Tech Q&A: Can I keep my number if I change mobile providers?

Giselle is unhappy with her mobile phone provider but doesn’t want to lose her phone number. Is there anything she can do to keep her number?

Q. Giselle
I read your article recently about how many Australians are sticking with expensive phone plans when there are better offers available. It finally motivated me to look at some of the other options out there, and I have now found some cheaper plans. However, a friend told me that I would lose my mobile number if I switched plans? Is there any way I can keep my mobile number when I switch providers?

A. It is definitely possible to switch phone providers and keep your existing phone number, but you do have to be careful about how you handle the process, to ensure this happens.

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The process of taking your existing phone number across to a new provider is called number porting.

Service providers are required to port your mobile phone number if you request it, but only an active number can be ported to another provider, so it is important that you do not cancel your existing service.

If you would like to keep your number, you should inform your new provider as soon as possible, so that your new provider can request the porting of your number from the old provider quickly.

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Your existing service will be cancelled automatically once the new service is activated.

If you are thinking of changing providers, remember, you may need to sign a new contract so check for any charges for ending or leaving your current contract early, if this applies in your situation.

Mobile phone providers may have different early termination fees, some being a percentage of the remaining contract, or others the full cost of the contract or just the phone handset.

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Before you switch or cancel your contract, check the critical information summary or ask your provider if you will be charged an early termination fee.

Each mobile phone plan has a critical information summary that should set out the ‘minimum amount payable’ or ‘minimum total cost’ for different post-paid plans.

This is the minimum amount, including any payments you make, such as a handset charge, which you will be required to pay under a contract.

Have you considered switching phone providers to save money? Did you know that you could keep your mobile number? Do you have any tech questions you need answered? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

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Written by Ben



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