09.Mobile number portability
You can change from one company to another at will, taking your current number with you. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) says the whole process shouldn’t take more than a few hours.
This is really good news if you’re looking for the best deal, because you can change companies at will, without having to contact everyone you know to give them a new contact number. If you’re running a small business this could be a substantial saving.
But it’s not all good news. There are some traps that you’ll need to keep in mind:
- When you leave your current provider your contract will end, but you may have to pay cancellation fees as well as all outstanding call charges, etc, so you may be better off waiting till the contract expires. Also look carefully at the conditions of your new contract.
- If you’ve got a prepaid package you may need to get the handset unlocked before you can move to a new provider, and there could be a cost for this service.
- Personal SIM locks also need to be removed before the transfer can take place.
- Don’t cancel your existing service before moving. Only active numbers can be transferred, so cancelling before you move will render your current number unavailable.
- You don’t have to keep the same handset, but make sure you take the cost of a new one into account when looking at your new contract.
- Only the person who signed the existing contract can move the number to another provider. If you think you’ve been moved without your knowledge, contact your original provider.
For more information on mobile number portability, check the ACMA factsheet.