How to Change Mobile Network and Keep the Same Number

Learn how to keep your phone number when switching mobile providers with Savvy’s handy guide.

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, updated on October 26th, 2023       

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Change Mobile Network and Keep the Same Number

Switching mobile network providers can be a great way to save money, get better network coverage or access a wider range of plan options. However, it can also seem like a daunting task, especially if you want to keep your phone number. 

In this useful guide, Savvy will walk you through the step-by-step process of changing mobile networks and keeping your phone number in Australia. We’ll cover everything you need to know, from choosing a new provider to porting your number. Let’s get started!

Can I change my mobile network provider and still keep the same number in Australia?

Yes, you can change your mobile network provider and still keep the same number in Australia. This process is known as ‘porting’. To port your number, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you are the ‘authorised customer’ – the person whose name is registered on the plan.
  2. Choose a new mobile plan and order a SIM pack from your new provider – this can generally be done online, over the phone or in-store.
  3. Activate your new SIM card. During this stage, you will be asked if you want to keep your existing number.
  4. Wait for the porting process to complete, which may take anything from a few hours to a week. During this time, you should be able to use your old SIM.
  5. Receive confirmation that porting was successful. At this point, your old plan will be cancelled. Remember to pay off any outstanding bills!

It is important not to cancel your old mobile phone plan until your new provider confirms that your number has been successfully ported. If you do, you could lose your phone number.

What are the key considerations when changing mobile network providers in Australia?

When switching mobile network providers in Australia, there are several important factors to consider:    

  • Contract status: if you have a contract with your existing provider, review the terms and conditions to determine if there are any penalties or fees for early termination.
  • Network coverage: research the coverage and signal strength of the new provider in your area to ensure you’ll have reliable service where you need it most.
  • Phone unlocking: if your phone is locked to your current provider, you’ll need to request an unlock to use a SIM card from the new provider.
  • Mobile plan selection: choose a plan that aligns with your usage patterns and budget, considering factors like data allowances, call and text inclusions, and any additional features offered.
  • Data backup: before making the switch, back up any important data on your phone, such as contacts, photos, and messages, to avoid losing any valuable information during the transition.
  • Service continuity: coordinate the timing of the switch to minimise downtime by ensuring your new SIM card is activated before your old one becomes inactive.
  • Promotions and deals: some providers may offer incentives for switching, such as discounted plans or bonus data. Take advantage of any promotions that apply.
  • Bill monitoring: keep an eye on your first few bills with the new provider to ensure you're being charged correctly and receiving the services you signed up for.

Can I keep my Australian phone number when moving overseas?

Yes, it is possible to keep your Australian mobile number if you move abroad. If you’re moving overseas long-term, one of the best ways to keep your Australian phone number is to switch to a long-expiry prepaid plan. These plans can last for up to 365 days and only need to be topped up once a year, making them ideal for people living abroad.

To switch to a long-expiry prepaid plan, you can either contact your current mobile carrier to change your plan or port your number to a new mobile carrier if you want to switch to a different carrier.

Another option for keeping your Australian phone number when moving overseas long-term is to port your number to a VoIP service. VoIP services allow you to make and receive calls over the internet, offering lower call rates than traditional mobile carriers.

If you’re only going to be overseas for a short period of time, you can always enable roaming on your existing mobile plan. However, roaming charges can be high, so this is not the most cost-effective option for longer term trips or permanent moves.

Top tips for choosing a new mobile phone provider

Consider your needs

What is most important to you in a mobile phone plan? Do you need a lot of data? Do you need to make a lot of international calls? Once you know what your needs are, you can start to compare different plans and providers.

Compare plans and providers

There are many different mobile phone providers in Australia, so it's important to compare their plans and prices before you choose one. If you’re looking to switch, you can use Savvy to compare different plans side-by-side.

Check the coverage

Make sure that the provider you choose has good coverage in the areas where you spend most of your time. You can check coverage maps on the websites of most mobile phone providers.

Read the reviews

Before you sign up for a plan, read reviews of the provider you're considering. This can give you an idea of their customer service and network quality.

Look for deals and promotions

Many mobile phone providers offer deals and promotions, such as discounted plans or bonus data. Be sure to check for deals before you sign up for a plan.

Frequently asked questions about keeping your phone number when switching mobile providers

Is there a fee for transferring my phone number to a different network provider in Australia?

The majority of phone providers do not charge a fee for transferring your phone number to a different network provider in Australia. However, a handful of companies do, so it is important to check the terms and conditions of your plan. Your current mobile network provider may also charge you a cancellation fee if you are still under contract. 

Do I need to cancel my old mobile plan when switching providers?

No – typically you will not need to cancel your old mobile plan when switching providers. Your new provider will take care of cancelling your old plan for you. However, it is important to check with your new provider to confirm this, as some providers may have different policies.

Can I keep my phone number if I switch between different types of plans?

Yes – you can keep your phone number if you switch between different types of mobile phone plans in Australia. The most common types of mobile phone plans are prepaid and postpaid plans, though there are also many pay as you go options available.

What information do I need to provide to transfer my number to a new network in Australia?

To transfer your number, you'll generally need to provide your full name, address, date of birth and the mobile number you wish to transfer. Additionally, you may need your current account details.

Can I switch mobile phone plans if I am under contract?

Yes – you can switch mobile phone plans if you are under contract, but you may have to pay an early termination fee. The amount will vary depending on your provider and the type of contract you have.

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Compare mobile plans with Savvy

Whether you're looking for basic prepaid mobile plan or a postpaid contract with a choice of extra features, you can compare a range of offers from leading Australian providers side by side with Savvy. Get started with a free, no-obligation quote today!

Disclaimer:

Savvy is partnered with Econnex Comparison (CIMET Sales Pty Ltd, ABN 72 620 395 726) to provide readers with a variety of mobile phone plans to compare. We do not compare all retailers in the market, or all plans offered by all retailers. Savvy earns a commission from Econnex each time a customer buys a mobile phone plan via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased directly, as all purchases are conducted via Econnex.

Any advice presented above is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing a mobile phone plan. For further information on the variety of mobile phone plans compared by Econnex, or how their business works, you can visit their website.