Switching Networks

Switching Networks If you already have a pay monthly contract or pay as you go deal with your mobile phone network but want to take out a new SIM contract with a new network you might want to keep your phone number when you switch. Once upon a time it was almost impossible to do this but due to a ruling from Ofcom some years back which was intended to make it easier to move from one network to another it’s now simple to keep your number when you switch and the process is exactly the same whether you are moving from a pay monthly contract or pay as you go.

To move your phone number you need to be sure to get a porting authorisation code (usually code a PAC code for short) from the network you are currently with. Networks are obliged by law to give you a PAC code if you request one and whilst they might offer you a deal to try to keep you if you still state that you want to leave they must (and will) give you one. The only thing to be conscious of here is if you still in a defined contract with you network, for example an 18 month pay monthly contract that hasn’t yet expired, you will be obliged to pay for the remaining months of the contract so it is best to let it expire before trying to change.

Previously you usually needed to have your PAC code before you ordered your new contract with your network and the order would be set up immediately with your existing number. This is no longer the case and you generally have several days from when you first start using your new contract to contact your new network with the PAC code. This makes things much simpler because you can order the deal that you want when you see it and then request your PAC code afterwards rather than having to speak to your current network first.

Now when you place an order you will be given a new mobile phone number once it is set up but don’t worry, if you want to move your existing number over then the new number will only be temporary. Simply activate your SIM in your mobile phone and then call your network to let them know that you would like to transfer your existing number over (technically this is called porting a number). Simply give them your new (temporary) number and your PAC code from your old network and they will arrange the transfer for you, usually within around 24 hours of making the request. Then you are up and running with your new SIM contract on your new network with your old number.


To transfer an existing mobile phone number to a new SIM contract

  1. 1. Order the SIM contract from your new network as usual (i.e. as if you were taking out a contract for the first time).
  2. 2. Contact your current network and request a porting authorisation code (PAC code) for your current number. They are legally obliged to give you this.
  3. 3. Once you receive your new SIM, set it up (it will come with a temporary number). Contact your new network and give them the PAC code, letting them know that you want to replace the temporary number with your new one
  4. 4. The network will do all the work behind the scenes and within 24 hours your old mobile phone number will have been transferred to your new SIM contract.
  5. 5. The process is the same regardless of whether you are moving the number from a pay monthly or a pay as you go contract