Transfer your phone number and switch to a new network - PAC code

By Adrian Vincent - 20 Jul 2022, 14:46 Transfer your phone number and switch to a new network

Transferring your existing mobile phone number to a new network is a relatively easy process.

You simply need to request a PAC code from your current network, and then hand the PAC code to the new network you wish to switch to. This is also known as porting your number.

Recent Ofcom rules ensure the process is as simple as possible. You can text PAC to 65075 from your current network to request a PAC code. You will receive a reply with your PAC code in 30 seconds.

Once you have your PAC code, you need to give it to the new network you wish to switch to. This is often done online through your account. Alternatively, you can call your new network.

Transferring your number should take no more than 2 working days.

Before you begin the transfer, you must be aware of any issues you may run into, and ensure you are eligible to transfer if you are on an existing contract.

It’s also a good idea to check the coverage where you live before switching to a new network.

What is a PAC code?

What is a PAC code?

A PAC code (Porting Authorisation Code) is a short code which you will need to transfer your mobile phone number to a new network.

The easiest way to get a PAC code is to text PAC to 65075 from the number you wish to keep.

Once you have your PAC code, you should give the code to your new network to begin the transfer process.

Requesting a PAC code will always be free.

A PAC code will expire after 30 days. If you haven’t used your PAC code after 30 days, but you still wish to transfer, you will need to request another PAC code. There are no limits on the amount of times you can request a PAC code.

How to transfer your mobile phone number

How to transfer your existing mobile phone number to a new network

Transferring your number to a new network is a hassle free process, and should take no more than 2 working days.

You need to request a PAC code from your existing network and give the code to your new network.

1. Request your PAC code

There are 2 ways to request a PAC code.

Previously, you had to call your network if you required a PAC code. However, recent Ofcom regulations have made this process much easier, by requiring all networks to provide a PAC code within 30 seconds of sending a text message.

The easiest way to request a PAC code is to text PAC to 65075. You will receive a reply within 30 seconds, which will include your PAC code. It is important to send this text from the number you wish to keep.

If you prefer, you can ring your existing network and ask them for a PAC code. You may be required to provide proof of ID if you ask for a PAC code over the phone.

Once you have your PAC code, it will be valid for 30 days. If you haven't used your PAC code after 30 days, but you still wish to transfer your number, you will need to request another PAC code.

2. Give your PAC code to your new network

Once you have your PAC code, you must give it to your new network within 30 days.

The easiest way to do this is online. You will need to create an online account with your new network. Once you have created an account and logged in, there should be a link to transfer your number and input your PAC code.

Alternatively, you can call your network and tell them you wish to transfer your number to them. They will ask for your PAC code.

Network Transfer to
Asda Mobile Call 2732 or port online
BT Call 0800 800 150 or port online
EE Call 150 or 07953 966 250 or port online
iD Mobile Port online
Lebara Call 5588 or 0207 0310791 or port online
O2 Call 202 or 0344 809 0202 or port online
Plusnet Call 500 or 0800 079 1133 or port online
Sky Mobile Call 03337591434 or port online
SMARTY Port online
Talkmobile Call 5888 or 0333 304 8064 or port online
Tesco Mobile Call 4455 or 0345 301 4455 or text PORT to 23424
Three Call 333 or 0333 338 1001 or port online
Virgin Mobile Call 789 or 0345 600 0789 or port online
Vodafone Call 191 or 0333 3040 191 or port online
VOXI Call 191 or 0333 3040 191 or port online

3. Transfer day

Once you have provided your new network with your PAC code, the transfer of your number should take 2 working days.

In the meantime, keep using your old SIM card.

On the day of the transfer, you will lose signal. When this happens, you should remove your old SIM card and insert your new SIM card. Once you have inserted your new SIM card, it may take up to an hour before you receive a signal.

Your number will be successfully transferred once you receive a signal with your new SIM card.

How can I find the best contract deals when transferring to a new network?

You can find the best phone deals and best SIM only deals by using our comparison tools, including the latest Samsung Galaxy S22 and Apple iPhone 14.

Why should I transfer my number to a new network?

There are many reasons why you would want to move to a new network.

  1. Bad coverage with your current network
  2. Your current network is too expensive compared to other networks
  3. You’ve found a better contract deal elsewhere
  4. You frequently go over your data allowance

When transferring to a new network, you most likely will want to keep your existing number. Getting a new number can be extremely cumbersome, as you will have to inform all your contacts of your new number. Most people prefer to keep their old number.

If you’re still deciding on a new network, you can find the cheapest mobile phone deals and SIM Only deals by using our comparison tools.

Can I transfer my mobile phone number to a new network when I’m already on an existing contract?

Yes, when you transfer your number, your existing contract will be cancelled.

However, you should be aware that you must still fulfil your monthly payments for the whole length of your contract, as agreed upon when you signed your contract. By cancelling your contract early, you may have to pay an early termination fee.

If you’ve fulfilled your contract, and you haven't renewed, you can transfer your number to a new network at any time, without termination fees.

If you’re on a rolling 1 month / 30 day SIM Only contract, you can transfer and cancel your contract at any time without termination fees.

If you’re unsure if your contract has finished or you you think you may have to pay a termination fee, you should contact your network for a definitive answer. You should also refer to the terms and conditions when you signed your contract.

How long will it take to transfer my mobile phone number to a new network?

In most cases, it takes no more than 2 working days to transfer your existing mobile phone number to a new network. However, if you request your transfer after working hours, it may take an extra day for the transfer to complete.

The process is simple and completely automatic. If there are any issues, you will be contacted by your network. Problems may occur if the PAC code you have provided is invalid or has expired.

Will I lose signal when I transfer my number?

On the day of the transfer, you will momentarily lose signal once the transfer has completed. You must insert your new SIM card once this happens:

  1. Turn of your phone
  2. Remove your existing SIM card
  3. Insert your new SIM card
  4. Turn on your phone and wait until you have a signal
  5. Get someone to give you a test call to ensure your number has successful transferred to your new network

Occasionally, it may take a couple of hours before you regain signal with your new network. This is completely normal and will eventually resolve itself. If it takes any longer, try rebooting your phone. If you’re still having issues after a few hours, contact your new network for advice.

When can I transfer my mobile phone number?

As long as you still have access to the number you wish to keep, you can transfer your mobile phone number to another network at any time.

If you're buying a new contract and you wish to transfer your number, you can do this at the time of purchase, or after you receive your new phone or SIM.

It makes no difference when you transfer your number.

Transfer your mobile phone number when buying online

If you are making a purchase online for a new phone, contract or SIM, some retailers will give you the option to transfer your existing number to your new network at the checkout by asking for your PAC code.

You don't have to transfer your number at this point. You can wait until your receive your new phone or SIM before requesting a transfer.

Transfer your mobile phone number when buying in store

If you are making a purchase in store, the advisor can often help you to transfer your number.

What happens to my old network once I have transferred my mobile phone number to a new network?

Once your transfer has successfully completed, your old network will no longer be active and you should dispose and recycle your SIM card.

If you were previously on a contract, your contract will automatically be cancelled. However, you should be aware of any early cancellation fees if you're cancelling your contract early.

If you were on pay as you go, you will lose all remaining credit. You may wish to donate your remaining credit to charity before transferring, which is a service that some charities offer by allowing you to send a premium rate text message.

Can I transfer my number within the same network?

You might find a new contract deal on the same network you are currently on and wish to keep your number. Unfortunately, it is not possible to transfer your number on the same network when making a new contract purchase.

However, you can still remain on the same network and same number with a different contract by upgrading. Typically, the best way to upgrade is to contact your network directly.

What is a STAC code? What's the difference between STAC and PAC?

What is a STAC code?

You should request a STAC code (Service Termination Authorisation Code) if you wish to switch to a new network without keeping your currently number. You will receive a new mobile phone number.

On the other hand, you should request a PAC code if you wish to switch to a new network but keep your number.

By handing your STAC code to another network, your previous number and contract will be terminated.

To request a STAC code, text STAC to 75075. The process is identical to switching to a new network with a PAC code.

Will my contract be cancelled when I transfer my mobile phone number?

Yes, your contract will instantly be cancelled, however you will still have to pay the remaining monthly charges for your contract length, and there may be an early termination fee. See cancelling your contract for more information.

Can I transfer a deactivated mobile phone number to another network?

In most cases, a network will keep a deactivated number for 90 days, after which is may be recycled and used again.

If it's been less than 90 days since your number has been deactivated, you should contact your network. They may be able to give you a PAC code to regain your number.

Unfortunately, if it's been longer than 90 days, it's unlikely your number can be recovered, however it's still worth contacting your network.

Is it possible to cancel the transfer of a mobile phone number?

If you have given your PAC code to another network, it is not possible to cancel the transfer.

However, if you have requested a PAC code but not given it to another network, you do not need to do anything. Your PAC code will automatically expire after 30 days, and no transfer will take place. If you decide at a later date you wish to transfer again, you must request a new PAC code.

FAQs

How can I request a PAC code?

You can request a PAC code by texting PAC to 65075 from the number you wish to transfer. Alternatively, you can call your network and ask for a PAC code.

How long is a PAC code valid for?

A PAC code will expire after 30 days, after which you will need to request another one.