Are Telstra phones unlocked?

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For anyone signed up to Telstra (or considering signing up to Australia’s largest telco), one of the biggest questions you might have is whether your phone is, or will be, locked to the Telstra network. Phone locking (also known as SIM locking) means that your device is restricted to being used only with the carrier that you purchased it from. This prevents you from buying a phone through one telco, then switching to another telco for cheaper service.

How do I know if my Telstra phone is locked?

The good news is, if you’ve purchased a phone through a postpaid plan, your handset is most likely unlocked – unless it’s an older device. What this means is that if you’ve been on a Telstra postpaid plan in conjunction with a device (such as the latest iPhone or Samsung phone), then you’re free to switch SIM cards once your contract is up. This is especially useful if you plan on passing your phone on to your child after your contract is over and your device is paid off. If you think your postpaid device may be locked, you can get in touch with Telstra.

If you’ve purchased a phone outright from Telstra, to use in conjunction with a prepaid Telstra plan, the phone will be locked to the Telstra network. In order to unlock the device, you’ll be charged a fee. The total fee depends on whether the device has been activated, and how long the device has been active for — less than six months, or from six months to two years. If you’ve had the device for more than two years, Telstra waives this unlocking fee.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

Small

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network
  • 15GB + 15GB bonus data

min. cost $588 over 12 month plan period

30GBMax Data**/billing period $49Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Medium

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited calls & texts to 15 countries
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network
  • 30GB + 30GB bonus data

min. cost $828 over 12 month plan period

60GBMax Data**/billing period $69Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Telstra Logo

Large

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited calls & texts to 15 countries
  • Data-free music and sports streaming
  • Access the free Telstra Air WiFi network
  • 60GB + 30GB bonus data
  • 2GB international data roaming

min. cost $1,068 over 12 month plan period

90GBMax Data**/billing period $89Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

How do I unlock my Telstra phone?

Firstly, you’ll need to find your International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. This number is globally unique to every mobile device, and identifies the network that the device is connected to.

The simplest way to find out what your number is, no matter which device you have, is to dial *#06# on your handset. The first 15 numbers that appear are your IMEI numbers. Once you have this information, you can give Telstra a call to start the unlocking process.

My phone is unlocked — what do I do now?

Now that your device is no longer locked to Telstra, you’re able to switch the SIM card to one from another carrier. If you’re travelling internationally, and plan on buying a SIM card from an overseas carrier to avoid expensive global roaming charges, simply put the new SIM card in your device. You’ll then be able to use your phone via the overseas telco’s network.

If you plan on giving your unlocked device to a friend or family member, or perhaps you’re happy with your phone and want a cheaper plan, you’re now free to shop around for plans from other telcos. Once you’ve signed up to a plan from another provider, they’ll give you a new SIM card to use with your unlocked device.

Here is a table with cheap phone plans with some products specifically aimed as starter plans for kids. This table includes products from our referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Moose Mobile Logo

Moose 9.80 SIM Only – 12M

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited international SMS

min. cost $117.60 over 12 month contract

1GBMax Data**/billing period $9.80Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Ovo Logo

Mini

  • 500 minutes standard national calls
  • Unlimited standard national SMS

min. cost $4.95 over 30 day expiry

2GBMax Data**/billing period $9.95Advertised Data^^/billing period
Belong Logo

1GB SIM Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Add international talk & text for $5 extra

min. cost $10 over one month plan period

1GBMax Data**/billing period $10Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Pennytel Mobile

1GB Extra-Small SIM-Only

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $10.99 over one month plan period

1GBMax Data**/billing period $10.99Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Southern Phones Logo

Green 11

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $132 over 12 month plan period

1GBMax Data**/billing period $11Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Hive Mobile

$12.80 SIM Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $12.80 over one month plan period

1GBMax Data**/billing period $12.80Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
Exetel Logo

Saver 4G

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $14.99 over one month plan period

3GBMax Data**/billing period $14.99Advertised Data^^/billing period
Yomojo Logo

2GB Plan

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS

min. cost $15.90 over 30 day plan period

2GBMax Data**/billing period $15.90Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
TeleChoice Logo

LIVE 16 12M

  • Unlimited standard national calls & SMS
  • Unlimited texts to any country

min. cost $192 over 12 month plan period

3GBMax Data**/billing period $16Advertised Data^^/billing period Go To Site
View all mobile plans listed on Canstar Blue

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