Mastering PAC Codes: The Ultimate Guide to Mobile Number Transfers

The Definitive Guide to Using a PAC Code for Mobile Number Transfers

Switching mobile network providers has become a common occurrence. However, changing your phone number in this process can be an inconvenience. Thanks to the Porting Authorization Code (PAC), it's possible to keep your existing number while changing providers.

Let's explore how to leverage this feature for a smooth and hassle-free mobile number transfer.

Understanding PAC Codes

A PAC Code is a unique identifier used to authorize the transfer of a mobile phone number from one network provider to another.

This nine-digit code informs your new provider that you're authorized to move your number, enabling them to liaise with your previous provider and carry out the transfer.

Keeping Your Mobile Number

Statistical data from our extensive mobile phone surveys indicate that approximately 38% of people switch their mobile phones every couple of years.

While upgrading your handset is relatively simple, changing your mobile number can be an unwelcome chore. However, you can now bypass this by transferring your old number to your new phone.

Step 1: Requesting a PAC Code from Your Current Provider

The first step to transfer your mobile number is to request a PAC code from your current provider. This code is typically delivered to you instantly over the phone or within two hours via text.

In order to protect your number from unauthorized use, your network provider will verify your identity, so be prepared to answer some security questions.

The PAC code consists of nine digits and remains valid for 30 days. If you can't utilize the code within this timeframe, you’ll need to obtain a new PAC from your current provider.

Please note that calls to networks for obtaining your PAC code may be subject to standard rates.

The recently implemented 'Text to Switch' system simplifies the whole process. Text PAC to 65075 and you’ll receive your code instantly, eliminating the need for a phone call.

Step 2: Providing Your PAC Code to Your New Network

Once you have your PAC code, contact your new network and provide them with the code. The code initiates the automatic cancellation process with your old network.

After your new network receives the code, they will communicate with your old network, arranging the transfer of your number.

The scheduled switch usually happens the next working day. Meanwhile, continue using your old SIM card to make calls and send texts.

In case the process takes place over a weekend, the number porting may require more time.

Generally, if you provide a PAC Code on a weekend, the number transfer completes by the following Tuesday.

Step 3: Verifying the Porting of Your New Number

After the transfer, verify if your new number has been ported correctly. To do this, insert the SIM into your phone and make a call or ask someone to call you.

If you are not interested in retaining your old number, and want to start afresh, text 75075 to receive your Service Termination Authorisation Code (STAC). This code will end your existing contract, freeing you to move to a new provider.

For the PAC codes for different providers, refer to the following list:

  • EE: Call 150 from an EE mobile phone or 079 5396 6250 from any other phone.
  • Three: Call 333 from a Three phone or 033 3338 1001 from any other phone.
  • O2: Call 202 from an O2 phone or 034 4809 0222 from any other phone.
  • Virgin Mobile: Call 789 from a Virgin Mobile phone or 034 5600 0789 from any other phone.
  • Vodafone: Call 191 from a Vodafone phone or 033 3304 0191 from any other phone.
  • BT Mobile: Call 150 from a BT Mobile phone or 0800 800 150 from any other phone.
  • Plusnet Mobile: Call 500 from a Plusnet Mobile phone or 080 0013 2632 from any other phone.
  • ID Mobile: Call 7777 from an ID Mobile phone or 033 3003 7777 from any other phone.
  • Tesco Mobile: Call 4455 from a Tesco Mobile phone or 034 5301 4455 from any other phone.
  • Sky Mobile: Call 033 0041 2639 from Sky Mobiles, phones registered to other networks and landlines.
  • giffgaff: Request a PAC code by using giffgaff's contact form.
  • VOXI: Get your PAC code via Twitter, web chat, or Facebook Messenger.
  • SMARTY: Log into your SMARTY account to get your PAC code.
  • Lebara: Call 5588 from your Lebara mobile or 020 7031 0791 from all other networks or from your landline.
  • Ecotalk: Call 033 3800 5500 from any UK mobile or landline.

Busting the Myths About Mobile Number Transfers

Some people worry about service interruption or data loss during the number porting process. However, the porting process is designed to be efficient and minimize the time you'll be without service. Your old number will remain active, allowing you to receive calls and texts, until the transfer is completed.

Remember, disconnected numbers cannot be transferred, so don't cancel your existing contract if you plan to port your number. If your PAC code expires, simply contact your old network to request another code.

Transferring Apps, Music, and Games to Your New Phone

Apart from your mobile number, you will also want to transfer your apps, games, movies, music, and settings from your old phone to your new one. To do this, you need to make a backup of your current phone and then set up your new phone using the backup.

Transferring Your Contacts to Your New Phone

Re-entering hundreds of contact details into a new phone is a daunting task. To avoid this, ensure you back up your contacts on your old SIM before you start using your new one. Depending on where your contacts are saved (on your phone or SIM), there are various