I just returned from another major trip with my iPhone (and iPad in hand). This is my 3rd trip with a rented SIM from iPhoneTrip.com and 4th major Flashpacking trip.
See my reviews from previous iPhoneTrip reviews:
Flashpacking into Africa with a Rented SIM from iPhoneTrip.com
Flashpacking through Europe with iPhoneTrip.com
Flashpacking through North America without iPhoneTrip.com
On this trip, we traveled to Auckland, Christchurch, and Queenstown in New Zealand, and in Australia we traveled to Sydney, Ayers Rock, Cairns, Port Douglas, Daintree, The Great Barrier Reef and Brisbane.
Once again, the rented SIM from iPhoneTrip.com worked flawlessly. My girlfriend though she’d go without renting a SIM, but gave up along the way and had a SIM delivered to us at our first hotel. It’s nice to know that they can ship fast anywhere in case there’s a problem, but still I’d highly recommend ordering your SIM to arrive before you leave.
See my previous reviews to see how thoroughly pleased I was iPhoneTrip.com, for cost savings, connectivity and ease of use. Really, I can’t recommend renting their SIMs highly enough. And more importantly, traveling with the full connectivity it gives you will drastically change the way you travel.
That being said, I have to say that connectivity in general in Oceania is pretty bad. Bad, as in “worse than in the United States”. Data rates are low, and charges are high. Far fewer free WiFi locations exists and those that do have data caps on them. Even 5 star hotels and resorts that we stayed at not only charged for WiFi, but had very slow data rates, and often connections timed out or they capped your connections.
As a result, renting a SIM becomes much more beneficial. I found myself giving up on WiFi in every place I traveled to and went back to 3G for speed and connectivity improvements that the iPhoneTrip.com SIM gave me.
Australia is HUGE, and being so big, it’s not reasonable to expect great connectivity throughout the country, but ironically some remote locations we traveled to had pretty decent coverage. For example, bus and helicopter trips around Ayers Rock were just fine with connectivity, but suburbs of Sydney could have weak or dead spots.
Don’t get me wrong, most places you’d travel to in Australia and New Zealand have good enough coverage for email, navigation, and simple web surfing, but for someone like me who uploads and downloads HD video for work, the difference between the incredibly good connectivity in Europe and the poor general connectivity in Oceania was significant and worth pointing out.
Also to be clear, this is a general connectivity issue through the places I went through in Australia and New Zealand. I wouldn’t be surprised if other places were much better. The iPhoneTrip.com SIM can only be as good as the wireless carriers in the areas you travel to, and the SIM did a great job of switching carriers along the way making the iPhoneTrip.com rental SIM your best option, especially since WiFi simply isn’t an option in many places for demanding users.
If you’d like to see the photos from my Oceania trip check out my photo albums on Facebook.