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Prepare for prepaid Prepare for prepaid

09 January 2004
Written by David Hall


Prepare for prepaid

You may not want to sign up to a lengthy 24 month contract with a communications company, so pre-paid may be your only other option. It doesn’t have to be a hassle choosing what you want. Telstra, Optus, Virgin Mobile, AAPT, and Vodafone all have pre-paid services available on their networks. But, with so many, which one is for you? Which one gives you the services you need, like MMS, Voicemail, and WAP support? Today we’ll run through the main pre-paid services available, pointing out call charges, extra service charges, and more.

Many pre-paid services now-a-days have phones available to purchase with your pre-paid service, so you can get a funky phone, without the huge price tag. A lot of newer phones are being put straight into pre-paid services, like the Nokia 3100, Panasonic GD55 and Siemens MC60.

The great thing about pre-paid services is that you don’t have to sign anything. You aren’t obligated to spend a certain amount, and you are always in control of how much you spend, so you can never go over your limit. You also don’t have to have a credit card to sign up, so it’s great for teenagers and adults alike.

Telstra Pre-paid CDMA

First off we’ll start with Telstra, which have their own pre-paid service, as well as Communic8, a subsidiary of Telstra. The Telstra pre-paid service is a CDMA service, whereas Communic8 is a GSM service. Some shops may still be selling pre-paid Telstra (not Communic8) starter packs, but when you connect you will either be put on the Telstra CDMA or Coummunic8 GSM service. Pricing structure is the same for existing Telstra pre-paid GSM subscribers.

Along with any other service, you can bring your own phone to the Telstra pre-paid CDMA service, or you can buy an LG DM150, or a Kyocera 1135. If you do have your own phone, you can buy a starter kit for around $25. Other CDMA phones can be brought onto the Telstra CDMA network, like the new Nokia 3105.

Orange CDMA phones may work with the Telstra CDMA service, but no Orange phones have been connected to the Telstra service successfully. Orange & Telstra both state that there phones will not work on other networks but their own, regardless of network locks.

The following table of call charges and all other charges are applicable to any phone with a Telstra pre-paid CDMA service.


National Calls per 30 seconds, but charged by the second
Peak time - Mon to Fri
(7am to 7pm)†
Peak time to another Telstra Mobile
(7pm to 7am)†
Off-peak time - Mon to Fri
(7am to 7pm), includes weekends †
(per 30 seconds)
Off-peak time to another Telstra Mobile
(7pm to 7am), includes weekends †
(per 30 seconds)
Flagfall 20c
Call forwarding
(Including forwarding to Message Bank)
(per 30 seconds)
Message Bank retrieval 14c
(per 30 seconds)
SMS* 25c
(per message)
Mobile phone calls are routed through the most suitable base station, so calls made from the same or similar locations may at different times be treated by the network as being made from different base stations. This may affect the charges payable where those charges are based on locality, proximity, distance or time zone. For the purpose of determining the time at which the calls commence, calls are treated as being made from the location of the selected base station.

Flagfall is the cost of call connection, so when you make a call you are charged for the call charge, as well as a flat 20c.

Telstra also offer a feature to remind you when you are running low on credit. You are automatically reminded when your credit gets below $20/$10. If you run out of credit during a call, you are cut off from the call.

Several ways are available to recharge your pre-paid account. You can call 125 114 from your mobile and recharge by your credit-card, or pay in person at any ePay centre or Telstra shop. Credit is rolled over if you recharge before it expires, and a $25 recharge will give you 2 months access, a $60 recharge will give 6 months access, and a $100 recharge will give you 12 months access.

Now onto Communic8, Telstra’s pre-paid GSM service on page 2.

(Please note)
These were appropriate at the time of publishing, and are to be used only as a guide. Please check the appropriate websites for more up-to-date information.

Next Page 

Prepare for prepaid

Table of contents

Table of contents:

Introduction & Telstra CDMA (Page 1)
Communic8 & Optus (Page 2)
Virgin Mobile & Vodafone (Page 3)
AAPT & Conclusion (Page 4)

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Mobile Phone Insurance
[Mar 2006]
Two Megapixel Camera phone Comparison
[Aug 2005]
O-Sync Synchronization Service
[Jul 2005]
Earn credit while talking
[Dec 2004]
Megapixel Camera phone Comparison
[Jan 2004]
Prepare for prepaid
[Oct 2003]
Vodafone Mobile Connect Card
[Jun 2003]
live! with the Sharp GX10
[Feb 2003]
Business deals for Vodafone
[Jan 2003]
Business deals for Telstra
[Oct 2002]
Business deals for Optus
[Sep 2002]
[Aug 2002]
communic8-ing with SMS
[Jul 2002]
Guaranteed for the life of the contract
[Jun 2002]
AnyPhone will do
[Mar 2002]
My 6-month plan
[Jan 2002]
Safely insured
[Nov 2001]
MNP and "No Plans" Mobile Future on the Horizon?
[Jul 2001]
International Mobile User
[Mar 2001]
The Best Ways to Recover A Lost Mobile Phone
[Feb 2001]
What Type of Mobile Phone Do You Need
[Jan 2001]
Should I Change My Mobile Phone / Plan?
[Dec 2000]
Are Cell Phones Safe to Use?
[Nov 2000]
Pre-Paid Mobile Packages - We compare the prices
[Oct 2000]
What Constitutes a Good WAP Phone
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Battle of "Free Time"
[Jul 2000]
Mobile Insurance
[May 2000]
Tips & Pointers
[Apr 2000]
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