How to transfer your mobile phone number to your new network

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How to transfer your mobile phone number to your new network

The thought of transferring to a new network has probably crossed your mind a handful of times before. Whether you’re tired of the terrible mobile phone coverage in your area, or just looking to take advantage of an introductory deal you’ve spotted, changing network can be a relief and even lucrative for you.

You’ll be glad to hear that switching from one network to another while keeping your current mobile phone number is not just possible, but actually quite easy.

In this short guide, we’ve explained step by step how to transfer your mobile phone number from one network to another in the UK.

Can my mobile number be transferred to a new network?

Yes, it most definitely can be. Mobile phone numbers aren’t ‘locked’ to a specific network. If you want to keep your number while moving to a new network, any network, then you can.

There are only two circumstances where you cannot transfer your mobile phone number:

Your phone number has been cancelled before you transferred it. This happens when you cancel your contract, or when the network cancels a Pay As You Go number due to inactivity. You can’t transfer a phone number that no longer exists.

You’re trying to transfer a landline number. In this case, the method below just won’t work for you! Contact your landline and/or broadband provider to switch.

Thankfully, mobile phone networks are making it easier than ever before to switch networks in the UK and keep the same mobile phone number. There’s just one simple method to transfer your phone number that works the same with every network.

Step by step how to transfer your number

When transferring your mobile, you will need an active phone number and a few minutes spare to get things set up. That’s it!

Step 1: Get your PAC

To transfer your phone number, you need a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC). You get this number from your current network and pass it over to your new network to switch your number across.

Ofcom has made this extremely simple for everyone using the ‘text-to-switch’ program. You simply text ‘PAC’ to 65075 and your network must reply within 1 minute. This works with all UK mobile phone networks.

If texting isn’t your style, you can call your network to ask for the PAC code instead.

If there are multiple phone numbers on one account (e.g., you have a family account) you will need to confirm by phone or your online account which number you need the PAC for.

Bear in mind that if you’re leaving your contract early or you have a pay as you go contract with an outstanding balance, you will need to settle the bill before you switch.

Once you have your PAC code, which is up to 9 digits long, it will be active for 30 days. If you don’t switch within 30 days, the PAC code expires and your current contract with the existing network continues like normal.

Step 2: Sign up to your new network

You might have already done this step before getting your PAC. That’s fine! You can transfer your old number to your new network either way.

If you haven’t, just give your PAC number to the new network when you buy a phone contract or SIM-only deal from them. Your old number will be transferred to the new SIM card in your new phone, or if your current phone is unlocked you can simply place the new network’s SIM in your phone.

Learn more about unlocking your phone.

If you’ve already purchased a new contract with a new network, you can still transfer your old number by providing them with your PAC number.

Step 3: Wait for your old number to transfer

Once you’ve given your PAC number to the new network, there’s nothing else you need to do. The networks will schedule the number switch and have it all done by the next working day. Just slide the new SIM into your phone and make a call to check that everything is working correctly.

By switching your mobile number, you are cancelling your old contract.

If you want to cancel your contract and don’t want your number to stay the same, you can use a Service Termination Authorisation Code (STAC) to end your contract. Then you will be free to join a new network with a new number.