Adelaide - Pre vs. Post

This post is dedicated to Jacqkie and anyone else who is going to Australia and are prepared to spend shitloads of money on keeping in touch with loved ones via the magic of modern technology.

In Australia, there is the option of getting yourself a postpaid number + free* phone OR getting a prepaid number.

- Free phone/Super cheap phone with a postpaid number
This comes in various packages. A postpaid package (Or Cap as it's called) basically works like you get a set amount of credit (depending on how expensive your package is) then you use it till you're done. Then any spending after that will be charged at normal rates. See below. The more expensive packages will usually have much nicer phones, like a Blackberry, Nokia E-series phone, etc. The cheaper ones have decent models for the average user.

-Contract minimum 2 years
You're tied to the phone plan for 2 years! If you try to get out of the contract, you'll have to pay some leftover costs.

-Pay only at the end of your billing period
Postpaid la. You pay later. Your package comes with a certain number of minutes and credit. Once you use that up, then any extras will be charged at a lower price. E.g. $29 package = $150 credit. Once that's used up, your next SMS/Call will be charged according to their normal rates.
E.g. $29 package = $150 credit. + 20 SMS to local operators ($5)
You pay $29 + $5 = $34.

-Free Bonus Pack
You get to choose some additional subscriptions/pack things. I dunno, things like free gossip and updates/ TV god knows la. Lots of categories to choose from like News, Entertainment, Sports, etc.

The postpaid option is always the best option as long as you're going to be here for a minimum of 2 years. You get a free phone (which you can bring back with you and unlock in KL for a low fee :p), and you don't have to worry about the hassle of recharging your credit before it expires. Plus, the charges are cheaper :)

-Macam Hotlink la. You pay, then you use. You buy the package and that comes with a certain amount of credit. Use use use use. Finish. Recharge. Use use use use.

The credit will expire in 30 days unless you top up, and roll it all together. This is unlike Postpaid, where you start fresh with new credit every billing cycle, and cannot campur aduk credit from the previous month. There are various ways to recharge. You can buy a print out coupon from 3 stores, and convenience stores, or you can just buy it online (you will need a debit card for the online option). The coupon has a number and easy step-by-step recharge instructions. If you're a normal prepaid user in Malaysia, this will be easy peasy.

You can either use your phone from Malaysia (only if it's not tied to a network and is compatible with the Bandwith regulation) or buy a new one here. Mind you, buying a phone is not like in KL. Buying a phone here costs an extra unlocking fee ( I think it's about $200. Don't take my word for it). Plus, the options here suck. Really. There's no Nokia store, if you want to buy a phone, you'll have to go to a store that belongs to a Network Operator, like a 3 store, or Optus store. Very limited range of models too.

I don't know if there's a price for a postpaid SIM & phone, but the Prepaid SIM card currently costs 5 bucks. It's just a little bit of plastic after all. Plus, you get extra $10 credit if you activate it online! Wheee free money :p

-Mobile Internet Data
You get a certain amount of free Mobile Internet, depending on the package you buy. I don't use this on my block-of-crap-PDA-that doesn't do wireless. Can't comment. Could come in handy when you need to go online randomly I suppose. We utilised this a lot on Jay's phone during RFP quizzes. Who won the Chess tournament. A lot of names of weird people we don't care about. The Russian Prime Minister. AW GAW.

-International Calls
There is a cap on International calls, up to $100 for each recharge. E.g. $29 package = $150 credit. Out of that $150, you can only use up to $100 on international calls. This does not apply to Postpaid.

Prepaid is an option you'll have to choose when you're not going to be in Australia for very long since you can't opt for the contract. However, the free phone from Postpaid honestly doesn't matter, especially if you happen to like your current phone very much. It's just a great extra perk to have. It's the same value for money as the Postpaid options, just that when you finish your credit, you'll have to top up again. The prices for postpaid calls are slightly cheaper too. But since I'm rarely a caller and more of a texter (SMS cost the same, for both Postpaid and Prepaid) that doesn't matter to me.

-Credit packages
Packages here refer to the type of credit you buy. Most telco operators here in Australia offer a certain number of free minutes to talk to your friends on the same telco network. Pay attention, because it can get a little confusing here.

Example :

$29 package = $150 credit + $ 160 Free minutes to 3 friends = $310 value

So when I buy a $29 recharge, I get $150 dollars worth of credit to be used on calls and SMSs. I also get $160 worth of free calls to other people who use the same telco network (3). So all in all, I SPEND $29 dollars for a package that is VALUED at $310. There are other packages too, like $49, $69 and $99 for Prepaid, and goes all the way up to $199 for Postpaid connections. The more you pay, the more worth and value you get. I usually go for a $49 package for 2 months consecutively then 3rd month is a $29 recharge because I just have that much left over.

Don't forget that for Prepaid connections, the leftover credit is snowballed to your next recharge as long as you recharge before it expires.

-Planet 3 Add ons *only applicable to 3 mobile network*

There are several other bonuses you can purchase in addition to your phone plan. There are a few, like Unlimited Email for $5, International Talk etc. International Talk is basically a $5/10 add on package that you buy and it renews itself each month. With these packages you have 100 minutes of talk time to various international locations.

The only difference between the $5 and $10 package is that the $10 package has a few more locations (?) and more 'call-to-mobile-phone' locations. For this you'd need to look at the brochure and see which package is suitable for you as some locations that are the 'extras' in the $10 package are locations you won't call.

E.g. $5 package = Malaysia (landline only), Korea, UK, etc.
$10 package = Malaysia (landline & mobile phone), Korea, UK etc.

This planet 3 add on also requires a different recharge coupon. It does not take money out from your phone credit, and the credit for a Planet 3 add on has an expiry period of 180 days. So you basically buy a $10 coupon that will last you 6 months (180 days) and every month, your 100 minutes will renew itself! So what you really get is $10 = 600 minutes! (spread out over 6 months)

And if you finish that 100 minutes before your credit cycle ends, you can keep on calling, and be charged normal international rates (see the 3 website for this) and your International Talk gives you a 25% discount.

E.g. Credit cycle/ expiry period - 13 May - 13 June.
If you finish your 100 minutes of International Talk time by the 12th June or earlier, you will have to wait till after 13 June to get a new batch of 100 minutes. While waiting for your new batch, you can of course keep making international calls, but it will be a bit more pricey la.

This International Talk package gives you 4000 minutes of Skype! Problem is, most mobile phones can't handle Skype. And no, it does not work on the computer. The 4000 minutes are stuck on your SIM Prepaid. So if you have a PDA that has a working Skype application, even better. You can make lots of Skype to Skype calls on the go. Three is selling a Skype phone, but no idea how good it is. I think it's retailing for about <$200 (Aussie). I also saw one in Digital Mall, no idea how much the price is, or if it's even compatible with the 3 SIM.

NEXT : Telco Operators in Australia & Internet!


ItoMaki said...

Damn semangat right you? D8

Jacqkie Rowena said...

hey yuen read this since it first posted but forgot to comment. thanks babe it really helped :) nevertheless please still recommend me which one's the best when I'm there! Hehe :)