How to Switch Mobile Phone Providers in Australia In 2024

Switch Mobile Phone Providers

Switching mobile phone providers in Australia can be a straightforward process, and it offers a chance to find a better deal or improved coverage.

You’re probably looking to grab a better deal or seeking a network that caters to your lifestyle more adequately. Good on you for that! And the best part?

You can hang onto your old number while embracing a fresh start with a new provider, thanks to a nifty little thing called number porting.

Before you dive into the switch, it’s a smart move to get all your ducks in a row. That means having a squiz at your current contract to sidestep any sneaky fees and scoping out new plans to see which one fits like a glove.

Data, calls, texts, and the occasional overseas chat – find the package that’s got what you need.

Ready to make the jump? Let’s get cracking on how you can strut into a new service without dropping your number along the way.

Exploring the Flexibility of Keeping Your Phone Number in Australia

how to switch mobile providers

How Does Keeping Your Same Number Work?

Switching mobile providers doesn’t mean you need a new phone number. Mobile Number Portability (MNP) is a process that allows you to maintain your current phone number while selecting a different carrier.

This means no hassle of updating contacts or missing important calls.

Are You Able to Transfer Your Number?

To transfer your number, first, make sure the number is under your name. Check that nothing is owed on your current plan, as debts may prevent a smooth transition.

We’ve seen firsthand examples where customers who have owed more than $1,000 have had their accounts barred, preventing port-out options.

Clearing any dues avoids potential roadblocks during the porting process. Now the important part for porting your number and one we’ve seen so many people make the mistake of.

Do not cancel your current number with your provider as you will lose that number. Make sure the number is active before you go into a store or even if you’re doing it online or via the phone.

Once your new provider initiates the mobile port and the order is complete, this will automatically end your service with the previous provider, generating a final bill.

If your account still has other services on it, these will not be impacted by porting out an individual number, however, it’s important to note, that if you share data amongst other things, then it may result in lower allowances for the remaining services.

Deciding on a New Provider

Now it’s time to pick a new provider, It’s vital to compare what’s on offer from different providers against your requirements. Consider signal strength in your area by checking coverage maps, however, most providers should service you.

You should also assess customer service quality, and how well plan features align with your mobile usage habits. i.e. don’t get a low data plan when you use tons of data!

Plan Types:

  • Prepaid: Freedom with pay-as-you-go.
  • Postpaid: Monthly bills, often with a contract.
  • SIM-only: Uses your existing phone, providing flexibility.

Understanding Plan Options

In Australia, phone plans are categorized broadly into three groups:

  • Prepaid Plans: These plans are perfect for controlling spending. You pay in advance and top up as needed.
  • Postpaid Plans: Suitable for consistent phone users, these generally come with a monthly bill and sometimes a contractual commitment.
  • SIM Only Plans: These offer a simple SIM card without a bundled device, ideal if you’re content with your current handset.

Keep in mind your usage patterns and preferences. Do you prefer the certainty of a fixed bill or the flexibility of no lock-in contracts? Maybe you’re interested in cutting-edge tech like eSIM compatibility. Consider what works best for you.

Making the Move to a New Mobile Carrier

Getting Ready for the Switch

Before you leave your current mobile plan, check out the Critical Information Summary to understand your obligations. Look for any fees that might apply if you decide to bail early, like exit fees.

Collect your info, such as your ID and birth date — the new guys will want to know it’s you. Double-check if your phone’s tied to your current network because you might need to cough up a fee to unlock your handset.

Here’s where you do some homework. Lay out a comparison chart and weigh up the pros and cons of different phone plans and providers.

For most, it will come down to the cost vs value, if you can get more for less, then you should 100% consider the switch.

Moving Your Service Over

As mentioned earlier, when you’re ready to jump ship, you’ll go through a thing called porting. This isn’t a sailing term — it lets you take your number with you to a new company.

Chat with a person from your chosen provider — they’re usually available during regular business hours — to kick off activating your new SIM card.

Hand over your phone number and personal details. Many providers let you start the switch online, and there are consumer protection laws that make this whole thing smoother.

The time it takes to activate could be just a few minutes or hours, but sometimes it’s a day. Mostly, it’s a wait-and-see game.

Switch Mobile Phone Providers – Wrapping Up

After your new SIM is buzzing and everything seems hunky-dory, that’s pretty much it! If you want peace of mind, contact your older provider for any last-minute bills or early leaving fees.

However, if you know you have no devices or extras to be worried about, just wait for the final bill from your old provider.

Make sure the shiny new services like Wi-Fi calling work before you say it’s all done.

Keep a trail of any emails or documents — it’s a handy backup if there’s a hiccup in the port over.

Then the last bit of best practice I can give you is to contact your old provider to delete your old personal data.

This can be done by clicking your older provider’s “Privacy Policy” and contacting them by the supplied method on the policy.

By ticking these boxes, you’ll slip into your new plan with your old number, all nice and smooth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Changing your mobile provider in Australia typically includes selecting a new service and reaching out to the new company to oversee the switch.

You will receive a new SIM at your new provider unless you go with an eSIM.

When you’re ready to move to a new provider, provide them with your details, including your current account and ID. They’ll manage the number portability aspect for you.

You can transition to a prepaid plan and still keep your current number. The transfer process is quite straightforward, comparable to other plan changes.


Before jumping ship, evaluate the network signal, cost implications, terms of any contracts, and whether you need to unlock your current handset. Also, ensure your existing account is all squared up to avoid barring!

To keep your number without a traditional plan, switch it over to a prepaid SIM and recharge it periodically to keep the service active.

Yes, you can keep your number when transferring from Vodafone to Optus. This is known as number porting and is standard practice.

Conclusion

It is that simple, so if you want to port your number to one of the big 3, head into a store with your account details and ID, and tell them you want to port your number in.

If you’re going to an MVNO and have to purchase a SIM card, simply follow the prompts during the activation process. You will need your account details and ID as well.

Hopefully, now you’re up to date with how to switch mobile phone providers, and best of luck in the hunt for great deals.

Author

  • David Everson

    Telecommunications & Technology enthusiast, I have worked multiple years in the telco and tech space, so have a strong passion towards delivering terrific insights.

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