Mobile Service Providers
There are 2 local providers offering mobile services across the Isle of Man; these are Manx Telecom and Sure.
Each has their own mobile network and offer pay as you go or pay monthly contract options.
Switching Service Provider
You can switch your mobile service between Manx Telecom and Sure free of charge and you can keep your phone number.
You cannot port your Manx phone number (beginning 07624) to an off island service provider. This is because the numbers must remain with on-Island service providers in order to retain 6 digit geographic dialling.
Things to Consider Before Switching
Prior to cancelling your contract, ensure that you are not still within your contract period as you could face early termination charges.
In addition, check that there are no outstanding payments (such as for a handset), as your current mobile provider will probably want you to repay this before you switch.
- You will need to go in the store of your new chosen mobile provider and inform them that you wish to switch your service to them.
- You should take your phone with you. You will also need proof of identity (passport or driving licence), plus the most recent bill you have received from your current provider – or if you prefer and have an online account, you can go online and show this to the sales agent in the store.
- The new service provider will help you to complete a request form in store. Once this is complete, you will be asked to text the word “PORT” to 12345. You will receive a text in return to confirm that your request has been received.
- Provided your number is not barred or suspended due to non-payment, your order will be processed and you will be informed of its progress by e-mail and SMS.
- You will receive a new SIM card from your new provider by post.
- Your number will be ported from your old to new provider quickly, often within minutes. You will not be able to make or receive calls on your old ‘phone when this happens.
- Once your old SIM stops working, put the new SIM card in your ‘phone to get your new service up and running.
Things to Note
You should not feel pressured to remain with your current mobile provider if you inform them that you are switching provider.
Once the switching process is underway, you can’t cancel it, and normally you can’t port your number again for 60 days after your number has been ported. However, there is a “cooling off” period of 14 days following a switch so that you can switch back if you change your mind.
You will lose any contact details saved on your old SIM card, so make sure you transfer these onto your phone prior to carrying out the switch.
You will lose any voicemails currently stored in your mailbox when you switch as you are changing provider.
What is Roaming?
Roaming refers to when your mobile phone uses another operator's network.
Roaming can be undertaken in 2 different ways: Isle of Man visitors can roam abroad, and visitors from abroad can roam in the Isle of Man. If you are visiting the Isle of Man, be sure to check if using your phone in the Isle of Man will incur additional charges. The Isle of Man is not part of the EU or EEA and so not all providers include the Isle of Man in their EU free roaming bundles.
What if you don't want to roam?
Your provider may allow you to block your SIM from roaming onto other networks so you could speak to them to see if they offer this.
You can turn off data roaming on your mobile phone if you want to avoid roaming whilst you are away.
For instructions on how to disable data roaming we would recommend that you always contact your mobile phone provider for advice specific to your handset.
Not all mobile phones will disable roaming in the same way. As an example, iPhones are configured in such a way that they do not recognise the UK as roaming when using a Manx SIM card, requiring the Access Point Name (APN) within the internet settings to be removed. In addition, applications may update in the background, which can lead to an unexpected bill.
Wi-Fi assist allows your phone to use data to aid poor Wi-Fi signal. If your handset has this function may want to talk to your provider about disabling it.
What if you need to use your phone when you are away?
If you want to keep in touch whilst you are away there are a number of things you can do:
- You could speak to your provider about roaming bolt ons or packages which are available
- You can ask whether your service provider offers spending alerts or caps to help you manage your spending
- You can use local Wi-Fi hot spots to connect. You could then make calls and send messages through applications such as Skype, WhatsApp or Messenger
- You could purchase a local SIM card
It can sometimes take longer for your balance to update whilst roaming, due to the information being sent across various networks. We would advise you to keep on top of checking your balance or spending and be mindful that it will probably not be “real time”. Be conservative with your usage if you want to avoid bill shock.