Calling overseas has become a necessity in the lives of many Australians as family members, friends and important people in their lives go abroad for various reasons.
Fortunately, there are many ways to call overseas from Australia.
Internet-based Calling Apps
If calling overseas from Australia is becoming a recurring expense, it is necessary to find the cheapest way to do it. One of the least expensive options is to download a free app, and use it over Wi-Fi. There are apps that allow you to make online calls, such as Skype or Google Hangout. Millions are saving money on overseas calls through Skype and other free apps. Online apps might seem like the perfect solution, but there are some limitations:
- Both the caller and the receiver have to use the same app. For example, Skype calls will need to be made to another Skype account – unless you use their paid service. Calling a mobile phone number through Skype is not free, although the cost is still significantly lower than most telcos will offer. To get a free call, you will both need to be online and using the same app.
- Apps offer unpredictable audio quality depending on the internet connection.
- There are fewer countries you can call. For example, you can’t use Facebook Messenger call to China because it’s blocked.
- You can’t call without an internet connection on both sides of the call. For countries where the internet connection is less predictable, it might become more difficult to have a good quality call.
Prepaid and Postpaid Phone Plans
Telecommunications companies also offer various plans for calling overseas. Mobile service providers almost always have some option to include international calling time from Australia to specified countries. Prepaid plans seem to be best for those who only need to make a few calls monthly. There are postpaid plans where you add only $5 or $15 to enjoy reduced rates or unlimited calls to specified countries.
There’s a wide range of overseas call plans, so it might take some research to find one that would be the cheapest for you. However, if you make regular calls overseas, doing your homework could save you a significant amount of money.
Factors to consider in choosing a phone plan for overseas calls
- Is the country you’ll be calling covered in the plan?
- Are there enough included international minutes, or do you need unlimited calls?
- Does the plan include international SMS?
- Are the calls to mobile phones, landline phones or both?
- Is a prepaid or postpaid plan better for you?
A prepaid plan allows better control over what you spend for overseas calls but if you need more time and want to avoid being cut off if you run out of credit, choose a postpaid plan.
- Does your plan offer other inclusions?
The cheapest way for you to call overseas will depend mainly on the countries you need to call and how often you need to call.
Phone Plans that Include Overseas Calls
Here are some of the phone plans offered by the different telcos. Plans may vary from time to time, so check their respective sites for the updated and complete offers.
- Telstra has two international call packs for its home phone broadband subscribers- International Saver and International Ultimate.International saver: For $5 per month, you get discounted call rates to fixed lines and mobiles in 72 countries.
International Ultimate: For $15 per month on your home phone service and get unlimited calls to home phones in 35 countries, unlimited calls to mobiles in 17 countries and discounted call rates to 37 countries.
- Telstra Pre-Paid Extra
For a $40 recharge, you can make unlimited overseas calls to 10 standard numbers in specified destinations.
Users on a plan
Vodafone has two plans for its Plus Plans, selected Red, SIM Only and Business Advance Plans:
- 3000 standard international minutes from Australia to 20 zone 1countries
- 300 standard international minutes from Australia to 70 zone 2 countries
Visit the Vodafone site for the list of Zone 1 and Zone 2 countries which could change from time to time.
4. Other Companies’ Overseas Call Plans
Staying in Touch
There is no single plan that represents the cheapest way to call overseas from Australia. It really depends on the individual caller’s needs and considerations. Avoid the high cost of keeping in touch with your family and friends overseas by taking the time to check the various plans available from different telcos, so you can focus more on your loved ones and less on your phone bill.