On a recent trip to Gold Coast, Australia (in March 2015), I got internet access on for my Samsung Note 10.1 2014 edition tablet:
  • I picked up a prepaid SIM starter pack from Coles Supermarket. They're available at most convenience stores too. I'm not sure if they can be found on arrivals at Gold Coast airport though.
  • There are a number of different packs but as long as its from Optus and says "Prepaid Mobile" on it, you're probably ok. Mine said "Low Cost International Calls". You will probably want to make sure it says "4G ready" on it. Also be sure to get the right size, mine was the Standard/Micro card size, they also have nano-SIM size for newer iPhones.
  • It costs $2 (although Coles charged me $1 for it).
  • Be sure to get a pre-paid top up while you're there. I bought AUD20 from the checkout at Coles, which comes in the form of a voucher number.
  • I popped the SIM into my tablet and powered it up and was connected to a limited 4G network immediately.
  • You then need to activate your phone. You're supposed to be able to do this via a web browser at http://www.optus.com.au/activate, but I kept getting a "redirect loop" error, so I had to activate it manually by calling 555.
  • When prompted, press the appropriate number for "Activation". You will want the "Prepaid Mobile Plus" aka AUD 2 a day plan.
  • The operator will ask you for your the SIM card number (the quite tiny numbers printed on the card above the SIM) and your name and address (including postcode) in Australia. A hotel address is fine.
  • After that, within a short while (20 mins for me) you will get an SMS with your mobile number in local format. It might help to restart your tablet/phone. You'll need to remove the leading zero from the number and prefix it with Australia's IDDcode of +61 if you want people overseas to be able to call/sms you.
  • Up till midnight of the day of activation you will be using the AUD2 of value that came with the card. It's probably a good idea to redeem your top up voucher immediately by browsing to http://www.optus.com.au/recharge and selecting "redeem pre-purchased voucher". You can also do this manually by dialing 555 followed by 2 to recharge your mobile.
  • On the AUD2 "My Prepaid Daily Plus" plan, you are allowed unlimited calls within australia, unlimited SMS messages within Australia and up to 500MB of data per day (the "day" ends at midnight local to the timezone you're registered in).
  • If you exceed 500MB of data usage within the day, you will be automatically charged an additional AUD2 for another 500MB per day. This happened to me on most days 😥.
  • I was able to tether my connection and share it out to an iPad and two Note 3 phones simultaneously using my Note 10's portable WiFi hot-spot feature during my stay without any issue 😉.
  • If you're low on credit, you can top up online (provided you can still get online) by browsing to http://www.optus.com.au/recharge and paying using PayPal. The minimum top-up is AUD10.
  • I'll test this SIM to see if it can roam outside of Australia when I get back.
  • Further details of the My Prepaid Daily Plus package can be found here: http://smb.optus.com.au/opfiles/Shop/All/cis/Cis%20Documents/1400882_CIS_My_Prepaid_Daily_Plus.pdf.