Mobile Cellular Telephones

Find out how to get yourself a mobile phone in Australia...

As the Australian continent is so large mobile telephone coverage currently reaches 25 percent of the landmass, though this serves 99 percent of the population. If a telephone is bought from a smaller company, with lower coverage, customers are charged more if they use the telephone outside of the covered territory.

Pre-paid and Contract Phones

Mobile telephones can be bought on a contract or pre-paid basis. Calls generally cost less with a contract, but there is a fixed monthly fee and a commitment to the contract of at least 12 months. Most companies charge customers who break their contract early. Proof of identification and of a permanent address is usually needed to buy a contract telephone.

Pre-paid telephones are a good choice for people who use their mobile infrequently. The balance paid has an expiry date and is cleared at this point even if there is credit remaining. Incoming calls and calls to the emergency services are still possible when the balance on a pre-paid telephone has run out.

Mobile telephone services via satellite cover all of the country and are the only option for people living in remote areas with little communications traffic. People who live and work in remote areas may be eligible for the government Satellite Phone Subsidy to assist with the cost of satellite services.

  • To find out more about the Satellite Phone Subsidy: Click here

Lost or Stolen Handsets

The Australian Government and police services have implemented a number of initiatives to reduce the problem of mobile telephone theft and lost handsets. Mobile telephone companies can deactivate lost or stolen telephones by blocking their International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. This 15 digit number can be found by dialling *#06# with the telephone. In some cases the number is on the telephone underneath the battery. Users are advised to keep a record of this number separately from their handset.