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Q: Compare Australian phone rates ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Compare Australian phone rates
Category: Reference, Education and News > Consumer Information
Asked by: whizhost-ga
List Price: $3.00
Posted: 03 Oct 2002 09:05 PDT
Expires: 02 Nov 2002 08:05 PST
Question ID: 72042
I live in Australia. Please point to me a few URLs where I can compare
local and long distance phone rates of Australian telcos. The web site
should be reasonably reputable and unbiased. Thanks.
Subject: Re: Compare Australian phone rates
Answered By: angy-ga on 05 Oct 2002 01:49 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi, whizhost-ga !

I live in Australia too, and isn't it a nightmare sorting through the
various special offers and "best prices" ?!

Here as requested are a few URLS that might point you in the right

The Australian Telecommunictions Users Group is at:

ATUG's mission statement says, among other things:

"ATUG believes practical equality of access to the Local Loop and
PSTN, on fair and reasonable terms and conditions, is essential to
effective competition. This has not been achieved through
self-regulation. The ACCC should determine prices, terms and
conditions for supply of critical network services. All information
used to make these decisions should be publicly available. The ACCC
decision should be final."

A click on the "Carriers" link in the left sidebar will bring you to a
list of carriers which are members of ATUG, with hyperlinks to their
websites where applicable. The site has a searchable archive of
articles, including

ATUG Opinion 25 September 2002 at:


"ATUG shares the concern of the Shadow Minister for Telecommunications
over the effectiveness of the Price Control Determination in making
sure end users get a fair deal."

A complete list of carriers in Australia can be found at the
Auistralian Communications Authority's site:

There are 102 licensed of August 1 2002.

NUS consulting is a UK based company whose site can be found at:

are specialists in the utilities field. Their site plays music and
movies at you, so you may want to hit the "Skip" button. Under "What
we do" they say:

By "Thinking Utility" for the past 70 years NUS has become the world's
pre-eminent energy and telecommunications cost management company.

Today, NUS advises over 25,000 clients from 11 fully-staffed offices
in North America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia. NUS's sole
objective is to help clients better manage and reduce their energy and
telecommunications costs through the application of cutting-edge
technology, comprehensive pricing information, unparalleled industry
expertise and professional service.

NUS is an independent privately-owned consulting company. It is not
subject to the influence of any utility supplier and therefore
provides clients with unbiased and objective advice. "

Under "surveys" they tell us:

"International Surveys
Annually, NUS publishes detailed pricing surveys of the
telecommunications, electricity, natural gas and water markets in
North America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia.
These surveys provide a comprehensive discussion of current market
conditions, analysis of major market events and exhaustive pricing
information. In addition, these surveys include commentary by analysts
located in each of our international offices concerning market trends
and opportunities.
Our international pricing surveys are released on the following
1st Quarter - Telecommunications 
2nd Quarter - Electricity
3rd Quarter - Water 
4th Quarter - Natural Gas 
Our annual surveys are an extremely valuable tool for business
managers who need to stay up-to-date on local and international
developments and pricing trends as well as for businesses
investigating the possibility of international expansion. "

The surveys do not sem to be available on-line, so I have emailed them
to find out how they may be obtained and will post their reply when I
recieve it. It's currently the weekend so it may be a few days.

The Productivity Commissions report released December 1999 is
available online as a pdf file at:

It is balanced but of course is out of date.

Other than that it seems to be a slow slog through the individual
carriers websites, comparing prices, which I guess is what you wanted
to avoid. A lot depends on your personal call patterns - eg. how many
overseas calls, for how long? And of course they kep changing their
schemes, so what is most economical today, may not be the best plan in
six months time. some bundle Internet services with the landline -
Optus  currntly offers a free landline rental if you use their
Internet services, and Telpacific goes the other way and offers free
Internet with  $150.00 of  calls per month and a discount Internet
rate otherwise.

Telstra's call costs are at:

Optus landline prices can be accessed through:,2627,3_6749--View_218,00.html

PtimusTel is at:

Telpacific (Sydney only for telephones) - :long distance and
international calls.

AAPT  Smartchat also offers long distance and international calls -
stay with your regular provider for local calls.

Flow provide a similar service:

and their explanation of how it works is possibly the clearest.

"By selecting FLOW Communications as the preferred carrier of
National, International and Fixed to Mobile calls you have not 'cut
yourself off' from your existing carrier's services. All of the lines
and termination equipment remain in place and you remain a customer of
your existing Service Provider. You will continue to receive bills for
lines and equipment from your existing carrier. In the unlikely event
that any of the FLOW Communications switches and lines are unavailable
or congested your PABX will automatically route the calls to your
existing carrier until FLOW's services become available. "

And Powertel provide only business services and is a full connection
service with its own fibre optic network:

I suspect there are no comparison charts easily available  because
they would be out of date as soon as they were published.

When I get an answer about the NUS survey I will add that information.
In the meantime you are really comparing these costs:

Line rental.
Supply of equipment - how fancy do you want the phone to be.?
Cost of additional services - voicemail, conference call, call
waiting, call forward etc.
Cost of local calls.
Cost of calls to mobiles.
Cost of National calls - and are these "capped"?
Cost of International calls - and are these "capped"?
Do the peak and off-peak times for distance calls suit your usage?

For example: someone who makes a lot of local calls, needs call
waiting, call return and voicemail, uses call forward to a mobile a
lot, has limited distance calls mostly off-peak, and rarely phones
overseas (like me), might find one carrier economical; while someone
who phones overseas for long chats off peak and never uses call
forward will prefer another

Good luck.

For interest:

A 1998 international price study presented as a paper at the
Communications Research Forum by John Ridder is available for download

The ACCC have a recent discussion paper on "The Future of
Interconnection Arrangements in Australian Telecommunications
Industries" by David Prater, Ross Kelso, Terry Laidler and Liz Harper

Search terms:
"Australia phone costs comparisons"
"Australian Telecommunications prices"

Clarification of Answer by angy-ga on 08 Oct 2002 03:15 PDT
Hi !

Colin Smart of NUS has emailed me as follows:


Thank you for your interest in our International Surveys. Our surveys
are available at a cost of $295 plus GST per survey.

I can arrange for any survey you require to be provided in either pdf
or hardcopy format.

Please let me know which utilities you are interested in and a contact
phone number and I will call you to give you more information.


Colin Smart
Manager - Special Projects
NUS Consulting Group
Level 18, 168 Walker Street
North Sydney, NSW, Australia 2060
T: (+61) 2 9922-7676 / F: (+61) 2 9922 7989
website: "

Note that emailing a UK company got a response from Australia !
whizhost-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Compare Australian phone rates
From: brettaust-ga on 29 Apr 2003 09:55 PDT
Try or

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