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How to choose your mobile phone number in Australia

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If you’ve been shopping around for a new mobile phone plan, maybe the thought of “Hey, can’t I just choose my own number?” has crossed your mind at some point.

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. However, four main providers offer this service and it can come with a cost, so read on to see how to you can choose a mobile number.

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Can I choose my mobile number in Australia?

If you’ve got a special mobile number in mind, maybe with your favourite numbers or a number that is easy to remember, and you wondering if you can choose a mobile number in Australia, the good news is that you can usually choose your own phone number with some telcos.

However, the most sought-after numbers — which are usually those more catchy and easy to remember numbers and often called ‘gold’ or ‘silver’ numbers — will usually cost extra to snag. It’s also worth noting that not all telcos will offer these special premium numbers.

How to check mobile number availability

If you have a number in mind and want to see if the number is available to use, the best way to check is with your telco or the telco you plan on signing up to. This is a much better option than searching the number online or calling the number (which we don’t recommend), as a telco will be much better placed to let you know if a number is available or not.

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. Both Telstra and Vodafone are a bit more upfront about offering this service, and while Optus does allow you to pick your own number, you’ll need to get in touch with customer support to discuss this.

  • 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. 999 999, or six digits in sequence 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, however the fees and options may vary so you will need to be in touch with Optus customer support to find out more.

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 may be the cheapest currently, 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 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 provides two tiers of premium, customisable numbers – Silver and Gold. Generally these options are reserved for month-to-month customers rather than prepaid customers.

You will need to get in touch with Testra to discuss changing your phone number and it’s possible that you might need to pay additional fees. Once you give Telstra a call, they will be able to give you a list of available numbers. While you may not be able to exactly customise the number yourself, you can ask Telstra to try out different combinations to see what’s currently available. After that, they generally fall into the two categories mentioned above and will include combinations such as six or five of the same number, six or five numbers in a sequence, triplets and number pairs. The upfront fees are:

  • 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) plus a range of triple and pair sets (e.g. 004 008, 12 13 14).
  • Gold – $400: Six of the same digit (e.g. 04XX 999 999), or six numbers in sequence (e.g. 234 567), identical triplets (e.g. 350 350) double triplets (e.g. 333 555) and three identical pairs (e.g. 12 12 12).

As you can see, to get the most customisation, you have to be willing to spend $400, plus any additional costs you may be charged. For more information, contact Telstra’s customer service.

The following table shows all published Telstra postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest. Use our phone plan comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

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 generally $132 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 most likely around $77. For this you will need to get in touch with the general Optus enquiries number. For a simple change of number, you may be up for $55, but you might 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 get in touch with Optus for information may be frustrating for some people. As there is no pricing information online, you won’t have a concrete idea on how much you’ll be charged so you will have to seek support on the Optus website or enquiries number.

The following table shows all published Optus SIM-only postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

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’ phone 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.

The following table shows all published Vodafone SIM-only postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

How to choose your phone number with Amaysim

Amaysim offers one of the – arguably – easier 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).

While most options are free, 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, you’re most likely going to find a free option, 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.

The table below shows all Amaysim prepaid 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. These are products with links to referral partners.

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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 give them a call or chat online 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:

  1. Make sure your current plan is SIM-only and on no-contract
  2. Cancel your phone plan after your current month is up
  3. Find a new no-contract, SIM-only plan from the providers listed above and choose your number and pay the fees
  4. If you’re still seeking another provider, you can port your new custom number to the new provider

This is obviously a very long 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 vary in price from as little as $30 and going all the way up to $400+ depending on your provider. 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 set on having a custom number, you would have to port out to a provider that does, then port back again. This can be a process that takes days and the downtime is probably unacceptable for a lot of people. 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.

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Tara Donnelly
Utilities Editor
Tara Donnelly is an internet and mobile expert - sectors she’s spent a decade covering - and also oversees energy and consumer technology content. She holds a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Canberra and has shared her expertise on national media including 9 News, 7 News, Sunrise and the ABC.

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