Unlocking your Pre-Paid Mobiles for use on other Networks
Heading overseas for a well earned vacation? Selling your old phone to a mate on another carrier now that you’ve upgraded to the latest SmartPhone? Well you’re probably going to need to have your phone unlocked first so read on!
Most pre-paid handsets sold by Telstra are locked to the Telstra network. The process to have it unlocked is reasonably straight forward but there are a few things you’ll need to know first. The most important thing to know is the contact number: Call 125 8880 from a Telstra phone, or 13 22 00 from a non-Telstra phone and when prompted say 'Pre-Paid'. They are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 10pm AEST. If you're calling from overseas, call +61 439 125 888 (international call charges will apply).
Your IMEI Number
When you call through it’s also best to have your phone's IMEI number handy. This is normally on the box that your phone came in however if you’ve thrown it away or don’t have it, the easiest way to get it is by keying * # 0 6 # and then pressing the “call” button on your phone. This should then display a 15 digit number which is your IMEI.
There is a fee to have your mobile phone unlocked and this will depend on your handset and the length of time that has passed since you bought it. Within the first six months of buying the handset, or if the handset hasn’t been activated yet, the fee can be either $50, $100 or $150. The list of handsets is way to long to list them all but in most cases the fee is $100. If you want to know the charge specific to your handset feel free to comment on this with the model number and I'll do my best to get back to you otherwise you can confirm the fee when you speak to the unlocking team. The unlocking fee for any handset that has been active for 6 months or more is $27.50, no matter which handset you have. As there is a fee for unlocking your phone you’ll need a credit card handy when you call otherwise you’ll need to go to your local Telstra shop.
Finalising the Process
Once you’ve called the pre-paid unlocking team and they’ve placed your order, it can take up to 72 hours to unlock your phone but generally it's a lot quicker then that. You may need to power cycle the phone (turning it off and then on again) or sync it with your computer depending on the model to complete the process.