Moose, Vaya and Amaysim are popular choices for customers because they are inexpensive options that still offer quality services. These companies reduce overhead costs by using Optus’s infrastructure and operating mostly online. They are able to offer low-cost plans that usually have better inclusions than what the bigger companies offer their customers.
These three Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) offer competitive rates across all areas of mobile service, and benefit from the fast 4G Plus mobile data speeds Optus have made available to 96.5% of the Australian population. Their rates for global roaming and international calls are competitive when compared to other telcos, but there are other options available that could prove cheaper and more convenient for most people.
International calls with Vaya, Moose and Amaysim
Contacting people who live overseas from Australia has become much cheaper and easier with online communication services. You can even call landlines and mobiles using Skype, which is charged at a very low rate. Calling cards are becoming obsolete but are still available as an option if you want to contact someone in another country at a low rate. However, if you do want to use your mobile device to make calls, each company has different options.
- Moose Mobile customers have international calls added as a separate charge on top of their regular bill. Moose Mobile’s international call rates range from $0.37 per minute to the U.S.A, all the way up to a massive $18.50 per minute to East Timor. Moose Mobile has the most expensive rates when compared to the other two companies, but it does offer calls to a wider range of countries.
- Vaya’s rates start from a very low $0.02 per minute. For the $36 and $44 per month plans, Vaya customers have the option to add an additional pack of 200 international minutes to 100 select countries for $2. If your country of choice is on the list, this could be a good option.
- Amaysim offer unlimited standard calls to 10 select countries on most of their Unlimited plans, with 300 minutes to an additional 22 countries on their $40 and $50 plans. Their normal international rates are cheaper than Moose Mobile, but more expensive than Vaya.
Global Roaming with Moose, Amaysim and Vaya
- Amaysim have turned global roaming off by default, so you’ll have to contact them to activate it. Prepaid customers need to add extra credit before they leave, whereas post-paid customers will see the charges on their next bill. Amaysim offer the best rates for global roaming out of the three companies. You’ll need to check each country to see how much it will cost you.
- Moose Mobile split all available countries into either zone 1 or 2, and charge based on the zone. To activate roaming, customers need to give Moose at least 30 days’ notice and pre-pay a $150 deposit before they leave. While their rates are not as good as Amaysim’s, they do offer access to more countries.
- Vaya do not offer global roaming unless long-term customers already have it enabled. Once they turn global roaming off, they will be unable to access it again.
Global roaming is a feature offered on most plans, but there are other options for savvy travellers. One of the better options for most people is buying a local SIM once you get to your destination. You then have access to local rates and coverage, which will almost certainly work out cheaper.
Otherwise, there are SIM cards available for purchase in Australia that are designed to only be used when roaming, which allows them to offer special rates. If Wi-Fi is readily accessible in your location, you might choose to rely on VoIP services like Skype or Facebook Messenger to stay in contact.
If you do choose to go with global roaming, there are some precautions you should take to avoid coming home to a huge bill. Remember that you are not only being charged when you make a call, but also when people call you. Setting up call diversion should prevent this from being a problem.
Mobile data is extremely expensive when overseas, and you are likely to underestimate how much you are using. Make sure mobile data is switched off on your phone except for in emergencies, and use Wi-Fi wherever possible.
Whichever option you choose, remember to research thoroughly before setting off, check your usage frequently while using your phone, and use other options like Wi-Fi wherever possible. Keeping an eye on your phone expenses means less worry when overseas and coming home to a reasonable bill.