How to Switch Cell Phone Carriers
Sooner or later many of us decide to change the phone carrier. This can be caused by a number of reasons – you could find a cheaper wireless plan, a provider with better coverage, or you might have decided to relocate. Whatever is the reason, there are several major considerations that you need to take into account when you decide to switch wireless providers.
In this article, let’s see how to change carriers step-by-step, as well as the most common mistake that people make when making a switch.
Before You Make a Switch …
Before we move to the instructions on how to switch carriers, let’s consider the most common mistake people make when transferring from one cell phone company to another.
Consider the following example. Let’s assume that your current carrier resets the service on the 1st of the month, and you decide to active a new plan on a different cellular provider on the 10th. The connectivity provider that you are leaving will not refund you those days that you paid but didn’t use. They are also likely to charge you through the end of the billing cycle, and you will have to prorate charges with your new wireless services provider.
What’s the solution? It’s better to sign up for a new cell phone service a few days before your current billing cycle ends.
How to Change Phone Carrier Step-by-Step
Now, let’s get to the steps that you need to take to move to a new cell phone provider.
Understand your cell phone usage
The best way to do it is to review your previous 6 months of billing statements. Do you pay for unlimited? But how much data did you use? The most common issue that many of us face is that we pay for the service that we do not need. As an owner of an unlimited data plan, you may need no more than 3GB of data per month. If that’s the case, you can find a more cost-effective alternative.
You may consider using data-only Keepgo lines and pay only for the data that you really need. Paying as low as $8/mo for 1GB and $8 for every additional 1GB of usage, you are connected to the top carriers in the USA and Europe. By the way, this is a great choice for everyone who cannot decide what carrier to choose.
For example, on Keepgo GoFi prepaid plan you will be connected on the two top carriers in the US – AT&T and T-Mobile. GoFi prepaid data SIM cards and GoFi Mobile Travel WiFi Hotspot also offer reliable high-speed coverage all over Europe, keeping your gadgets always connected on the carriers that offer the best signal in your area. Lifetime prepaid plan, in its turn, delivers the best cellular services in 100+ countries to your smartphone and any WiFi-enabled device, with the data remaining valid for a lifetime (when refilled at least once a year).
Research the market. Compare the best cell phone plans
As soon as you understand your current cell phone usage, it’s time to take the next step and shop for a less expensive wireless plan. To get started, choose the top-performing connectivity providers and compare the plans they offer.
If you look for the best wireless networks in the United States, then you may consider choosing between the two top-performing cellular providers like AT&T and T-Mobile, for example.
AT&T offers several prepaid monthly plans with AutoPlay functionality. The monthly bill depends on the amount of data that’s included in the package. The prices start at $35 for 2GB/mo.
T-Mobile offers prepaid plans for $15/month, which include unlimited talk and text, plus up to 2GB of high-speed data.
If you want to get coverage on both of these nationwide providers, then you will enjoy EU USA SIM cards and portable WiFi hotspots from Keepgo. Your smartphone or WiFi-enabled device will get the best service wherever you go, without the need for you to make a switch manually.
Check phone compatibility
Many users decide to switch cell phone providers when they want to get a new mobile device. This is a common practice for those who use locked devices. If you have an unlocked smartphone, then you may feel the ease of switching carriers whenever you wish.
In order to make certain that your phone will work smoothly on a different carrier, you may use compatibility checkers that many cell phone companies provide. As a rule, you will be asked to enter the IMEI or MEID of your smartphone to check if your device will work on the network of the chosen wireless carrier.
To find your IMEI, dial *#06# on your Android or iPhone device, and a box will automatically pop up that displays several numbers, including the IMEI and MEID.
You can also find the IMEI using your phone’s settings menu:
- On Android devices: open Settings > tap About Phone > scroll down and you'll find the number listed under "IMEI."
- On iPhone: go to Settings > General > tap About scroll down to find the IMEI/MEID, and ICCID.
If your phone is locked and you want to switch wireless carriers, you’ll need to check with your current carrier for instructions on how to unlock it.
Get a new phone plan
As soon as you decide to which carrier you’d like to switch, you can purchase a new phone plan at a retail store or buy SIM cards online. If you decide to order a SIM card online, mind that it may take some time for shipping. So order it ahead of time, before your current plan expires.
Install the SIM card into your phone
As soon as the SIM card is delivered to you, follow your new provider’s instructions on how to set up your new SIM card. If you want to keep your current phone number, then you may review the transfer policy. As a rule, you can find this information on the FAQ page, but you can also reach the support team for help.
It’s advised to port your existing phone number a few days before the end of the current billing cycle with your wireless services provider.
Cancel your old service
Do not cancel your current service before contacting your new phone provider. Otherwise, your account will be closed and your phone number will be lost. The porting process may only take a couple of minutes. Sometimes it can take one day before you transfer your phone number successfully.
How to port
If you decide to keep your current number and transfer it to a new carrier, take the following steps to move:
- Contact your new phone provider. You will be asked to tell your name, address, and customer account number as they appear on your bill.
- If you want to keep your device, you will also need to provide your phone’s ESN/IMEI number.
- When your new provider gets this information, they will contact your current wireless services provider to start the porting process.
- As soon as the new service is activated, your existing plan will be automatically canceled. It’s also recommended to call your previous wireless services provider to finalize the transfer and negotiate termination fees.
While changing your wireless services provider, your voicemail messages, caller ID, call forwarding, and other features won’t transfer over. You will need to set them up with your new provider.
Unleash the full potential of your new plan
When you make a switch, check the FAQ of your new phone provider to discover new features that you may try, as well as check the settings that need to be tweaked on your smartphone. If you bought a Keepgo line and you'd like to make free unlimited calls with its help, then the following quick setup instructions will come in handy to you.
Have you switched cell phone providers recently? Feel free to share any tips that you’ll like to add in the comments below!