Hi YM, Have to agree with majority of people who have posted here and go with Telstra. Our experience is everthing else is a waste of time. We had Optus but found it just did not cover the area that Telstra did and in fact was just plain bad. For example we would be anchored in Cid Harbour we could not get a signal with Optus but friends with Telstra were getting messages and coveragle all the time.
We made a lot of enquiries and this is what we found. Telstra is the owner of all major phone tower and lines, all the rest of the companies rent their lines from Telstra but Telstra limit the oppositions use of these services. Telstra also have a line of phones which are marketed as "blue tick" phones. We were told they were designed for areas of coverage and are well suited to boaters and people in remote
areas. We were also advised to get a aerial for those areas that are a bit iffy. We purchased an el cheapo (blue tick) phone and put $50 credit on it and so far we have had coverage 95% of the time cruising from Sydney
to Townsville. I am informed that coverage is relativeluy good to Cairns and then starts to thin out further north.
We have a 4G wi fi modem
which has given us very good coverage. While we do have an antenna its not fixed at the top of the mast
at this time. We just connect it if needed and put it in the cockpit
. If we have a weak internet signal we have been known to put the modem
in a weather proof bag and hoist it up to the top of the mast to increase signal in remote
and hilly areas such as Island Head
Creek. We have had issues with Telstra but we have found they are the best of a bad bunch.
By the way YM when do you plan on leaving and whats the name of your boat
Hope this is of some assistance
Greg and Sue