My Mobile Overseas

How do I know if my mobile will work in the countries I am travelling to?

Quick Version

  • Your mobile phone must be unlocked from your network provider.
  • Most of the world (including Australia) uses GSM 900 / GSM 1800.
  • This means that if your phone works in Australia, it will work almost anywhere.
  • USA and the Americas
    • You will need a Quad band phone (you may get away with a Tri-band, but it won't be as good)
  • Japan and South Korea
    • You will need a 3G phone that uses WCDMA

General Guide

Step 1

Ensure your handset is unlocked from your network provider. More information on unlocking handsets can be found here.

Step 2

Work out which frequencies your mobile phone handset can use.

  • Mobile handsets can work with any combination of four GSM frequency bands and two 3G frequency bands
  • Look at the TravelSIM Country List page
  • The network type will be GSM900 / GSM1800/ GSM1900 / GSM850 or some combination of these
  • Japan and South Korea are WCDMA

Step 3

Work out what frequencies are used by the mobile phone networks in the countries you are travelling to.

  • Search Google for Make and Model specification (e.g. Nokia 6230i specification)
  • See here for more info on this topic

Step 4

Your phone must work on the same frequency(s) as the country(s) you will be travelling to.

Join our free travel newsletter

Join 30,000+ other travellers to receive advice, tips and tricks on travel and technology.

Thanks, we've recorded your interest and we'll be in touch when new content is available.