Intro to unlocked phones
When you purchase a mobile phone directly from a telco, there’s a good chance the phone is locked to their network. This means you won’t be able to use your phone with another telco’s SIM, even if you find a great deal on a SIM only plan from a different phone company.
And if you purchased your mobile phone on a monthly installment contract, your phone won’t automatically unlock after that contract expires. The same goes if you purchase the phone outright in most cases – it will remain locked to that telco’s network even if you stop using their SIM plans.
To unlock your phone, you would have to take the initiative yourself. There are different ways to do this – you can contact your telco and go from there, you can do it yourself with some software and cables, or you can take it to a shop that unlocks phones.
If you plan on unlocking your phone yourself, it’s fairly easy with most telcos if you follow their instructions, but some technical know-how is needed if you go at it alone with software. In either case, a code of some sort will likely be needed to get your phone unlocked.
In this post, we’ll walk you through how to unlock your mobile phone from the Optus network, as well as the pros and cons of using phones from Optus.
Pros and Cons of using phones from Optus
Optus is Australia’s largest telco. They have the second widest mobile network coverage in the country, so you’ll be able to get service in the vast majority of the country.
Optus also gives you a lot of options for SIM only plans. They offer over 21 prepaid plans ranging from daily expiry to 1 year expiry plans and everything in between. You’ll also find 4 postpaid month-to-month plans, and you can even purchase your device on a monthly installment payment plan.
Optus also has a high speed 5G network that offers both mobile and fixed home wireless plans. Their 5G network is the second widest in the country so far, and a recent test found their 5G network to be the fastest in the country in certain areas.
But Optus isn’t the cheapest telco out there. Like other major telcos in Australia, Optus SIM only plans can be described as premium. This makes them more pricey than smaller telcos – Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) that resell the larger telcos’ networks. So if you’re looking for a cheap SIM only plan, you’re better off with one from an MVNO.
Ways to unlock phones
Like most other major telcos, if you purchase a mobile device from Optus, your phone will likely be locked to their network until you unlock it.
- The first step is to retrieve your IMEI number. You can retrieve your IMEI number by dialing *#06# on your phone and hitting send. If your phone has a removable battery, you can also find the IMEI number behind the battery.
- Next, keep your credit/debit card handy, in case unlocking your Optus phone requires a fee.
- Finally, you can begin the unlock process by submitting a form here.
- Keep in mind that unlocking your Optus phone might incur a fee, depending on the type of device and/or plan
Prepaid Optus phone
If you’ve recharged your Optus prepaid plan for an accumulated amount of $80 or more since you purchased the plan, then your Optus phone will be unlocked for free.
But if you haven’t recharged $80 or more, then there will be an $80 fee if your service has been active for less than 6 months, or $25 fee if active for more than 6 months.
Prepaid tablet and mobile broadband
- If your prepaid tablet or mobile broadband plan has been active for 12 months or more, you can unlock your device for free.
- If it has been active for less than 12 months, you can’t unlock your Optus device unless you’ve spent an accumulated amount of $100 or more on the plan.
Customers with Optus postpaid phones can unlock their devices free of charge.
- iPhone’s purchased from Optus that are running iOS 7 or higher are not locked to the Optus network.
- If you have a lower version, upgrading to iOS 7 or higher or running a backup and restore will unlock your phone.
Once you’ve unlocked your Optus phone, our advice is to spend a few minutes considering your options. If you’re outside of your contract term with Optus (usually 24 months from the point and time you purchased the device – that’s the bit you’ll remember!) you can now insert a SIM from any phone company in the country.
Make sure you check with Optus first, there can be additional fees to be paid if you want to leave the agreement you signed with them. But after that, usually 2 years from the point you signed up, the world and it’s SIM Only plans are your oyster.