What is Porting and how does it work?
Porting, otherwise referred to as keeping or transferring a mobile number to a new phone on pay monthly or even pay as you go. This is where you want to move your number e.g. 07123123123 from one network to another network. Many people switch networks because they are offered a better deal on a new handset than on their existing network.
This is very useful if you have had your number for your business for many years and don’t want to update all your contact you have a new number. When you port you can take your existing number with you, this is what’s known as ‘porting’.
If you want to ‘port’ your number to your new network you will need to provide the PAC from your previous network to schedule the switch. The network will tell you what day your number will ‘port’ over so you know when to expect the service to stop on your old SIM and start working on your new SIM.
“Once you have given your new provider the PAC, they will notify your current provider of the port request, and your number should normally be ported and ready to use with your new services within one business day.”Switching and keeping your number, Ofcom
When the service stops working on your current or old SIM, you are advised to put your new SIM in the new handset and reboot the handset. Working in telecoms myself we would tell you the network advises you to ‘please allow up to 24 hours for this to fully update across the network’. While it’s porting we don’t want you to have any loss of service as we know you want the line to be working for important calls.
What can I do if my number still isn’t working?
Often things like cleaning the SIM, switching on ‘Flight Safe Mode’ restarting the phone help to connect you to the network once your number has moved over. This is because the phone is still connected on your previous network and/or needs help connecting to the new one. This is a common issue for customers and often what they need to do before they ring into customer services.
Why does porting take 24 hours?
Porting can take 24 hours on any UK network and even under perfect condition and this cannot be fast tracked. This is the timescales because it relies on people to process and they do not work 24/7 to make it quicker. We don’t know when this is likely to change and if it can be automated and immediate in future. Also the other reason is that the previous network does not release your number until late in the working day.