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Phoning home & global roaming

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Brisbane, Australia
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678 posts
54 reviews
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Phoning home & global roaming

Last time I went to Vanuatu I bought a phone card from the PV airport. This was great for the local calls I needed to make. But calling Australia became a very upsetting problem as I was staying in accommodation that did not had IDD phones (except for the short time I spent at LeLagon). Public phones seemed to be for local calls only. Am I missing something? Is there somewhere else to make IDD calss? I will be spending time in Port Vila, Nguna Island and North East Efate.

This time I am wondering whether to arrange global roaming on my mobile phone. I would need to buy a new phone, but that's OK. I would prefer to not enter into a post paid plan unless I have to.

I guess what I am wondering is...What does everyone else do to make calls?

A phone store person suggested I buy a sim card when I arrive. I am very dumb on this topic. ie. What sort of phone I need.... where to buy a sim...how does the system work...is there a cheaper way than $7 or $10 AUD?

Absolutely any help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks


NSW Australia
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42 posts
13 reviews
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1. Re: Phoning home & global roaming

Hi Kerry,

I put global roaming on my mobile and can now use it worldwide to ring home. Of course in vanuatu, it only works from Vila, not Nguna or Bethel. Anyway, don't need to buy a sim card over there, just ring yr ph company n ask to get roaming put on yr phone. BTW I find I can send msm msgs from Vila but not pictures.

You can also use yr mobile to ring in vanuatu to confirm flights etc, again, within Vila confines. I could also ring from lookout at Mele cascades too.

Have fun,


(i sent u email)

Sydney, Australia
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363 posts
107 reviews
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2. Re: Phoning home & global roaming

My telstra nextG phone worked in Vila, but the cost of calls to Aust. is very high, from memory an SMS was $2.

You can get a local Sim card and prepaid credit from the local phone company, I think it cost something like $30 with $25 credit. May end up cheaper than paying australian rates.

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105 posts
97 reviews
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3. Re: Phoning home & global roaming

We visit Vanuatu 4 times a year and stay at north east Efate, my phone is next g with telstra and works well in Vila but once out of town is sporadic though you just point and wait and usually can get signal, messaging is best costs me 75cents a message but remember on roam you pay for both incoming and outgoing calls/messages. You can buy a local phone card but be warned thay don't always work and is hard to get refund. Last week we noticed that there are new phone towers going up around the island and there is one at Takara which is on the north eastern point, they should be operational within the month but not sure what company they are with and whether we will get signal off them, good luck

4. Re: Phoning home & global roaming

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