Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Unlimited Calls to the Philippines from Australia on Prepaid Mobile

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash
While in Australia and you intend to regularly keep in touch with loved ones and friends back in the Philippines, the best prepaid mobile phone service to have is one that allows for unlimited international calls to the Philippines. The reasons for this are simple:

First, you can call anytime and for any duration.

Second, while you can use Facebook Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp and other voice-over-IP solutions, it will require that the person you are calling should also have Facebook Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp and the relevant voice-over-IP solution, in addition to an active data plan or at least access to a WiFi network with Internet connectivity. This may not work well for some, particularly if the person you are trying to reach is one who occasionally runs out of load.

In addition, do note that unlimited calls to the Philippines are just add ons to unlimited calls Australia-wide. So it means that, if you have unli calls to the Philippines, you will also have unli calls to anywhere in Australia, which you'd probably need.

Belong Mobile (https://www.belong.com.au) offers a $5 add-on to its $10-per-month prepaid plan which appears to be the most economical option. This $5 add-on allows you to call the Philippines for an unlimited period. You have the option not to top-up your plan with this $5 unlimited call option, bringing down your monthly maintenance for mobile service to just $10 for unlimited text and call within Australia. The only caveat here is the 1GB data cap, which for just reading emails and browsing through Facebook (without watching videos) may be enough. If you do not use up your 1GB, it can be carried over to the next month.

For a bigger data cap, Belong has the 10GB option for the $25 monthly plan. The unlimited calls and text to a Philippine number will be a $5 add-on. Otherwise, the $40 monthly plan is already inclusive of unlimited text and call within Australia and to a Philippine number plus 40GB data allowance. This is probably too much, unless you are a heavy data user watching Korean novelas over 4G.

The other option is from Boost Mobile (https://boost.com.au) starting from its $150 per year prepaid plan which includes 80GB of data. This is roughly $12.50 for 6.7GB of data per month plus unlimited calls and texts to Australian and Philippine numbers. This will seem more economical than the Belong offer, but the caveat is that you will need to pay $150 upfront. If cash flow is not an issue, go for the Boost Mobile option. It gives you good data allowance, which will come in handy if you need to go online at home and your accommodation has limited Internet facilities.

Please note that I am not affiliated with Belong or Boost. I am not paid in any way writing this, and the information I have provided above is current as of writing. You are advised to check their respective websites for updated information on current mobile plans on offer.

Meanwhile, if you are planning to bring your mobile phone from the Philippines to Australia, you may want to read this article, Bringing a Mobile Phone to Australia.

9:07 PMEditorial Staff

Bringing a Mobile Phone to Australia

Bringing a mobile phone with you to Australia may be a prudent option. However, you should be mindful of the frequency bands mobile telecommunication providers use in Australia. If your mobile phone does not support the frequency bands used by Australian mobile telecommunication providers, your phone will not work in Australia and you might find yourself needing to buy a new phone if you want to use the Australian mobile network.

Photo by Bruce Mars from Pexels

Cutting the chase, see to it that the particular make and model of your phone supports use of the 850MHz and 900MHz bands. These are the frequency bands Australian mobile networks use for the 3G service. Note, however, that the 3G network will be shutdown in Australia by 2024.

Australian mobile networks operate the 4G service over the 700MHz, 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz and 2600MHz frequency bands. Check that the phone you are bringing supports these frequency bands. Even if you are not a tech person, you must understand that mobile coverage throughout Australia does not operate on a single band or frequency. As you move from place to place, the network may be using a different band. Your phone automatically shifts to the right band, but you need to ensure that your phone supports the bands in use in Australia.

Again, to summarise, Australia uses the following frequency bands:

3G over 850MHz and 900MHz bands to phase out 2024
4G over 700MHz, 850MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz and 2600MHz

To verify that your phone supports these bands, check the fine print on the phone packaging box, the manual and other printed matter that came with the phone when you purchased it and, if the packaging or manual are not available, go online and look up your phone at the phone manufacturer's website.

By this time, you should already know that your charger will most probably not plug into the power outlet in Australia. You will be needing a power plug adapter, and it comes as cheap as $5 from Officeworks.

But that is not all.

Upon arrival at any Australian airport, note that you cannot use your mobile phone while undergoing clearance process or when asked not to by a Border Force officer.​

The Border Force will have the power to confiscate your mobile phone for forensic examination under section 186 of the Customs Act. Your phone, if confiscated, will be returned to you within 14 days if it does not contain any material which renders the device subject to seizure under Customs-related laws. It means that it should not contain any form of pornography, pirated movies and software, and other contents of similar nature.

Now that you have your mobile phone, you might be interested to know what the best prepaid mobile phone plan is for you. Read the article Unlimited Calls to the Philippines from Australia on Prepaid Mobile for information.

7:47 PMEditorial Staff

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Manny Diaz now a Qualified Education Agent Counsellor

PRESS RELEASE — (Marsfield NSW) In a bid to further professionalise advising prospective international students, Manny Diaz has achieved registration as Qualified Education Agent Counsellor (QEAC). To achieve registration as QEAC, one has to complete the Education Agent Training Course (EATC) developed by Australian Education International (AEI) and the then Department of Immigration and Border Protection (or the DIBP, now the Department of Home Affairs or DHA). Upon completion of the EATC, candidates for QEAC status have to sit and pass the QEAC Certification Exam which covers the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF), regulations and legislation pertinent to international education, ethics and working effectively as education agent.

Click here for more information on and things you need to know about agents and agencies.

Manny Diaz is an independent international education counsellor offering FREE education counselling to prospective international students in Australia. Visit the Manny Diaz IIEC website or click here to get in touch.

9:17 PMEditorial Staff