Switching Carriers - Keep Your Number

Transfer

The great news for consumers is that it is very easy to switch between carriers in New Zealand, and there are even laws to protect your right to switch. As a mobile phone customer, your contacts and their phone numbers, your old emails, photos and other things are all controlled by you on your phone and it is very easy to switch phones and carriers with no interruption to your personal information. 

Your phone number is held by your carrier, but only as long as you allow them to. When you decide to switch and you sign up with a new carrier, there is a system called Mobile Number Portability which means that the old carrier automatically reliquishes the number and transfers it to the new carrier. 

Here's the switching process:

  1. Find a new plan, then sign up with a new carrier, online or over the phone or in-store
  2. When signing up you will be asked whether you want to 'port' your number to the new account - simply enter your number. 
  3. Your new account will activate, the number will be ported to the new phone in a few hours in most cases, but can sometimes take longer than a day. You'll still be able to use your old phone and number until the porting has been completed so you are not inconvenienced 

I thought it was harder?

It used to be far harder than it is now and carriers tried to lock you in by making you start again with a new number if you ever left them. This was not very fair to customers and in the early days of mobile phones and plans consumers thought they could not switch without some interruption. 
 
Not anymore!
 
In New Zealand, mobile phone number portability has been legislated since April 1, 2007.

Will I get this option automatically?

Yes - strangely enough, it is actually more expensive for the telco to set up a new number than it is to transfer an existing numbers so you will easily find a number portability option as you sign up for new mobile phone and plan. In the online store, look for the options to keep your number - remember it is officially called Mobile Number Portability or 'porting'.
 
It costs you nothing and saves you money. You get to keep your stationery, your business cards etc. as you keep your number. And, it happens in a flash.
Tips For Porting Your Number
  • If you change your provider and keep your existing mobile number, remember you're not taking the service with you-just the number. You can only take your mobile number with you if you're the authorised customer - the person who has the actual mobile service account with the mobile phone company.
  • Do not cancel your contract with your current provider before changing your service provider, as only connected phone numbers can be transferred.
  • If you have outstanding debts with your existing provider, you'll still be liable for paying it, even if you transfer your number to another provider. (Having a debt cannot prevent you from changing providers. However, your application for an account with a new provider will be subject to the usual credit checks.)
  • Look into any technical and handset issues you might experience when you change providers. If you're keeping your handset, check whether it is compatible with the mobile technology used by your new provider.
  • If you're a pre-paid mobile customer, your mobile phone may be SIM-locked, and your current provider may charge you to unlock your SIM card if you want to use the same handset with another provider's network.

Ready to Switch? Finding a new Phone & Plan

Here's the most popular phones on our site to start comparing the current deals from carriers. The market is becoming heavily focussed on smartphones and with good reason. The things that new phones can from all carriers can do these day is amazing, empowering and very useful. Here's the most compared new phones on our site. 

Samsung GALAXY S5 16GB
Samsung GALAXY S5 16GB
Samsung's 2014 Flagship device. Powerful and fast with 1080p Full HD 5" display.
  • Android
  • 16 megapixels
  • Touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • Talk time: Up to 21h
46 Plans 20 Deals $398 Max. Saving
Apple iPhone 4S 8GB
Apple iPhone 4S 8GB
8 MP camera, now with dual core A5 processor, HD Video, and video calls
  • Apple iOS
  • 8 megapixels
  • Touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • Talk time: Up to 8h
46 Plans 19 Deals $300 Max. Saving
Apple iPhone 5s 16GB
Apple iPhone 5s 16GB
Apple's latest phone is more powerful and features better motion tracking and a fingerprint scanner
  • Apple iOS
  • 8 megapixels
  • Touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • Talk time: Up to 10h
46 Plans 20 Deals $348 Max. Saving
Apple iPhone 5c 16GB
Apple iPhone 5c 16GB
A colourful twist on the iPhone with 4" retina display and 8MP camera
  • Apple iOS
  • 8 megapixels
  • Touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • Talk time: Up to 10h
46 Plans 18 Deals $29 Max. Saving
Apple iPhone 5s 32GB
Apple iPhone 5s 32GB
Apple's latest phone is more powerful and features better motion tracking and a fingerprint scanner
  • Apple iOS
  • 8 megapixels
  • Touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • Talk time: Up to 10h
46 Plans 18 Deals $150 Max. Saving
HTC One (M8)
HTC One (M8)
Powerful Android smartphone with UltrapixelTM camera & HTC BoomSoundTM 2.0
  • Android
  • UltrapixelTM Camera
  • Touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • 2GB RAM
46 Plans 18 Deals $199 Max. Saving
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
Mid-range Android device with 4.0 inch screen with 5MP camera
  • Android
  • 5 megapixels
  • Touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • Talk time: Up to 8h
40 Plans 16 Deals $29 Max. Saving
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
4G LTE Android smartphone/tablet hybrid running on Jelly Bean
  • Android
  • 13 megapixels
  • Touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • Talk time: Up to 16h
40 Plans 16 Deals $29 Max. Saving
Huawei Ascend P2 32GB
Huawei Ascend P2 32GB
Super fast LTE, 4.7-inch IPS display, 13-megapixel BSI camera
  • Android
  • 13 megapixels
  • Touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • 1.02GB RAM
11 Plans 2 Deals $29 Max. Saving
Samsung Galaxy S4 16GB
Samsung Galaxy S4 16GB
Samsung's 2013 Flagship device. Powerful and fast with 1080p 5" display.
  • Android
  • 13 megapixels
  • Touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • Talk time: Up to 17h
46 Plans 18 Deals $29 Max. Saving

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