Faster mobile number switching

11 April 2011

Student-mobThe time it takes to switch your mobile phone number to a new provider has been halved.

From today you can now transfer your existing number to a new mobile company in just one working day.

To transfer your number you have to contact your original provider and ask for a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) which you then give to your new mobile provider.

Previously the way in which PACs were issued varied with some only issued by letter, which could take several days to arrive.

However, PACs now have to be issued immediately over the phone or within a maximum of two hours by text message.

The PAC process

Phone your existing mobile provider and ask them for a PAC or Porting Authorisation Code.

The PAC enables you to transfer your number to another network. The PAC must be issued to you immediately over the phone or within two hours by text message.

Your PAC is likely to be a nine digit code and is valid for 30 days. Contact your new chosen mobile provider and give them your PAC.

Mobile contact numbers

3 08707 330 333

O2 08705 678 678

Orange 0800 079 2000

T-Mobile 0845 412 5000

Tesco Mobile 0845 301 4455

Virgin Mobile 0845 6000 789

Vodafone 08080 044 423

If you’re thinking of taking the plunge and moving to a new mobile deal, we’ve put together some advice guides which will help you make the switch.

Choosing the right deal

There are millions of phone deals available today so it can be very confusing working out which one is the best one for you.

And if you don’t choose one that best suits your needs you could end up paying more than you need to.

Ofcom’s guide on how to get the best mobile deal provides helpful tips on what you should ask before making a decision - such as whether there are any additional costs and the length of contract.

It also explains the differences between pay-as-you-go and contract deals, as well as looking at issues such as using your phone abroad.

Finding the right deal

To compare different packages, consider using the Ofcom-accredited price comparison website Bill Monitor.

The site allows you to input your billing account details and BillMonitor will automatically analyse your online bills for a tailored recommendation.

Or you can perform a one-off Tariff Search, where you enter minutes and texts used, as well as overseas calls, picture messaging and data usage. It will then suggest the right package for you.

Mobile coverage

If you’re thinking of switching to a different mobile phone provider, don’t assume that you’ll automatically enjoy the same coverage.

The strength of a mobile signal varies depending on where you live and which provider you choose.

So, just because you enjoy a strong signal with your current provider doesn’t mean that a competitor will necessarily provide the same coverage.

This Ofcom guide explains the practical steps you can take to maximise your mobile coverage and ensure you’re not left without a signal.

It looks at online signal checkers, returns policies as well as how you can improve mobile coverage indoors.