectively. Beside free call, text and video call between computers, Skype also has Skype out that makes it possible for you to call and send texts (SMS) to cell-phones (to phone numbers) anywhere around the world including Australia and Indonesia, with reasonable price.
For example, $16 could be used to call home telephone in Indonesia up to 8 hours or send up to 90 SMS to cell-phones in Indonesia using Skype out. To call home telephone and cell-phone in Australia, Skype also has cheap monthly offer by paying only $4 for unlimited call. You only need a computer with Internet connection, Skype app, mic and speaker.
To pay Skype call service, you need to have Paypal account. To have a Paypal account, you need to have a bank account in Australia or a credit card from bank in Australia. You could request Paypal to debit the bill from you bank account or send an invoice to your credit card. Not only to make payment for Skype call service, Paypal could also be used to shop online on eBay and other online shopping sites.
WIRELESS BROADBAND INTERNET SERVICE
Just like in Indonesia, you could also use wireless broadband (3G / HSDPA) from cell-operators in Australia. Wireless broadband Internet service would ease you if you do not have ADSL broadband service in your accommodation while you need Internet connection for your computer/laptop.
Operators that provide wireless broadband Internet service in Australia are Unwired, 3 (Three), Vodafone, Telstra and Optus.
ADSL INTERNET SERVICE
Most of Indonesian students in Melbourne, ADSL Internet service is the most popular choice. This Internet service uses ADSL cable that gives high speed Internet access, high download capacity and reasonable price per-month.
The top providers for ADSL Internet service in Melbourne are TPG, iiNet, Optus and Bigpond. In general, you would get an ADSL modem in form of wireless (WiFi) router for free if you sign a contract for one or two years.