Want to Switch Mobile Phone Providers? Here's How | Optimum

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It's so easy to get attached to your mobile provider that breaking up can be extremely hard to do, even if you feel like it's time. Where do you even start? For a long period of time there were only three major providers to choose from and it made your choice easy. Now, other providers have developed the plans they offer, giving the major companies some competition. While it's great for the consumer to have many options to choose from, ensuring it's the right choice for you can be tricky.

Is it Easy to Switch Phone Carriers?

To put it simply, yes! It's very easy to switch phone carriers when you know how to prepare. Doing your research beforehand makes the process smooth and stress-free. Switching providers used to be a long, drawn out process. Now, you don't even have to leave your home to do it. Our guide will help you switch phone providers seamlessly, and you'll even get to keep your old number.

How to Switch Phone Carriers and Keep Your Number

Yes, you can keep your phone number! The first step to switching to a new carrier, or provider, is to decide what features you want to keep. Typically, these include your device and your phone number. While you might want to keep your phone to keep things simple, it's also good to consider an upgrade. The average time a person keeps their phone is around 3 years, but this timeline increases as phones get more expensive. So, if you already own a newer device, you may be reluctant to give it up. However, if you are using an older device, upgrading can improve your mobile phone experience while investing in a device that can last years with proper care. Next, decide if you'd like to keep your number. If you're attached to your old digits, make it a priority to ask your potential providers if they support this. If you're open to a new cell phone number, great! This makes the switch even easier. The main thing to remember is to let essential people like friends, family, and any other parties know about the switch.

Make Sure the Phone and Plan You Want Are Compatible

Once you know what kind of phone you want, make sure you choose a plan and provider that work well together. Some devices can only work with certain providers or networks. This can also be the case if you haven't paid your phone off yet, or if you have a contract with a provider. If you don't know how to check for this information, you can use your International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. This number acts as your phone's unique identity, and allows your smartphone to be tracked in case it goes missing. Typically, you can find this number in your phone's settings. If you still can't find it, you can search the Internet for your phone model and IMEI. You might also be looking for other features, such as 5G. That will change how you search for plans, as some carriers and plans don't offer it yet. Ultimately, if you have or want a 5G phone, be sure to choose a plan that meets those needs. 5G technology is still fairly new, so not every carrier can provide it.

Figure Out How Much Data You Want

Very similar to choosing an Internet plan, you need to figure out how much data you need. While unlimited plans are very common, you might not need to choose this costly option. There are several ways to figure out what amount of data you require. Smartphones display the amount of data they use in their settings. So if you are planning on keeping your device, check there to match the data amount for your new plan. It's important to remember this data amount refreshes every month, so you can calculate how much data you need per year.

Another option is to look at your current plan. Check your monthly statement to see the data usage for your device. If you purchase extra data, be sure to take that into account. Another important factor to consider is if you've ever paid any overage fees. This could be a sign that you would benefit from a data upgrade. If none of these apply to you, stick with your current amount of data. But if you're interested in using your phone for things like games, streaming, or better graphics, opting for more data can be beneficial.

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