If I change my phone company, can I keep my phone number?
Yes. You can keep your existing phone number when switching phone companies.
Consumers always have the option to keep their existing number when signing up for a phone plan with a new Telco.
Your ‘old’ carrier is legally responsible for transferring your number to your new carrier when you request it.
If you’re purchasing your new SIM online, choose the option to keep your number during sign-up. Most of the companies just ask if you want to keep your number, while some may use the phrase “porting” or “mobile number portability”.
How long does it take to move phone companies – will my service be disrupted?
Phone companies will tell you that it can take up to 24 hours to move across from your old, to your new telco.
However, in practice, most re-connections take only 3-4 hours.
How long does it take to compare phone companies?
It only takes a few minutes to conduct a basic comparison between the key phone company options available to you.
If you’re not sure where to start, try our ‘chooser’. By making a few simple selections to let us know your preferences, we can show you the plans most likely to suit your needs.
What’s the best way to compare phone companies?
To help you find the perfect plan, you may want to consider some of the following questions:
Which factors will affect the mobile coverage I get on my new plan?
The following factors all affect mobile phone coverage:
- Proximity to a cellular tower
- Physical obstacles like buildings or hills between you and the tower
- The materials involved in nearby buildings; reinforced concrete walls often weaken the signal
- Congestion; the number of people using the same network in your area.
- The antenna strength of your phone
We have a dedicated coverage page with a lot more Australia specific information on the major network’s cellular footprints.
What is the difference between outright and contract phone purchase?
When you pay the full price of your device upfront, it means you have bought the phone outright.
When you purchase a phone included with a monthly service plan, that’s a contract purchase. The phone provider often subsidizes the phone’s price and include it in your monthly bills.
However, if you can afford the up front cost, it is often cheaper to purchase your phone outright and combine it with an inexpensive monthly SIM-only plan.
How long will it take for my new SIM to get to me?
SIM delivery time varies for each phone company.
Most offer free next day delivery.
- There's never been a better time to change phone company
- Keep your phone number AND get a better deal
- Mobile data is now cheaper than ever
- Try a new phone company brand - they're cheaper
- Comparing can be confusing - use our tables above
- People worry about th hassle, until they try it
Everything you need to know about switching phone plans or network carriers
Mobile phone technology has been with us for a generation now. Millions of people switch phone companies every year now , and keep their phone number when they move.
Years of experience has led to phone companies having extremely efficient services which facilitate your move from one phone company to another. There are strict regulations in place to make sure that you are treated fairly on ever step of the way.
These are the reasons that now is a good time to be changing phone companies:
- More SIM Only Deals:
More than 70% of people now have SIM Only plans – meaning far fewer are tied in to contracts. SIM Only agreements often provide people the flexibility to move phone companies whenever they want to.
- More ‘BYO Phone’:
A higher proportion of Australians are buying their phone outright and adding their own SIM.
- Data plans:
Have become more generous, and inclusions in these plans make people use their mobile phones even more.
- Other incentives to move:
Some phone plans now include entertainment options, family discounts and other unique plan features which might appeal to you.
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Changing your phone provider or porting your number takes somewhere between 10 minutes to 24 hours. Porting multiple lines and landlines may take around ten days. It largely depends on the carriers you are switching between.
Porting means you bring your current working service number to a new carrier. Do not disconnect your number you want to port because the porting process will do this automatically. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to get that number back.
Most carriers perform the number porting as part of their online activation process when you receive your new phone and SIM card – or they will handle it in store.
There are 50+ phone companies in Australia, with Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, and Virgin being the leading carriers. Some other popular names in the Australian’s telecom industry are Amaysim, TPG Mobile, OVO, Yomojo, SpinTel, Kogan Mobile and many more. All these carriers offer great deals on phone plans, and users can switch to any desired carrier, quickly and easily.
Ideally, switch your phone plan as and when necessary. Often customers change to a new phone plan with more minutes to avoid overage charges that can run very high. You can always switch back to your old plan if your requirements change.
Conversely, you may change plans because you are using fewer minutes or less data than your current plan allows, therefore switching to a plan with fewer minutes and less data, will likely cost less per month.
Whatever the reason, before making the switch, it is important to remember, a new plan can add overage charges to your monthly bill if not done at the optimal time of the month. Make sure you account for pro-rating of the included minutes in your plan.
How much mobile data do you need in a phone plan?
Mobile data is the most important as well as the most expensive part of phone plans. Exceeding mobile data allocation can be particularly expensive. So it is advisable to first calculate how much data you will need and then choose a phone plan accordingly.
Now you may ask “How much mobile data do I need in a phone plan?” Data usage has increased dramatically in recent years. This trend is likely to continue when 5GB rolls out, with exponential increases in data usage forecasted.
According to the 2018 ACMA report, Australians are increasing their data plans to accommodate on-the-go internet connectivity and video viewing, with 33 percent (the highest group by percentage) having a data allowance of 4GB or under per month. However, the most telling statistic is the group with a plan of more than 20GB a month has increased from a mere 3 percent in 2017 to 12 percent in 2018.
It is hard to gauge your own data usage based on averages, due to the wide variation amongst mobile internet users. You can determine your data needs, if you are a smartphone user, by looking at how much data you’re already using. There are a number of ways to do this. Firstly, take a look at your past few bills, to get your average use per month. There are also tools to monitor your ongoing data usage already built into your phone, or can be easily added.
- For iPhone users:
Go to Settings > Mobile and scroll down to check your current data usage and how much data each app has used over that period.
- For Android users:
Go to Settings > Data Usage
- For Windows Phone users:
Download the app Data Sense, enter your existing data plan provisions and track your current mobile and Wi-Fi data usage.
Most Telcos provide tracking tools to enable subscribers to monitor ongoing data figures, either via a mobile website, or a dedicated app for your smartphone.
Data usage may vary over time, so choose a phone plan that best accommodates your calling, text, and data needs.
Which networks cover your region?
Nothing matters more than the network coverage in your region. Choose a phone carrier that gives the best coverage in your area. Before switching phone carriers, you can check their official coverage maps to see what you’ll get with them.
Remember that these maps don’t cover your area down to the last square metre. If you live in a basement, the signal is going to be weak. Also, check the coverage for all locations where you frequently go to. Look at the data and voice coverage as well as comparing the speeds you’re going to get with the new carrier.
Do you need a new phone?
Check if your mobile phone is compatible with the intended network. See which and how many frequencies and bands your device is compatible with on your intended network.
Do you make international calls?
Making international calls can get extremely expensive if you don’t choose the right plan. Many phone providers in Australia exclude international credit from their plans entirely. However, a few carriers are offering international calling and texts as part of their standard plans. Some of the best SIM-only providers with international credit include Telstra, Optus, Amaysim, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile, Moose Mobile and a few more.
Prepaid or postpaid?
Postpaid usually has good deals. However, with postpaid, you have to commit to a monthly spend. If you are not good at monitoring your usage, you may find your monthly spend can significantly vary from month to month, and you risk running up a hefty bill.
A minimum monthly service charge plan is available for usually 12 to 24 months and includes a fixed number of calls, texts and internet data. They also include the cost of a handset, to be paid in easy installments.
- Generally, they can include cheaper call rates or infinite talk and text
- Costs may escalate quickly, especially if you operate outside the areas covered as part of their unlimited talk and text.
- Some services offer bill capping.
- Some carriers have unlimited capped plans. A higher monthly fee allows you unlimited usage.
- Cancelling a plan early, usually incurs an exit fee
- Most plans don’t carry forward remaining calls or minutes.
On the other hand, prepaid plans are like buying a starter kit that gives you access to a phone network and a dollar amount of data and calls. When you run out, you can recharge for more call credits and extend your network access.
- You have tight control over call expenditure, making it ideal for users with a tight
- You can make 000 calls and receive calls for a limited time, even with zero call credits.
- Some carriers allow carrying over unused credits for up to 12 months.
- International roaming isn’t available from all network carriers. To switch to another network, you may end up paying what amounts to an exit fee.
eSIM will make changing network providers easier than ever before. It is a relatively new technology, a small chip embedded inside newer handsets. The eSIM (embedded SIM) solves all the hassle involved in changing your phone provider or cell phone plan. It allows users to switch their network carrier without ordering a new SIM card or going into a store. You can activate the carrier and plan of your choice directly from your smartphone.
An eSIM is rewritable, so switching carriers doesn’t require switching phones or sim. Within a couple of taps on your phone screen, you can sign up to a new plan with a different carrier.
Additionally, subscribing to a plan via an eSIM lets you see all carriers and plans available in your area that best suit. With eSIM, you can add multiple plans from different carriers to an eSIM and switch between each one as and when required. This is useful if you are a frequent traveller or a particular network provides better coverage in certain areas than the other networks, allowing you to interchange between networks as and when required.
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