This is known as ‘Porting’

When you get a new phone, you may want to keep the number(s) everyone has for you and your business. This process of transferring your number to your new network SIM is known as ‘Porting’.

Getting the ‘PAC’ code

When you want to move your number(s) to a new network, you need to go back to your existing network and ask for the PAC Code. The full name for this is the Porting Authorisation Code. The PAC code can be used to transfer one or more numbers together if your business has more than one connection. Your existing network is required to provide the PAC code to you right away over the phone or by text within 2 hours otherwise you have caused to complain.

Keeping your existing number
Submitting your PAC Code

You will then need to provide the PAC code to the new network and they will advise you the porting date. Porting usually happens a couple of working days after your connection is live and you may need to reboot your phone a couple of times. So if you have purchased your SIM and sumbitted the PAC to the network on Saturday it might not port until Tuesday or Wednesday.

While this is going on the cancellation process will take place with your previous network for your connection(s). If your number is fully out of commitment you will be charged only for the remaining line rental you have left. If you’re cancelling one or more of your numbers early you will be charged early termination fees.

It will be worth having both SIMs on you or if your handset is a dual-sim handset you can keep both SIMs in the phone. This is so that you will be ready for when the network coverage moves from working on one to working on the other during the porting day.

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Once everything has stopped working on your old SIM this may mean that everything including your number is now live on your new SIM. If you are not sure you may want get a friend to give you a ring to see if you can answer on your new phone. If it works you are good to go!

uSwitch has more details on how porting works and transferring your number to a new network. For details on the regulation Ofcom has a pdf document that explains the regulations behind the process.

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?
Why does porting take so long?
Google Auto-fills in ‘why does porting take so long’.

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.

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