Dear Lifehacker, I have an old phone with a brand new pre-paid Vodafone SIM in it. I am considering getting a new smartphone. Can I just stick the new SIM in the phone and use the 3G network when browsing? Thanks, Mr Confused
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In general, there shouldn’t be an issue shifting a SIM card from phone to phone, especially if it is, as you say, a brand new Vodafone SIM, because that’ll obviate any issues that could be present with an exceptionally old SIM card.
There are a few traps to be aware of, however. For a start, unless you’re switching to a phone under contract to Vodafone, or buying outright, the chances are good that the phone you’ll switch to is network locked. Telcos will unlock phones that are out of contract, but whether they charge a fee to do this varies somewhat. A locked Telstra phone won’t work with Vodafone, and vice versa, in other words.
Presuming you leap that hurdle, the only other detail you may need to deal with is getting the correct APN details onto the phone of your choice. This varies a little from smartphone operating system to system, but the telcos tend to have good guides as to how to make this happen on their web sites.
If all else fails, it’s not actually that costly to get yourself a new SIM card. If you want to stick with the same network you can generally get a replacement SIM for nothing, because the telcos tend to try to keep customers rather than lose them over a tiny chunk of silicon and plastic. If you’re looking further afield, our guide to the best prepaid deals should be your first stop.
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