Roaming with Unlimited Calls in a Zone 1 Country

Hi folks,

I am among the unfortunate Aussies who are stranded overseas during this pandemic.

I was hoping to get some help in identifying a plan with any mobile service provider wherein I can receive any number of calls to my Australian mobile number i.e. unlimited incoming calls while I am roaming in a Zone 1 Country.

Currently getting charged $1.79/minute on PAYG long life plan with Optus which is too expensive. Optus did have postpaid plans with unlimited incoming calls on roaming as of last month but it has since been scrapped.

Any provider/suggestions to workaround would be appreciated.

Thank you.


  • get a travel sim card with unlimited incoming calls or a VoIP number and forward calls to that

    • +1

      Any way to keep my existing Aus mobile number?

      • Switch to a long life prepaid

        • Already on it but it has very expensive roaming call charges. So I'd like to receive calls on it for a fixed price per month whilst I am overseas.

          • +2

            @DrPotato: Forward calls from it to a VoIP number so you are not charged roaming.

            • @MrHyde: Thanks, I just tried forwarding it from that to a local (non-Australian) number and that seemed to work. Not charged for it either oddly enough.

              • @DrPotato: That is odd. I would have expected forwarding to an international number would be charged under the international rates. Does your plan have any included international calls?

                • @MrHyde:

                  included international calls

                  this should be the case, after ending the included minutes OP will be charged/ there won't be any more incoming calls.

                  • @bazingaa: Update - I did get charged but far less than I would have if the call came in directly. For a 7m40s call I was charged $1.12. But yesterday for a 2m01s call I was charged $3 (so $1/minute rounded up).

                    Not sure why such a disparity to be honest.

  • Why not use WhatsApp or WeChat ?

    • I work in IT and I can't go on a support roster with an overseas number. Those who do escalate do not necessarily have whatsapp or similar voice service.

  • +2

    Ask someone in Australia to activate for you any Telstra prepaid or postpaid plan or any Boost recharge and port your number.
    Just keep in mind that roaming has been turned off overseas until mid-june - so you will have to have a wifi connection handy.

    Once you are connected to any wifi across the world, you will see 'Telstra Wifi Calls', and you can place and receive unlimited calls from/to Australia for free.
    Also works for SMS over wifi. That could be quite a substantial saving compared to Optus.

    I personally used it with success in NZ, on a satellite broadband connection as well while using a European VPN as the wifi calling service isn't geo-blocked anymore.

    It works with numerous phone but you will be best if you have an iPhone.

    See - 'you’ll be able to make voice calls using your Fixed Broadband Wi-Fi connection at home or whilst on any suitable Wi-Fi connection when roaming overseas to make and receive calls back to Australia at no additional charge.'

    Hope that helps

    • Hi, thanks for the detailed reply. Looks interesting. I do have good wifi access available.

      Would my friends have to send me the SMS card from Oz otherwise how does the service become active on my mobile?

      • Happy to help.

        Yes - it’s quite a grey area but I would suppose that the SIM card would need to be activated first within Australia. I am unsure on this point, sorry.

        What you could also try is buy a Telstra prepaid or boost prepaid on eBay and get it sent to your actual place and see if this one would registers abroad using a new number - and turning on the wifi calls.
        You would potentially lose 20/30$ max but that could be something to try.
        If it registers, great ! Use the card until it expires and order a new one for your main phone number and redo the process.

        Otherwise, someone in Australia would have to physically do the porting process with you and then send you the SIM card by a courier service. Might cost a bit but you would save a lot on the long run.

        Also, if you have a dual sim iPhone - you can pop in the Telstra card and use an esim/sim depending your iPhone for the country you are actually in.

        If the local sim have access to 3/4G - your Telstra SIM card will «use » this connection to establish a connection with Telstra servers - thus using your Australian phone number over 3/4G for wifi calls.

        See article below for more technical details

  • "Eligible [Optus] Postpaid mobile plans offer unlimited standard talk, SMS and monthly data inclusions to use in Zone 1 destinations (subject to change)." From memory that's the $45/month plan upwards.

  • Telstra sim plan $100plus plans have roaming free

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