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Woollies prepaid phone deals? +/- mobile broadband

PostPosted: Mon 22 May, 2017 3:18 pm
by Tortoise
It's only fair to warn you, should you reply, that you are dealing with a serious technophobe with a seriously scrambled brain. :cry: Please excuse any shockingly basic questions/misunderstandings I may have.

I'm keen to de-Telstrify my mobile phone if possible. My priorities are:

1. Telstra network used for best coverage in remote Tassie
2. Prepaid
3. Unlimited calls to Australian landlines and mobiles
4. Includes 13, 1300 and 1800 numbers as standard
5. Includes at least 1 GB of data/month
6. Option to recharge with a voucher rather than online or direct debit
7. Option to talk to a real person who speaks understandable English when I have a problem

At the moment, Woollies $30 /month looks like the best bet. It's what I'm paying now, except I'll get the unlimited calls I need, plus 6 times the data. Does anybody else use Woollies prepaid? Have you had glitches or problems I haven't thought of?

I'm also trying to figure out what to do about broadband access for my computer. This might be too much for me to process at the same time as the phone, but in case there's a link, I'll post it here too. I get confused as it seems most people are after mobile broadband for their phone or tablet, not their computer. I have trouble finding info on the latter.

I used to use a Telstra dongle for when I was away from home - but very expensive. Then I went to Optus for when I'm in NSW. Less useful in Tassie, plus I got caught and lost $ recharging. It was my fault - I should have known that my Mac OS update would render my Optus dongle useless, and since the kind people at the Optus shop had already applied the recharge to my account for me, I couldn't get a refund on my recharge when I found I couldn't use it. I could have paid $$ for a new Optus dongle, but as I only needed it for a week, it wasn't worth it.

I now need broadband access to use my computer in various places in Tassie. But possibly only for about 3 months a year. Any wonderful ideas?

Thanks a bunch for thoughts and patience. :)

Re: Woollies prepaid phone deals? +/- mobile broadband

PostPosted: Mon 22 May, 2017 8:02 pm
by taswegian
Re PC Internet.
I bought a not expensive USB wireless gizmo that I just plugged into any USB port, turned my phone Hotspot ON and had instant broadband via my phone. It's brilliant and truly plug and play.
I'm Win 10 Pro.
Android phone.

Re Woollies.
A while back I was staying at Stanley and fast ran out of Telstra data.
I looked at a prepaid Woolworths Sim but wasn't convinced best way to go.
But that was from a complete lack of sensible comments from anyone I enquired to.
I'm not sure it's on a 'full' Telstra network and if so that would be my biggest concern for you.
Telstra has the coverage others lack. Not sure what it means by "uses part of..."
Any mobile phone is only as good as the network it’s on. That’s why Woolworths uses parts of Telstra’s 4G mobile network. Our customers can enjoy a combined 4G and 3G coverage of 98.8% of the Australian population. That’s an incredible 1.59 million square kilometres of coverage.
For that price it's good value. Their extra data not quite as favorable.
But there initial bonus is.

Re: Woollies prepaid phone deals? +/- mobile broadband

PostPosted: Tue 23 May, 2017 11:07 am
by Tortoise
But there initial bonus is.[/quote]
Thanks for that, Taswegian. I hadn't picked up on the 'parts of Telstra's network' bit. Worth checking out some more.
Hmm. Was the lack of sensible comments from customers or Woollies themselves?

Re USB gizmos. Don't know if my phone has a hotspot. :oops: I think it's an i-phone 4. I 'inherited' it years ago from a friend who upgraded. While it's still working, it does a few odd things that make me think it may not have a long life left. Same for the old Macbook Air I 'inherited' from the same kind friend. Not sure if I'll stay with a Mac/iphone or not. Might be too hard to relearn everything with PC/android, but probably too expensive to buy the other ones new. :?

Re: Woollies prepaid phone deals? +/- mobile broadband

PostPosted: Tue 23 May, 2017 11:44 am
by taswegian
Comments from staff at Woollies both in Smithtown and later in Devonport.
By then I'd moved on so didn't follow up.
Being I was staying Stanley and further west at time I was concerned for coverage.

I'd imagine your iPhone would have 'Hotspot', but my knowledge is zilch on Mac stuff. (don't make a red enough emoticon) :oops:

Re: Woollies prepaid phone deals? +/- mobile broadband

PostPosted: Tue 06 Jun, 2017 3:27 pm
by bearded bushwalker
A quick Google search gave the following useful website to help you set up a hotspot on an iphone 4

I use Boost mobile prepaid which uses the Telstra network and has different levels of data - for different prices. If you want to use vouchers you can buy them at Coles (and use your Flybuys card) when purchasing your groceries.

Good luck with your quest

Re: Woollies prepaid phone deals? +/- mobile broadband

PostPosted: Tue 06 Jun, 2017 5:10 pm
by lseries92
As someone has pointed out Telstra coverage is not all the same: there is the Telstra network and the Telstra Wholesale network.

A provider that uses the Telstra Wholesale network does not get necessarily get coverage from every tower on the Telstra network (and/or all the functionality of said network) that a normal Telstra subscriber does. The Telstra wholesale network coverage is more to complete against the Optus wholesale network MNVOs (such as Vaya and the like who can cost substantially less) while at the same keeping an advantage for people that subscribe to Telstra directly (so they continue to be charged more and get something more for it).

Boost is an excellent compromise though - as they are on the Telstra network and are owned by them, they get full coverage except for the 4GX speeds (they get 3G and 4G though). Other Telstra wholesale MNVOs (like Woolworths) either will only have access to 3G and/or have both 3G and 4G but with a reduced coverage footprint (something better than Optus wholesale but not as good as Telstra's own non-wholesale one). Depending on where you are located and how much/where you move around you may not notice a difference though as a lot of this may be subtle.

I use Boost and placed it on auto-recharge so you get usage for a full month rather than 28 days from a manual recharge (meaning you do 13 manual recharges a year instead of 12 auto-recharges so manual will cost you more). They also have 1GB free data each weekend (from 9pm Friday night until midnight Sunday) so your actual data allowance has to last around 20-22 days a month. For example $30 a month will get you up to 7GB (3GB plus up to 1GB per weekend).

Note: I neither work for Boost or Telstra.

Re: Woollies prepaid phone deals? +/- mobile broadband

PostPosted: Tue 06 Jun, 2017 6:44 pm
by Tortoise
Thanks, folks. Really appreciate your info and comments. :)

Re: Woollies prepaid phone deals? +/- mobile broadband

PostPosted: Wed 07 Jun, 2017 8:14 pm
by Lizzy
I use boost too- no problems so far. Worked well on our Tassie trip. I pay $30 and get unlimited calls and messages in Australia.

Re: Woollies prepaid phone deals? +/- mobile broadband

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jun, 2017 1:44 pm
by Solohike74
4GX goes a lot further than 4G or 3G data. When data is less critical, other networks can be used in a second phone or a dongle, and a telstra card maintained in a phone for call and SMS. If the most extensive data coverage is sought, then you should have a 4GX device on Telstra, not Woolworths etc. Plus I don't want big corporates like Woolworths to acquire any more market power in society than they do already.