How to transfer your number to a new contract

Your phone number is precious to you. When starting a new contract more often than not you'll want to take your number with you. Luckily there is a number porting process available for you to use. Just follow the steps below:

Before you leave

Check with your current provider that they can't match or beat your new network deal. Save the hassle of moving by utilising their cancellation department to try and keep you.

You can only port an active number to a different network (i.e. you cannot port to a new contract with the same network). If you're locked into a contract, your current provider may charge you a fee to leave.

What you need

To take a phone number to a new contract you'll need a Porting Authorisation Code (a PAC for short). This typically consists of 3 letters and 6 digits. You will need to request this from your current network provider.

You'll then need to provide the PAC plus the mobile number in question to your new provider. Some providers require this when purchasing the contract, others will ask you to phone them up once you've received your new phone.


A number port typically occurs on the next working day, as long as you have requested the port before 3pm. Alternatively you're sometimes able to specify a particular date for the transfer, as long as it's within the next fortnight.

What happens on the day

You will experience loss of service on your current contract at some point during the day. When this occurs, simply turn on your new phone and the transfer should have completed. If you're struggling to get service, simply switch your new phone off and try again in an hour or so.

Ofcom Porting Guide

If you require any more information, a comprehensive guide to number porting can be found on the Ofcom site.

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