Are Optus phones unlocked?

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Whether you’re a current Optus customer, or considering signing up to a new Optus phone plan, you might be wondering is if Optus locks phones to its network. This is especially important to know if you’re planning on holidaying overseas anytime soon, and will be picking up a SIM card to use on your travels.

What does it mean if my phone is locked?

A locked phone is tied to its original network, in a practice that’s also known as SIM locking or network locking. This means that you can’t use your device on any network besides that of the telco it was purchased from — so if you bought your phone from Optus, it would only work with Optus SIM cards and plans.

This is to ensure that when you buy a device through one provider, you’re actually using that provider’s services, rather than just switching to another telco. That’s why it’s especially important to check if your device is locked before you go on holidays, as most travellers purchase a SIM card overseas so they can keep using their device without being charged expensive global roaming rates.

How do I know if my Optus phone is locked?

If you’ve purchased a phone through Optus on a postpaid phone plan, chances are that your device is unlocked. For iPhone users, it’s worth noting that any device running iOS 7 or higher won’t be network locked, but earlier models may be.

If you’ve bought a phone direct from Optus for use with a prepaid service, this phone will be locked, and you’ll need to pay a fee to unlock the device. Fees will vary depending on how long you’ve used the service: $80 if your phone has been active for less than six months, and $25 otherwise.

If you’re interested in what Optus has to offer when it comes to postpaid SIM-only plans, the following table includes Optus’s postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see a wider range of plans from other providers.

How do I unlock my Optus phone?

Optus makes the process easy, allowing you to unlock your device via its website. Before you start the process, you’ll need to find your device’s International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number.

To find this number, simply dial *#06# from your handset: the first 15 numbers that appear are your IMEI number. Once you have your IMEI handy, you’ll be able to start the online unlocking process.

My phone is unlocked — what does this mean?

If your device is already unlocked – or once you have completed the unlocking process – you’re now free to switch your SIM card, which means you can move to a cheaper phone plan, or simply use an overseas SIM card for travelling.

This is also handy if your contract is finished and you’ve paid off your device, as you’re now free to pass your unlocked phone on to a friend or family member. If you’ve got kids, and they’re at the age they need their own handset, you can shop around for a cheap kid-friendly phone plan to pair with the unlocked phone.

The table below shows a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database for under $40, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see a wider range of plans from other providers. These are products with links to referral partners.

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