Calling overseas from Australia
Staying in touch with family and friends who are back in your home country is one of the most important things you can do. Not too long ago, international phone charges were extremeley expensive in Australia. Nowadays, there is much more competition, so there are many ways to stay in touch.
International dialing codes
International dialing codes are listed on the White Pages website.
International calling cards
Depending on your country of origin, a pre-paid international calling card may be a cheap way to call friends and family overseas. There are many different cards on the market, so it really pays to do some research. Rates vary greatly depending on which country you are calling. Also be aware that some cards carry 'flag fall' rates, whether or not the call goes through. The benefit of these cards is that the most you will spend is the value of the card; there is no risk of overspending or staying on the phone longer than you can afford.
Home and mobile phones
Telstra, Australia's largest phone company, has an International
Value Pack for home phones (also known as landlines), with low
rates to 70 countries.
In addition to Telstra, other mobile providers such as Optus, Vodafone, and Virgin Mobile have plans with reduced international call rates for people who regularly dial overseas.
The cheapest way to make international calls from Australia is
with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). VoIP services, such as
Skype, allow telephone calls to be made over the internet using
your computer. Instead of a signal being transmitted along a phone
line, it travels via the internet.
A number of VoIP plans are available in Australia. Most are between five and 20 dollars per month. Skype allows you to call landlines and mobiles overseas from 2.3c per minute.
It is possible to set up an 'Indial' number in most cities around the world, enabling your friends and family overseas to call you in Australia for the cost of a local call.
InternetChoice offers a free comparison tool for VoIP providers in Australia.