How to Activate Telstra SIM

how to activate telstra SIM

Telstra SIM card availability

Telstra is Australia’s largest telco, and has been for a long, long time. They sell a wide range of telecommunications services to both personal and business customers, and they have the widest mobile reach, covering 99.4 of the Australian population.

As the leading telco in Australia, Telstra SIM cards are widely available. The telco gives several options for purchasing a SIM plan or starter kit:

  • You can get your Telstra SIM online and wait for delivery in the post.
  • You can also get your Telstra SIM from a Telstra contact center or other brick and mortar stores.
  • And if your device has an eSIM, you can get your Telstra SIM directly on your phone with a Telstra eSIM plan.

Telstra offers prepaid and upfront SIM plans – what’s the difference?

Telstra offered traditional postpaid plans in the past, but they got rid of their postpaid plans and replaced them with upfront plans last year. The telco also offers prepaid plans, so it’s important to know what these different types of plans actually mean.

Here’s a quick break down of the differences between prepaid, postpaid, and upfront plans:

  • Prepaid plans are paid for before you can use the service. These plans have no obligation or contracts, so you can decide to stop using them at any time. To continue using your prepaid plan, you have to recharge the plan upon expiry. Prepaid plans usually don’t require credit checks.
  • Postpaid plans allow customers to use their inclusions before paying. These plans usually restart on a monthly billing cycle, after which you pay for the previous billing cycle after using its inclusions. Because postpaid plans trust you to pay after using the service, they often require credit checks, and some telcos offer these plans on contract.
  • Upfront plans are similar to prepaid plans in that they must be paid for before the inclusions can be used. However, upfront plans often come with the same benefits as postpaid plans. For instance, while Telstra upfront plans are direct-debited at the beginning of the month like prepaid plans, they also boast of the same features as postpaid plans – they can be paired with device plans, there are no excess data charges, they offer data sharing, and they come with 5G access on some plans.

How to activate SIM card

Testra’s SIM card activation process depends on the kind of SIM plan you choose. As we stated, the telco offers both prepaid and upfront SIM plans. 

Here’s how to activate your Telstra prepaid SIM card:

  • Open a web browser and go to Telstra’s prepaid activation page
  • Find your SIM serial number on the back of your SIM card and enter it into the text box
  • Select whether you’d like to port your current number over to your new Telstra prepaid, or get a new number
  • Select whether your plan is for a phone or another kind of device – for instance, a data-only device like a pocket WiFi dongle.
  • Enter ID information
  • Enter your contact information
  • Choose your plan and recharge
  • Confirm that all the info you’ve entered is correct, and then click Activate.

Here’s how to activate your Telstra upfront SIM card

  • Telstra upfront plans have to be activated on the My Telstra app
  • Open the My Telstra app
  • Choose Track my orders
  • Select the relevant order
  • Tap (or click) Activate.

If you’re having difficulty activating your prepaid or upfront Telstra plan, you can always get in touch with Telstra for assistance. You can reach Telstra via the My Telstra app, online, or over the phone. You can also activate your SIM card by walking in to a Telstra store.

When your SIM card has been activated, Telstra will send you an email or text to inform you. If you port your current number over to your new Telstra SIM, your previous telco service will stop working when your Telstra SIM becomes active. If you request a new number instead, you’ll know your Telstra SIM is active when you see “Telstra” next to the coverage bars on your device. You might need to restart your device to check if your SIM card has been activated. 

Summing Up

Telstra’s prepaid services require that you visit the Telstra website and activate the SIM there. You can also take it in to a Telstra store or give their customer service department a ring but, in all likelihood, they will simply walk you to a browser and take you personally through the process of activating the SIM card. Once activated, your service and its features will be available to you for use almost immediately. 

Prepapid plans have been around for more than a generation now. Telstra have gotten pretty efficient at enabling (it’s called provisioning in the business) their SIM plans. Visit the Telstra site and your CTN (Phone Number) will be live in a few short minutes.

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.