Before you Depart

1. Check your Phone is compatible with local networks

Most modern 3G phones sold in Australia and New Zealand will work with all of our SIMs as this is part of the criteria we use when selecting the SIMs we sell.  If you have concerns about your phone, you should refer to your phone’s datasheet on the manufacturers website to see what frequencies it supports and cross check this with the network frequencies listed at the top of the support page for each SIM.

2. Make sure your phone is not locked

How do I know if my phone is Unlocked?

The easiest way to test if your phone is unlocked is to put a SIM from a different wireless service in the phone.  For example, if you have a Telstra phone, try putting in an Optus or Vodafone SIM (or your Mobi Passport SIM).  If the phone is locked, it will display an error message of some type when you turn it on (typical messages include ‘No SIM’, “Invalid SIM”, “Contact Service Provider” or “Enter Subsidy Code”).

If the phone is unlocked, it should start up normally and attempt to connect to local networks.

Unlocking your phone

The process for unlocking your phone depends on your carrier and your phone, so we recommend that you contact your mobile phone provider and they will be able to help you out.   If your mobile phone is on a contract there is usually no problem getting your phone unlocked. Mobile phones on prepaid plans are usually locked to a network but if you have been with the same network for a while it can usually be unlocked for free by calling your mobile phone company.  Pre-paid phones on Boost, Optus and Virgin Mobile can be unlocked after $80 of credit has been added to the phone.

Unlocking your iPhone

The process of unlocking an iPhone is a little more complicated than a normal phone and may take up to a week, so you should ensure you get onto this well before you depart.  To start the process call your mobile providers customer service line and tell them you want to unlock your iPhone.  You will most likely need to provide the following information which can be found in Settings->General->About on your iPhone.

  1. Your mobile number
  2. Your iPhone serial number
  3. Your iPhone IMEI number

After you have spoken with customer service agent, it usually takes around 72 hours for your carrier and Apple to unlock your iPhone.   In most cases you will receive an SMS, however if you don’t get anything after 72 hours, connect your iPhone to your computer and sync with the latest version of iTunes. You should see a notification that a carrier update is available. Install this update, and you will then see a “Congratulations, your iPhone has been unlocked” message.  You are now ready to use your phone overseas.

3. Test the SIM Works

We highly recommend that you put your SIM in your phone before you depart to make sure it is functioning correctly.  The extent of testing you will be able to do depends on the SIM, and if it is already activated (some SIMs we sell can only be activated when you arrive in the country).  Refer to the user guide for your SIM to see if you can test it before you depart.

Having Trouble getting a signal?

This can happen due to one of the following reasons:

  1. Your phone is locked for use with external SIM cards.  If this is the case you will usually get a message saying ‘invalid SIM’ or something similar.  Please follow the steps above to make sure your SIM is unlocked.
  2. You are located in an area with no cellular coverage. Please change your location and restart your device.
  3. Your device is set to be used with the wrong carrier. Go to your settings menu and set “Carrier Selection” to “Automatic” and wait for 5 minutes for it to select the best carrier.
  4. Your phone is not registering automatically with the correct carrier.  If your phone does not register on a mobile network or you only have limited functionality (i.e. “Emergency Calls Only”) you should try to manually select each of the carriers that are available.  To do this go to the Carrier or Mobile Network settings on your phone and after phone has completed searching for available networks try to manually connect to each one.
  5. If you have an iPhone, sometime it will help to reset your network settings.  Go to Settings->General->Reset->Reset Network Settings.
  6. If you are able to make/receive calls, but not use data the issue is probably related to the APN your phone has.  Click here for more information on setting your APN.
  7. If none of the above work it is possible there is a fault with your SIM.  Please try to put the SIM in another phone, and if this doesn’t work send an email to

4. Read the User Guides

You should have a quick scan through the user guides included with your Mobi Passport to ensure you understand them.  If you have any questions, please send us an email and we will clarify it for you.  It is much easier to ask before you depart than try to work it out when you get overseas!

Adding Credit Before you Depart

Most of our SIMs allow you to add credit before you depart.  Refer the the relevant SIM user guide for instructions relevant to that SIM.