If you are planning on switching mobile service providers but wish to keep your existing number this is possible through a process called number porting.
How to change your mobile phone provider while retaining your mobile number:
- Check to see if there is a fee for ending your contract or plan early, or if you have any outstanding bills. For example, if you buy a mobile phone on contract, you may have to pay any remaining charges when you switch providers.
- Purchase a sim card from the mobile network you wish to join. If you have an e-sim you don’t need to purchase a new sim and the process of porting your number is different. Scroll down to find out how to port your number with an e-sim.
- Contact the new mobile service provider you would like to join and let them know that you want to keep your existing mobile phone number. In some cases, you can switch to a mobile provider through their website.
- Once the porting request has been processed by the new service provider, you will receive a SMS text message acknowledging your request to transfer your mobile number. You will need to reply “YES” to process the transfer.
- The text message you receive will be as follows:
- “ACTION REQUIRED: We have received a request to move your mobile [Numberxxx] to another provider. To proceed reply YES to this message within 2 hours. If you didn’t request the move then reply NO, or ignore this message and it will be cancelled. From NZ Telecommunications Forum (TCF)”
- Reply YES to the SMS to initiate the port. You must reply within two hours of receiving this SMS. Replying to this SMS will not cost you any money and you can reply to it even if you do not have any mobile credit.
- Your port will be initiated. Your port will be completed at the time agreed with the carrier.
- Put your new sim card into your mobile phone. You will know when the port has been successful when your phone connects to your new mobile network
- If you don’t reply, or respond in the negative, your transfer will not proceed. This is to protect you if someone else requested the transfer without your knowledge.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need to reply to the SMS when I have already requested that my number be ported?
Number porting has been used as a means to commit fraud. By requiring you to authorise the number port it will confirm that this port hasn’t been requested by someone else.
I did not request to have my mobile number ported by I received the SMS asking me to confirm this port. What does this mean? And what do I do?
If you receive this SMS it may mean that someone else was fraudulently trying to port your number. Thankfully, this system means that they will be prevented from doing so. If you did not request for your number to be ported, simply ignore the SMS. Do not reply Yes. We recommend that you contact you bank to let them know.
What if I don’t reply to the SMS within two hours?
If you don’t reply to the SMS request to port your mobile number within two hours of receiving it, you will need to contact your new mobile service provider and request the port again.
If I don’t have any credit on my phone, can I still reply to the SMS to approve the port?
Yes. You will be able to reply to the SMS even if you have no credit. The SMS will not cost you any money.
I am having issues replying to the SMS to confirm my port. What do I do?
Some devices require a minor settings update to turn off short code blockers.
For instructions on how to change your device settings – click here.
If you are still experiencing issues, please contact the mobile service provider you are wanting to move to for further assistance.
Switching with an eSIM
An eSIM is an ‘electronic SIM’ that is embedded into the mobile phone, tablet or smartwatch. There is no physical card that you can remove.
Many devices can have an eSIM as well as a physical SIM card, allowing you to have two mobile phone numbers on one device.
Transferring or switching your number to another provider with an eSIM is different.
First, locate the ICCID number. To do this:
- iPhone: Go to Settings > General > About > ICCID
Note: If you tap ICCID, it may switch to CSN. Tap again to view the ICCID.
- Android: Go to Settings > About or About Device > IMEI information
- Samsung: Go to Settings > Connections > SIM Card Manager > eSIMx > More Information
See below an example of how an ICCID looks on an iPhone:
Your ICCID number has between 16 to 17 digits (length may be different for each provider).
When you have the ICCID number, contact your new mobile service provider. They will help you to finish the porting process.
Note: If you are using a dual SIM device, make sure you select the correct SIM and number to switch over. See the link below for more guidance (instructions may vary by manufacturer).