If you’ve been shopping around for a new mobile phone plan, the thought of “Hey, can’t I just choose my own number?” would have inevitably crossed your mind. Rather than having to memorise some random new number, or put up with porting your current number, some providers allow you to choose your own mobile phone number, with varying degrees of customisation. Four main providers offer this service, and you can click on the links below to find out what they offer:
However, there are a few hoops that you must jump through first, including paying a fee that can be pretty expensive. Find out how to choose your own phone number, and which providers offer the service, with Canstar Blue.
What is a golden phone number?
A gold phone number is a rare phone number that usually costs a fair bit to create, and is offered by the three big telcos – Telstra, Vodafone and Optus. Up to six digits of your phone number can usually be customised, including six of the same digit in a row i.e. 0409 111 111.
- Vodafone: Gold numbers cost up to $275 and can be heavily customised, including up to five digits in a row, and many pair/triplet configurations can be added, too.
- Telstra: Gold numbers cost up to $400 and usually consist of up to six repeat digits e.g. 0409 999 999, or six digits in sequenece e.g. 234 567. An ongoing monthly fee to keep the number may also apply.
- Optus: Gold numbers can cost upwards of $130 and can feature up to six repeated digits plus other configurations.
As you can see, the three big telcos tend to charge quite a bit for a gold phone number, but to some this may be worth it. Optus is the cheapest, but Telstra tends to allow for the most customisation, while Vodafone sits somewhere in the middle.
Which providers allow me to choose my own phone number?
There are four main phone providers that are known to allow customers to choose their own number. Amaysim is the only MVNO in the list, while the three network providers Vodafone, Telstra and Optus all offer the service, even if it isn’t widely known. You always have to keep the ‘04’ and in some cases the next two digits as well, as these help designate the carrier.
How to choose your phone number with Amaysim
Amaysim offers one of the – arguably – better ways to choose your mobile number. By simply proceeding to purchase a mobile plan on its website, you are immediately presented with the option to either keep your current number, use a new number generated by Amaysim, or to choose your own number.
- You can pick from a list, or generate your own using 1-5 digits of your choosing
- This presents up to half your total number comprising of digits of your choosing (or 5 out of 8, excluding the 04)
Most options are free, while there are a handful of ‘Premium’ numbers to choose from, which cost $30. Premium numbers usually have easier number sequences to remember, however for maximum convenience choosing as many numbers of your own as possible (5) is probably the way to go.
- Keep in mind, the more numbers you designate, the more likely you are to pay the $30 premium
So, if you only want ‘12’ in your number, it’s likely to be free, however, if you want ‘12345’ you probably face a higher chance of paying $30. The biggest plus with Amaysim’s number builder is that you don’t have to enter any personal information, making it easy to play around and see what numbers are available. You can play around with the number builder here.
How to choose your phone number with Vodafone
Choosing another mobile number with Vodafone is a relatively easy, albeit a potentially expensive procedure. If you already have a Vodafone plan, you can dial 1555 from your phone and follow the prompts. All number changes attract a $19.95 one-off charge.
- The $19.95 fee only generates a new number, rather than letting you pick your own
- You can, however, choose from a medley of ‘Silver’ and ‘Gold’ numbers. Silver numbers attract a $55 fee, while Gold numbers are a relatively hefty $275
Silver numbers generally allow less customisation, while with Gold you obviously have more options. With Silver numbers, you generally only have the choice of choosing a triple or double number sequence, while with Gold numbers you can choose up to five repeat digits, or three sets of consecutive pairs, for example. There are still limitations and the other numbers are still generated for you, but if you want ultimate customisation you’ll have to be prepared to pay nearly $300. You can see more detailed examples here.
How to choose your phone number with Telstra
As Australia’s largest telco, it’s only right for Telstra to offer customers a choice of mobile numbers. However, Telstra is generally the most expensive option when choosing your own phone number. Telstra offers three tiers of premium, customisable numbers – Bronze, Silver and Gold. Generally these options are reserved for postpaid customers rather than prepaid.
- Telstra charges $30 for changing your number in the first instance
- After that, any custom number request attracts a $5 monthly premium on top of your plan
After that, by popping into a Telstra shop you can ask to peruse its database for a list of available numbers. While you can’t exactly customise the number yourself, you can ask Telstra to try out different combinations to see what’s available. After that, they generally fall into the three categories mentioned above, and are similar to Vodafone in that you can choose a double or triple, or five numbers and so on. The upfront fees are:
- Bronze – $100: Four numbers in sequence e.g. 34 2345 or similar
- Silver – $200: Five of the same digit in the total number sequence (e.g. 04XX 999 991), or five numbers in sequence (e.g. 23456)
- Gold – $400: Six of the same digit (e.g. 04XX 999 999), or six numbers in sequence (e.g. 234 567)
As you can see, to get the most customisation, you have to be willing to spend $400, plus the $30 number-change fee, and possibly even the $5 premium on top of your monthly plan charge already. More information can be found in Telstra’s Terms & Conditions outlined here, from article 6.4 through 6.9.
How to choose your phone number with Optus
Optus is probably the trickiest of the lot, with no readily-available pricing information out there. However, the service does exist, and is much the same as what Vodafone and Telstra have to offer, but the costs are slightly different.
- Gold numbers are $132 in total and seem to be customisable much the same way as Vodafone’s and Telstra’s are
- To choose a specific number available, the charge is $77. For this you will need to walk into an Optus shop and speak to a team member to see what’s available
- For a simple change of number, the charge is $55, but you get no choice in the number you receive
Optus benefits from being a cheaper option of the three service providers, however the very fact that you must seek support and walk into an Optus shop for information may be irksome for some people. As there is no pricing information online, you will have to seek support on Optus’ website or speak to a technician in-store.
What if my provider doesn’t let me choose my number?
If your provider isn’t in this list, keep in mind custom number services may still be available, but you will probably have to seek online or in-person support to get the answers you are looking for. Despite the costs associated with customising your number, providers generally bury this information deep in terms and conditions, or in odd parts of their websites. Optus, for example, doesn’t have much information available at all. The exception to this is Amaysim, which has its own number builder when you go to buy a plan online, which is incredibly handy. Perhaps the best way to curtail this problem is to:
- Make sure your current plan is SIM-only and on no-contract
- Cancel your phone plan after your current month is up
- Find a new no-contract, SIM-only plan from the providers listed above and choose your number and pay the fees
- If you’re still seeking another provider, you can port your new custom number to the new provider
This, obviously, is a very convoluted process, but may be worth it to get a number you want. Keep in mind, in some cases you’ll have to pay $400 plus all other costs associated with buying a new phone plan just to get the number you want. In this case, Amaysim is the cheapest as you can simply buy a SIM card online, choose your number either for free or for only $30, and port that number back out to another plan. However, Amaysim generally performs well in our customer reviews, so you may decide to stay where you are.
Should I pay for a custom number?
Paying for a custom number can be pretty cheap, but is also pretty expensive in some cases – as in $400+ expensive. It also provides an added hassle if you’re with a provider that doesn’t let you customise your own number. What this means is, if you’re adamant, you would have to port out to a provider that does, then port back again. This can be a process that takes days, and downtime is probably unacceptable for a lot of people. However, the very fact that you can change your phone number to something memorable is pretty notable, especially if you’ve been using some random, unmemorable number. Customising your own mobile phone number may not be a cheap or easy process, but it may be worth it to those people who want a memorable phone number to keep for years to come.