I talk about the connectivity in Australia quite a bit, pretty much because it isn’t the best in the world. Having Internet in some parts of the country is a luxury still, and mobile phone connection is no different.
Last year, when I took a trip to Broken Hill with my partner, I was on Vodafone and he was on Optus. I was left without coverage in many areas along the drive there and back, and while he was, too, he definitely had much better coverage with Optus. Then, when I took my east coast road trip from Cooktown to Sydney, I was surprised again to see how many locations along the way left me without connection.
Finally, I broke down and switched over to Telstra to get with the company that rules all others, and this is what I had on my train trip from Sydney to Perth.
Will I have phone connection on the Indian Pacific train?
Being with Telstra, I surprisingly had plenty of phone reception along the 4352km journey. There were, of course, plenty of drop-outs, but it would seem to filter in and out enough to keep in touch with my partner back home without too much hassle whatsoever. I was happy to see that my phone picked up reception in Broken Hill this time around.
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Will I have Internet connection on the Indian Pacific train?
If you are with Telstra, you can use Telstra mobile broadband wherever you have phone connection. You can access mobile broadband by having a mobile broadband USB stick that you insert into your computer (with a Telstra SIM), or you can connect your laptop to your phone that uses a Telstra SIM. My phone connects to my computer via bluetooth and then uses the Browse Pack data that I bought (for $20 of my normal phone credit by prepaid).
Of course, it did drop out a lot, but it was still amazing to be able to blog and tweet along the journey.
So, yes, you can have phone and Internet connection on the Indian Pacific train if you come prepared.
>> Check out the Indian Pacific Red Class guide.
My ticket riding in Red Class on the Indian Pacific train was sponsored by GSR, but all the experiences and reviews are my own.