Being reamed for data charges when overseas

Discussion about software such as GSAK, OziExplorer etc, as well as all things hardware, GPSrs, laptops, PDAs, paperless caching, cables etc
User avatar
Yurt
4500 or more caches found
4500 or more caches found
Posts: 1509
Joined: 01 May 09 10:08 pm
Location: Northern Suburbs, Sydney

Being reamed for data charges when overseas

Post by Yurt » 01 May 12 4:46 pm

Okay I knew it was ridiculously expensive at $15-20 a MB in NZ but I had data roaming turned off all the time I was there except when I was looking for an early morning cache and I needed a little online help from the GC site via c: geo. I would have had it connected for no longer than a minute on two occasions and got charged $40!
I'll never turn it on again and I'm glad I wasn't casual with it otherwise I could have been like a friend who didn't turn off data roaming when there and got a bill for $3000!

What's the best way to get around this when over there? We plan on two weeks later in the year and it's handy to be able to use data but not at Telstra (or any other Australian provider - Optus is even worse) rates.

Tuena
4500 or more caches found
4500 or more caches found
Posts: 523
Joined: 17 November 06 11:38 am

Re: Being reamed for data charges when overseas

Post by Tuena » 01 May 12 6:07 pm

There is a topic on this subject in the forum. NZ Attendees - Global Roaming.

This will take you to it:

http://forum.geocaching.com.au/viewtopi ... =2&t=17297

User avatar
pjmpjm
6000 or more caches found
6000 or more caches found
Posts: 864
Joined: 09 April 10 12:35 am
Twitter: Booroobin
Location: Blue Mountains
Contact:

Data Charges Overseas

Post by pjmpjm » 01 May 12 10:06 pm

I've been researching this very topic . . .

http://www.smh.com.au/travel/tripologis ... z1rsTcjiTD

Am going to buy a TravelSim card at the Katoomba Post Office next week.

User avatar
The Spindoctors
Posts: 1767
Joined: 08 October 03 8:00 pm
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Re: Being reamed for data charges when overseas

Post by The Spindoctors » 04 May 12 12:01 pm

pjmpjm, they're useless. We've tried them in China and India and they don't work all that well.

My suggestion in the topic Tuena points to, is to get a prepaid SIM from the country you're going to. There are a number in NZ. I used 2 degrees and they were quite good.

User avatar
pjmpjm
6000 or more caches found
6000 or more caches found
Posts: 864
Joined: 09 April 10 12:35 am
Twitter: Booroobin
Location: Blue Mountains
Contact:

SIM Cards for Overseas Travel

Post by pjmpjm » 04 May 12 11:39 pm

The Spindoctors wrote:pjmpjm, they're useless. We've tried them in China and India and they don't work all that well. My suggestion in the topic Tuena points to, is to get a prepaid SIM from the country you're going to. There are a number in NZ. I used 2 degrees and they were quite good.
Thanks. I've already heard that suggestion from the US as well.

User avatar
Richary
6500 or more caches found
6500 or more caches found
Posts: 4135
Joined: 04 February 04 10:55 pm
Location: Waitara, Sydney

Re: Being reamed for data charges when overseas

Post by Richary » 04 May 12 11:50 pm

I am off to NZ for a week of work probably on the 27th of May, and will be looking at getting a data SIM while there. While the comments on the NZ site are that telecom has the best coverage, arriving Sunday I may not get to a store until the Monday. So will consider whether a Vodafone card available at the airport is a better option for that trip (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch for work).

Once I get back I will post my experiences on the purchase and use of the SIM. It's a shame, the laptop dongle needs a full size SIM and the iPhone uses a micro SIM so I can't have both online depending on whether I am out during the day or in the hotel at night.

EDIT: A check shows Telecom have a store at Auckland International Arrivals, so I might be right for internet on the first night as it should be open.

User avatar
Papa Bear_Left
800 or more hollow logs searched
800 or more hollow logs searched
Posts: 2573
Joined: 03 April 03 12:28 am
Location: Kalamunda, WA
Contact:

Re: Being reamed for data charges when overseas

Post by Papa Bear_Left » 05 May 12 1:08 am

Why not get a micro-SIM for the iPhone and just use it as a hotspot for the laptop's connection?

I haven't use a USB dongle for ages, since getting a smartphone.

Mama Bear's on her way to Spain at the moment, and we bought a pre-paid SIM online that has better rates than we get locally!

User avatar
bshwckr
500 or more caches logged
500 or more caches logged
Posts: 214
Joined: 08 August 06 1:51 pm
Twitter: bshwckr
Location: Cessnock

Re: Being reamed for data charges when overseas

Post by bshwckr » 05 May 12 9:34 am

I use a NZ Telecom prepaid sim when I go to NZ for work. I top it each time I go back and buy some extra data on top. I use Skype to ring back to Australia which uses said data, not calls. I hotspot the phone to my laptop for data also. Typically, a week in NZ working will use up about $40 worth to Telecom and $16 to Skype. .
Telecom do have an outlet at the international terminal in Auckland and it has always been open when I have arrived. They are quite helpful and will set your phone to work on their network which does require some special settings for data.
Make sure your phone is unlocked for other networks before you go so you will not have any issues with the Telecom sim. It is possible to have it unlocked while in NZ but I have found this to be a bit hit and miss.

User avatar
The Spindoctors
Posts: 1767
Joined: 08 October 03 8:00 pm
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Re: Being reamed for data charges when overseas

Post by The Spindoctors » 05 May 12 10:58 am

Agree with the above, the only downside with NZ Telecom (which has the best coverage) is that not all phones work with them. I think you need a quad-band phone because of the frequency of their network.From memory iPhone is good, but most (all?) HTC phones are out.

User avatar
Richary
6500 or more caches found
6500 or more caches found
Posts: 4135
Joined: 04 February 04 10:55 pm
Location: Waitara, Sydney

Re: Being reamed for data charges when overseas

Post by Richary » 05 May 12 6:18 pm

Papa Bear_Left wrote:Why not get a micro-SIM for the iPhone and just use it as a hotspot for the laptop's connection?
If I try to set it up as a hotspot it tells me to contact Optus to enable that on this account. I need to get it unlocked if I am going to use it over there (which the website tells me should be free, so I can ask them at the same time).

LouiseAnn
4500 or more caches found
4500 or more caches found
Posts: 727
Joined: 08 August 09 12:04 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Being reamed for data charges when overseas

Post by LouiseAnn » 05 May 12 6:50 pm

Richary wrote: If I try to set it up as a hotspot it tells me to contact Optus to enable that on this account. I need to get it unlocked if I am going to use it over there (which the website tells me should be free, so I can ask them at the same time).
Thanks for the reminder, I must do that myself....

User avatar
gmj3191
5000 or more caches found
5000 or more caches found
Posts: 1314
Joined: 22 April 03 12:37 am
Location: Sandringham, Vic Garmin Oregon 650

Re: Being reamed for data charges when overseas

Post by gmj3191 » 06 May 12 12:22 am

The Spindoctors wrote:Agree with the above, the only downside with NZ Telecom (which has the best coverage) is that not all phones work with them. I think you need a quad-band phone because of the frequency of their network.From memory iPhone is good, but most (all?) HTC phones are out.
Are you sure that's correct?
I've just been looking at this and the carrier frequencies used in New Zealand look the pretty much the same as in same as in Australia, in fact the world seems to be split into two groups, with Aust and New Zealand in the same compatibility group.
Image

User avatar
akkatracker
600 or more caches found
600 or more caches found
Posts: 221
Joined: 23 December 10 3:35 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Being reamed for data charges when overseas

Post by akkatracker » 06 May 12 2:54 pm

gmj3191 wrote:
The Spindoctors wrote:Agree with the above, the only downside with NZ Telecom (which has the best coverage) is that not all phones work with them. I think you need a quad-band phone because of the frequency of their network.From memory iPhone is good, but most (all?) HTC phones are out.
Are you sure that's correct?
I've just been looking at this and the carrier frequencies used in New Zealand look the pretty much the same as in same as in Australia, in fact the world seems to be split into two groups, with Aust and New Zealand in the same compatibility group.
Image
Not all phones are 850mHz. Only the newer models are on it.
This was vodafone's problem

User avatar
gmj3191
5000 or more caches found
5000 or more caches found
Posts: 1314
Joined: 22 April 03 12:37 am
Location: Sandringham, Vic Garmin Oregon 650

Re: Being reamed for data charges when overseas

Post by gmj3191 » 06 May 12 8:26 pm

akkatracker wrote: Not all phones are 850mHz. Only the newer models are on it.
This was vodafone's problem
Looks like only one carrier in each of the two countries has that anyway. You'd need to be Telstra or NZ Telecom.

User avatar
Yurt
4500 or more caches found
4500 or more caches found
Posts: 1509
Joined: 01 May 09 10:08 pm
Location: Northern Suburbs, Sydney

Re: Being reamed for data charges when overseas

Post by Yurt » 16 July 12 6:31 pm

I posted this in the NZ Mega thread by accident as I came through the link above. Posting here as well for the sake of completeness/consistency.
With the NZ holiday only 10 weeks away now I am getting back into this.
If you have a Telstra phone can you actually put another SIM into it, pre-paid or not? I had a different Telstra phone I was given (HTC Wildfire) which wouldn't accept an Optus SIM (actually it worked for calls and SMS but not internet). I bought a pre-paid Telstra SIM just for geocaching help while I kept the Nokia going. Now I've got a Telstra Samsung Galaxy S2 I imagine that if I put any NZ card in it I'm not going to get any internet access.

So has anyone experience with this?

Years ago this wouldn't have mattered but we've all become so used to having email and info access on the road that it's hard to go without it. Then there's opportunistic geocaching which is what I really love about a smartphone. Not having to put all those caches into the Garmin on the off chance you'll be in the right area. When we went to Canada three years ago that's all I could do - pick my targets beforehand and download them. With only half the family being into caching it's difficult to plan on doing many!

Post Reply