Safelink Wireless is one of the carriers you can get free cell phone service without paying anything. But as an existing customer, I’m sure you know the operator plans on moving over the subscribers running off T-Mobile and AT&T towers to the Verizon network. And now the question bothering many is, will you have to get a new number with the new carrier? And if not a must, how do I transfer my SafeLink number to another phone service?
Well, the truth is that you necessarily don’t have to get a new cell phone number when switching between phone carriers. It doesn’t matter if the service in question is the paid (postpaid/ prepaid) option or the free government phones like our SafeLink.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) provides you can switch carriers at any time, and “your old company cannot refuse to port your number”. It doesn’t matter even if you still owe some money, perhaps on a late service bill or early contract termination fees.
The new provider is usually the one who should initiate and follow up on the number porting with your old company. But as we shall see shortly, the porting may fail to complete if you mess things up from your end.
Should You Switch Your SafeLink Number to Another Phone Provider
Unfortunately, the answer here depends. If you have been using SafeLink through either T-Mobile or AT&T, you can switch to another lifeline provider in case Verizon has poor coverage in your area.
True, Verizon has the largest LTE coverage in the country, including both urban and rural areas. But there are still a few areas the signal is not as great as its closest rivals.
Besides the transition to the Verizon network, other situations you may need to transfer your SafeLink number to another phone include when:
- You relocate and SafeLink doesn’t offer service in your new locale,
- You’re looking for more talk minutes with the lifeline-only plan program. SafeLink usually starts most states with an allowance of 350 talk minutes, whereas others like Qlink have a 1000-minute deal.
- You also want to get better allowances on ACP benefits in your state. For instance, Qlink Wireless has more data allowance in most states than SafeLink (30GB of high-speed data vs 25GB).
- You want to apply for a free tablet from the government with the ACP benefit. We have providers like Cintex Wireless, Qlink, and Easy Wireless with the tablet, whereas SafeLink is still unclear on the perk.
- You no longer qualify for the lifeline and want to apply for prepaid or postpaid service with a premium cellular provider.
How Do I Transfer My SafeLink Number To Another Phone
The process how to transfer a SafeLink number to another phone carrier is more or less like on postpaid and prepaid carriers:
Step 1: Select Your Replacement Carrier
Before everything, you will want to choose the phone service you’d like to transfer your Safelink number to next.
If switching to another lifeline provider, you should apply and qualify, which requires proof of low income or participation in assistance programs. Then for the paid carriers you will need to have some funds (applies to prepaid service) or credit history (applies to postpaid service).
After applying to the new phone provider, wait for your SIM card (and maybe a free cell phone) to arrive. If moving to a prepaid or postpaid carrier, you can proceed to the next step by choosing eSIM activation.
Step 2: Gather Everything You Need
When waiting for the SIM kit from the new phone carrier to arrive, gather the things you need to transfer your SafeLink number. The various items include:
- The account number and PIN of your SafeLink service
- The name and address used on your SafeLink account
- A phone compatible with the new carrier if joining under the BYOP (bring your own phone) program.
- You should also factory reset your phone before inserting the SIM If joining the new provider on BYOP. The main idea is to set the APN settings back to default so the other provider can try and update theirs automatically.
- Last but most importantly, do not cancel your service with Safelink. Your subscription will need to be active throughout the entire porting process to ensure it completes successfully.
Step 3: Now, Contact Your New Phone Provider
As mentioned earlier, you should leave your old and new phone providers to handle the number transfer themselves.
So, once you have the SIM (or eSIM) of the new phone provider, call their customer service to initiate the Safelink number transfer. The operator will want to know your Full Name, Billing Address, City, State, the number to be transferred, Alternative contact phone number, plus SafeLink service Account Number and PIN.
Once with everything they need, the (new) provider will reach out to Safelink and start the number transfer.
Step 4: Wait for the Number Transfer to Complete
Again, don’t interrupt the number transfer process. And with this, I mean you shouldn’t cancel your Safelink service until the old cell phone number is working on the new phone provider.
You actually may not need to call Safelink to cancel your old phone service. After the number transfer completes, the old service usually stops automatically.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Switch to SafeLink Wireless?
SafeLink has improved in several areas since Verizon acquired its parent company, Tracfone. For instance, the free cell phone service now offers California residents an unlimited everything service with 60GB of high-speed data.
A few other perks to enjoy when you switch to Safelink Wireless are:
Get a free Smartphone
Free international calls: to Canada and Mexico
Impressive high 5G data speeds of up to 400Mbps
Mobile hotspot function to tether your Internet-enabled device
What are the drawbacks of SafeLink Wireless?
Like any other company, cell phone providers have pros and cons. And some of the drawbacks (or cons) of SafeLink Wireless you should know are:
It charges calls to the customer care
There’s no international roaming option
Throttles your data (reduce data speed based on usage)
Suffers deprioritization (reduced data speed during network congestion)
Can I Use my SafeLink phone on another carrier?
SafeLink, like most lifeline carriers, gives a free phone when you join. You can use the SafeLink phone on another carrier when you switch. But the phone must be unlocked (happens after twelve months) and also support network technology of the other provider.
Finalize the Activation
Be it network issues, low allowance, or no longer qualify, that’s everything relevant you should know on how to transfer your SafeLink number to another phone provider. It’s pretty straightforward as you just need to gather what you need, then contact the new provider to initiate the transfer.
It’s also worth noting you’ll still want to complete the activation after the transfer of your SafeLink number completes. Thus, go back to the website of the new phone provider and follow the listed procedure to activate your service.