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How do I port my mobile number?

So you’ve decided to switch network? You’ve done your research, read read reviews and confirmed that there’s good coverage in your area? Next, you just need to do a couple of things so you can use your existing number on the new network. Many people are put off changing mobile network by the thought of losing their phone number but it’s actually very simple to keep your mobile number when switching.

The first thing you need to do is to get your PAC code from your current operator. Your current mobile network must give you your PAC immediately over the phone or within a maximum of two hours by SMS. They are not allowed to take long than this or to refuse to give you your PAC

Then all you have to do is give your new network you PAC and they will book you in for a number port (usually the next business day). Then, on the day of the port, keep your old SIM in your phone to start with. You will experience a loss of service at some stage depending on when your old service provider releases your number. The error message on your screen should say something like “SIM card registration failed”. You can now put your new SIM into your mobile. Then just switch your mobile off and on again – this causes the network search to start and you’ll soon find that your new SIM is fully activated with your new number.

For more details please see our complete guide to changing mobile network including our tutorial on porting your number when you change network operator. You might also want to see our article that helps explain how to get your PAC code.

by Jon M

20 Responses to “How do I port my mobile number?”

  1. rahul 10 June 2015 at 12:24 Permalink

    How to send a message for switching(port) one mobile network to another mobile network?

  2. Derek Leacy 31 December 2014 at 20:03 Permalink

    My mobile provide has gone bust and is in liquidation, (DIALOG VIZZ) , So I cant get a PAC code from them, has anyone any idea if I can get one any other way?? or is that it, and i have to get a new number., Thanks for any info. Derek

    • Mobile Network Comparison 3 January 2015 at 12:35 Permalink

      Is there any way to contact them at all? When OVIVO went into administration they still gave out PACs for some time.

      • Derek Leacy 3 January 2015 at 15:18 Permalink

        I tried contacting Dialog Vizz, by phone, no answer, by e-mail, no answer, I contacted Ofcom, all they said, keep ringing the same numbers, !!great!!. I see all the customer service staff have been made redundant.

        This company has two other websites still online all with the same address as Dialog Vizz, but don’t answer the phones at all, They are called Vizz Roshan, and Vizz Africa.

        I have decided to join 3mobile and get a new number..

  3. Tim 16 July 2014 at 11:24 Permalink

    I have recently received my PAC code from my current operator, Orange (EE). If i use the PAC code when ordering another phone over the internet will this automatically cancel my contract with Orange?

  4. jolan 7 June 2014 at 13:20 Permalink

    I recently signed up with 3, one month contract. The signal was lousy so to terminate I was obliged to give 30 days notice. I have requested my PAC code, which they gave, but incurred a further 30 days notice. Is this legal? Of course I will be charged something approaching £20 extra.

  5. PAC Question 21 September 2013 at 03:47 Permalink

    Does everyone need a PAC? I’m planning to use my iphone in the UK (I live in the U.S) so would I also need to get the PAC from my service provider?

  6. Trace 15 February 2012 at 16:35 Permalink

    Im currently on O2 Pay & Go but use a regular sim in my old phone and have purchased an Iphone 4 which takes the micro sim. Can I Port my current number to the new Iphone even through they are different sims?

    • Mobile Network Comparison 15 February 2012 at 16:40 Permalink

      Do you want to use the same O2 PAYG tariff or change to a new network?

      • Trace 15 February 2012 at 16:43 Permalink

        I want to take the GiffGaff Micro Sim and join you guys (better deal than my old sim) but not sure how it would wrok with the port transfer being that I would need to do the on the phone I’m using? (standard sim vs micro in the Iphone) 🙂

        • Mobile Network Comparison 15 February 2012 at 16:53 Permalink

          Yes, you can port between any SIMs even if one is micro and the other not. First get your PAC from O2. Then just order a new Giffgaff micro-SIM and activate it.

          Once you have it activated you can log into your My Giffgaff account and input your PAC to start the number port.

          If you have any other questions, please just ask.

  7. Dee 30 December 2011 at 12:11 Permalink

    You might want to mention that O2 asks you to name a number you frequently call or text as part of their security questions when you request the PAC code. If all your numbers are in your phone, and that’s the one you use to call, it can be a bit tricky to get to them.

  8. Angela 7 November 2011 at 09:47 Permalink

    When I get my PAC code how do I contact Giff Gaff to book my port

  9. Bilbo 16 August 2011 at 12:23 Permalink

    I currently have a contract with O2. Do I still have to get a PAC code to change over to Giffgaff?

    • Mobile Network Comparison 16 August 2011 at 12:25 Permalink

      You only need to request your PAC if you want to bring your number over with you. Also, using your PAC will automatically cancel your existing O2 contract.

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