Moving Overseas - Want to Keep Number and Use Internationally

Hi all,

I'm moving to Singapore soon, and I'd like some advice as to how to keep my existing Australian phone number.

  • Are there area carriers that roaming is free? - I won't use data, and only will use the number to receive calls. The last time I went travelling with a Telstra SIM, it asked for $10 / day.
  • I'm assuming pre-paid SIMs are the way to go - whats the for this scenario? I won't be using the phone much - it's more of a way for less tech-savvy people to contact me while I'm overseas.


  • Can't vouch for calls, but I used an optus pre-paid sim while overseas for an extended period and had no issues, even with no credit on the sim for a year.

    • Were you able to make and receive calls?

      • Sorry for the late reply.
        No I wasn't able to make or receive calls. It cost money to make and receive calls with Optus

  • +3

    The only thing free with international roaming is receiving SMSes.

    • As in your Banks temporary SMS code for transferring funds?

  • Costs $5/day on Vodafone.

  • +1

    I'm pretty sure there's elaborate call forwarding schemes via Skype/VOIP providers that are much more cost effective … google it … seems to be a common question in other forums.

  • AFAIK, international roaming if you are on a monthly plan is free, it is with Telstra.

    I've had it activated since 1997 on the same number, only thing I pay for is receiving calls from Australia, or making calls.

    I don't use data roaming, far too expensive, cheaper to buy a SIM in country.

    • International Roaming is free for all major carriers and resellers (ie. Telstra, Vodafone, Optus, Amaysim, etc.).
      Have been that way for years. (I know they used to charge $5 to $10 a month. That fee has been long gone.)

    • It's been free for a long time to activate roaming for most carriers and MVNOs but as soon as you make or receive calls or send SMSes, you pay through the nose. Only receiving SMSes is free, and sometimes useful for receiving confirmation codes from banks, CC providers, etc.

      • Hence why I said making calls or receiving them isn't free.

        The OP said he was paying $10/day for a Telstra SIM, (although the only one I found in a search was Optus at $10/day), according to Telstra all their Pre-Paid SIMs are activated for International Roaming:

        International Roaming is automatically activated for Telstra Pre-Paid mobile services.

        When you arrive at your international destination we’ll send you an SMS to let you know the costs of mobile usage in that country, and how to cancel International roaming on your device.

        So wouldn't the $20 Long Life SIM, (or other Long Life SIM from someone), work out significantly cheaper?

        $20 gets you 60 days with Roaming thrown in, sure you have to pay for your calls but the OP also said he wouldn't be using the phone much, it's mainly to receive the odd call from Australia.
        Get a dual SIM phone and get a local SIM for making outgoing calls and tell the caller you'll ring them back.

        • No disagreement there but what I'm trying to draw attention to is that roaming is very expensive even if you just talk long enough to tell them you'll call back. Take for example Telstra and Singapore. Receiving costs $1.50/minute. So that $20 will last you a dozen such calls.

        • @greenpossum: Yeah, you show them who is the Boss

  • Really, whats wrong with doinga little search. Its been discusseda number of times here

  • Roaming with Prepaid is always an option, I know you can go on Prepaid with Optus on the Long Expiry Plan and put $60 or more on the Sim card and it will last 365 days. With a Zone 1 country like Singapore, $1 a min for making and receiving calls and $0.50 per SMS. Receiving SMS is free and Data is $0.50 per MB. If you are going for periods longer than 365 days, you just have to make sure you load $60+ every 365 days to keep the number. Just recharge it online.

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