Can I keep my mobile number ( port ) when I’m transferring between the Telcos

The most commonly asked question in telco: can I keep my mobile number?

Yes. The short answer is a healthy and trouble free yes. I know. It’s not usually this simple. These days people have far too many ‘information identities’ to manage.They have logins for this, passwords for that, fixed and mobile numbers to remember at home and work. It’s a real task to keep track of them all. That’s why, the most commonly asked pre-sales question when you’re taking out a contract with a telecommunications service provider ( phone company ) is ‘Can I keep my mobile number’ ? It is just such a pain to change it.

How does the telecommunications industry manage customer telephone number movements ?

Luckily, they realized this was something they needed to sort out a long time ago. Internally, , the process of moving the same telephone number for one individual from one company to another is known as porting. All the telcos have a single, shared database of all the telephone numbers which have been provided to them by the government. They actually have to pay the government to use them.

How does it work ?

When you decide to leave one telco and go to another, the telco you’re leaving notifies the database that the number is free to ‘port’ and the one you’ve moving to allocates it to their network. There’s a lot of technical gubbins that happens at the same time to associate the number to the SIM card you’ve been given.

How long will it take ?

The transfer process varies in duration, including whether you’re doing this over the weekend. It can take 24 – 48 hours to move across. In the meantime, you might not be able to make or receive calls on the phone number. The phone number has to go through a ‘no man’s land’ or ‘limbo’ state where it’s not actually allocated to a provider.

But then it pops out the other side and you’re still the same 10 digits you always were . It’s just that you’re getting your coverage and bill from another network provider.

Actually doing it on the telco websites

Keeping your phone number when moving to a postpaid / Prepaid SIM


Keeping your phone number and moving to a postpaid SIM :

All 3 of the major telcos will ask for notification of your preference about your phone number when you checkout on their site. You can choose a new one if you want ( we’ve had friends that wanted to hide so they took a new number and didn’t tell anyone else – honestly ! ) or you can choose to keep the one you have.

And, once your credit check has been passed – the process of ‘porting’ you will begin. Working with the telcos can be a nightmare. Everyone silently deflates when they know they’ve got to go through the checkout process.

Keeping your phone number and moving to a prepaid SIM :

With Lebara and other prepaid providers, you order your SIM first. Then, once you received your SIM, you will need to activate it. This can be done through the phone company’s website or by calling their call centre.

As part of the activation process, you will be asked if you wish to port in ( transfer across to your new phone company ) your existing mobile number. If you  select YES, they will be asked for the mobile number and your date of birth. The port will then be processed as part of the activation.

Keeping your number is the least of your worries.

 Australia’s best Phone Plans:

Amaysim plans

Amaysim plan review and comparison

Amaysim plans for your mobile | PAYG | 28 days – Prepaid | Month to Month – Postpaid

Amaysim plans for your mobile

You can learn more about them and their unique content in our  Amaysim review.



Boost Mobile | Best Prepaid Data Rates On The Full Telstra Network

boost mobile logo

Prepaid | 28 day expiry | On The Telstra Mobile Network 3G+4G

Boost Mobile are a reliable brand. They are the only phone company other than Telstra to resell the full Telstra ‘Retail’ Network. With Boost you’ll get:

  • The full Telstra Mobile Network
    Other phone companies resell part of the Telstra Mobile Network. Only Boost and Telstra plans allow you access the whole thing.
  • Free streamed audio:
    Data free streaming of Apple Music (requires subscription) on top of the data included in your plan.
  • A range that includes 7 day and 28 day plans:
    Boost offer a selection of plans including 7 and 28 day variants.
  • Recharge options from $10 to $50:
    Boost have a total of 5 recharge options for their prepaid plans, ranging between $10 and $50.

Boost Mobile Plans For Your Mobile

All talk time and SMS for use in Australia to Australian numbers. All data is for use in Australia. You can learn more about this company in our Boost Mobile review.



Great Value Data & Best For International Calls

International Calls 2018




Prepaid | 30 day expiry | On the Full Vodafone 3G and 4G Network 

If you’re after an unlimited plan with incredible data inclusions, or you make calls overseas, in our view, you need look no further than Lebara. Lebara use the much improved Vodafone 3G + 4G network which covers more than 96% of Australians. With Lebara, you’ll get :

  • Big Data on the Vodafone 3G + 4G network:
    Lebara’s plans include enough data for even the most ravenous data eaters.
  • Broad Range Including Plans With International Calls:
    Lebara have Unlimited International Call plans at $29.90 and $49.90 price points. Lebara’s cheaper international call rates cover all the major destinations including : UK, USA, Greece, China, Canada, Germany, Denmark, France, South Korea and Switzerland. (Inclusions vary, see our review.)
  • Multi-Month-Options:
    Lebara have 30 day plans, 180 day plans and 360 day plans. Buy up-front and save.

Lebara’s prepaid plan range:

You can find out more about this company in our full Lebara Review.



Best value plan on the Optus 4G network at $25

We recommend : Bendigo SIM Only plans

Best value plan on the Optus 4G network at $30

We recommend Bendigo 4G Lite plan for only $29.95 per month. Bendigo give you Unlimited of voice call and 2GB data allowance.

  • Unlimited SMS :
    All three Bendigo mobile plans available online contain unlimited SMS.
  • Postpaid– Month to month agreement
    Bendigo mobile plans offer total flexibility. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll automatically be charged each month. And, if you find a better deal elsewhere, you can take advantage of it almost straight away. Just finish the month you’re in with Bendigo.
  • Bendigo use the Optus 4G network


Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.

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