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Switching Your Phone Carrier Is Simple With This Guide


Jul 12, 2024 • Filed to: Remove Screen Lock • Proven solutions

If your current phone carrier isn't providing good service or a good deal, why not consider switching to another one? Many people stay with their current mobile carrier because they simply don't know how to switch phone carriers or think it's too much trouble. But sticking around might not be the smartest move.

Actually, the process of switching phone carriers isn't as complicated as it may seem. Plus, you can usually keep your phone number when you make the switch. We will show you how.

Part 1. Why People Switch Phone Carrier?

1. Cost

The primary motivator for consumers to switch mobile service provider to another is cost. Roughly a third (32%) of YouGov respondents cite price as the main reason for switching. YouGov data also reveals that most consumers (22%) pay between $25 and $50 per month to their carrier for cell service.

2. Better Internet and Mobile Data Quality

Almost one out of every five Americans (19%) changed their mobile provider to get better internet and mobile data. Today, having good internet is really important for things like talking with friends, watching videos, or working. People want a carrier that gives them fast and reliable internet so they can do all these things without any problems.

3. Improved Service Plan

According to YouGov data, 17% switched to another carrier for a better service plan, such as obtaining a higher volume of texts or voice calls. Having a good service plan is important for staying connected with others, whether through texts or calls.

4. Family and Friends Network

Another reason consumers (9%) switch cell phone carriers is to join the same network as family or friends. Being on the same network makes it easier and cheaper to communicate with each other, like sending messages or making calls.

5. Device Price and Availability

Some people (9%) changed carriers because they wanted a better deal on the price of their phone. Others (6%) switched because they found it easier to get the phone they wanted with a different carrier.

6. Customer Service

Good customer service was cited as a reason for switching by 14% of respondents, with a notable difference between Millennials (12%) and Baby Boomers (18%).

change mobile provider

Part 2. Can I Switch My Phone to Another Carrier?

Switching your cell phone carrier to another is usually possible, but there are a few things to consider before making the move:

1. Phone compatibility

Not all phones are compatible with every carrier. Before switching mobile carriers. you'll need to make sure that your phone supports the network technology used by the new carrier.

2. Check for early termination fees

Pay attention to the phone contract when you’ve decided to switch. If you're still under contract with your current carrier, switching before the contract ends may incur early termination fees. Make sure to check your contract terms before making the switch.

3. Paying off your phone

Unless you bought your phone outright or you've had it for a while, you'll probably need to pay it off. You have to clear any money you owe before you can switch carriers. How much you still owe depends on things like how many payments you have left on your phone, your current account balance, any discounts you got when you got the phone, and if you're trading in your old phone.

4. Unlocking your phone

If your phone is locked to your current carrier, you'll need to unlock it before changing mobile carriers. Check out the Bonus Tip on how to unlock it.

Part 3. Which Network Works Best for You?

AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon stand out as the primary options for mobile service in the US. Each of these networks offers direct services and boasts strong nationwide coverage, providing access to both 4G LTE (fast) and 5G (even faster) data.

But beyond the big players, several smaller wireless providers also offer services using the infrastructure of larger networks. These include the prepaid brands owned by each major carrier, such as Visible (Verizon), Cricket (AT&T), and Metro (T-Mobile), which operate on their parent company's networks.

Additionally, smaller players like Mint Mobile and Google Fi utilize T-Mobile's network, while cable companies like Comcast and Spectrum rely on Verizon for their Xfinity Mobile and Spectrum Mobile services, respectively.

choosing new phone carrier for the switch

There's no one-size-fits-all recommendation for any single carrier. But at least, when deciding to switch mobile providers, it's important to consider factors like which network performs best in your particular area. For instance, while T-Mobile might excel in urban areas like New York, Verizon could be more dependable in rural locations such as Iowa.

Other factors that you can consider are:

  • Your internet speed needs
  • Comparing plans beyond just prices
  • Any data limits imposed
  • Contract obligations, if any
  • Potential phone deals for switching carriers

Be sure to thoroughly check each network provider and their offerings before making your decision. This way, you can find the network that suits your needs best.

Part 4. How To Switch Your Phone Carrier (and Keep Your Number)?

Switching phone carriers while keeping your number is entirely possible. However, it's essential to note that some providers may have restrictions on number portability. The ability to transfer your number hinges on various factors such as your current plan type (prepaid or postpaid), contract duration, number format, and other considerations.

How to switch cell phone providers and port your number:

Step 1: Check your eligibility with your new service provider.

Most providers offer tools on their websites for you to verify if you can port your number. For example, if you want to switch to AT&T, you can check your eligibility here. Keep in mind that if you're planning to move to a different geographic area or country, number porting may not be possible.

how to switch phone carrier

Step 2: Identify the kind of SIM card in your phone.

Your phone might use a physical SIM card or an eSIM stored digitally. This will impact how you set up your new service with the carrier.

Step 3: Get your new plan and device, or use your current device.

You can do this online or in-store. If necessary, you can also get a new SIM card.

choose a plan when changing cell phone carriers

Step 4: Have your account information ready.

The account information that you need to prepare includes your name, address, and customer account number. If you're bringing your current phone, you may also need to provide its ESN/IMEI number.

Step 5: Start the porting process with your new provider.

They will contact your current carrier to start the transfer. If you're using your existing phone, insert the new SIM card into your device.

Step 6: Finalize the transfer with your old carrier.

After activating your new service, your old service should be canceled automatically. Still, it's wise to reach out to your previous carrier to confirm the transfer and handle any remaining fees or charges. Then, you may expect a final bill within a month.

Bonus Tip: How To Unlock SIM Lock on iPhone With Reliable Tool

If you are porting your mobile and landline numbers when changing cell phone carriers. you need to make sure your phone is unlocked. If it isn't, you'll need to contact your current carrier to unlock it before initiating the transfer.

Locked phones are restricted to only work with the carrier they were purchased from, so unlocking it allows you to use it with any compatible carrier. This process usually involves contacting your current carrier's customer service. And you need to provide the necessary details like your account information and IMEI number.

iPhone locked by carrier

Another way to unlock your locked phone is by using unlocking tools like Wondershare Dr.Fone – Screen Unlock (iOS). Once unlocked, you can proceed with transferring your numbers to the new carrier without any issues.

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Dr.Fone - Screen Unlock (iOS)

Unlock SIM Lock on iPhone Without Hassle.

  • Simple, click-through, process.
  • Unlock screen passwords from all iPhones and iPads.
  • No tech knowledge is required, everybody can handle it.
  • Supports the latest iOS version fully!New icon
Available on: Windows Mac
3981454 people have downloaded it
How to unlock iPhone locked by carrier with Dr.Fone – Screen Unlock tool (iOS):

Step 1: Open The Screen Unlock Tool

Install Wondershare Dr.Fone on your computer and plug in your iPhone. Then, open the software and go to Toolbox > Screen Unlock > iOS.

Unlock SIM to switch phone carriers with Dr.Fone – Screen Unlock

Step 2: Select SIM Unlock

Choose the option to remove the SIM lock and click Start on the next screen.

Select SIM Unlock

Step 3: Confirm Your iPhone

Dr.Fone will recognize your iPhone automatically. Double-check the details and click Unlock Now.

Confirm Your iPhone details

Step 4: Jailbreak your iPhone

If needed, you'll be asked to jailbreak your iPhone. This step will grant Dr.Fone access to the system files and settings to carry out the unlocking process. See the "Jailbreak Guide" and follow the steps or click on "Watch Video" for a video tutorial.

Jailbreak your iPhone

Step 5: Remove Wi-Fi Networks

Take out the SIM card and go to Settings > Wi-Fi on your iPhone. Forget all connected networks, turn off Wi-Fi and put back the SIM card.

Remove the SIM card and Wi-Fi Networks

Step 6: Finish up the SIM carrier unlocking process.

Dr.Fone will show the progress of unlocking your SIM card. Once it's done, click Done to finish and check if it has unlocked your iPhone’s SIM.

SIM card lock successfully removed


Switching phone carriers can seem troublesome at first. But armed with the right knowledge and guidance, it becomes a manageable process with potentially significant benefits.

We have outlined how to change mobile providers seamlessly while retaining your phone number. Moreover, unlocking your phone and ensuring compatibility with your new carrier are essential steps in the process.

Whether you opt for contacting your current carrier or using unlocking tools, such as Wondershare Dr.Fone – Screen Unlock (iOS), unlocking your device enables you to leverage the benefits of your chosen carrier fully.

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Alice MJ

staff Editor

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