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A guide to switching mobile phone provider

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There are hundreds of thousands of mobile phone deals out there - but which one is right for you?

There are hundreds of thousands of mobile phone deals out there - but which one is right for you? You don't have to try and compare every single deal yourself - we do all the leg-work for you and make it quick and easy to find the right package.

If you're switching your mobile provider, just follow these simple steps to compare and switch your mobile phone deal. The process should take around 10 to 15 minutes.

What you'll need to change mobile network

  • Whether you want a pay as you go or a contract mobile phone deal, you'll need to know how many minutes and texts you use each month.
  • If you want to access the internet on the go, you should have a rough idea of how frequently you might like to use it and what you would like to use it for.
  • If you have a pay monthly or contract phone already, you'll need to check the terms of your existing mobile phone contract and find out how much longer your contract lasts for or how much you'll have to pay if you want to cancel before it's due to end.xhow to change mobile network

How to change mobile network?

  1. Tell us what sort of mobile phone deal you're looking for

    There are lots of different ways to compare prices and find the right mobile phone deal for you:

    Compare all deals - tell us how much you want to pay and how many texts and minutes you need and we'll compare all our deals for you.

    'Find a phone' - find deals for a specific make and model of phone.

    Browse by brand - find deals for the make of mobile phone you want.

    Browse contract phones - see pay monthly or contract mobile phone deals only. Pay as you go - see pay as you go mobile phone deals only.

    SIM free - if you just want to buy a mobile phone handset.

    SIM only - if you just want a SIM card.

  2. Filter the results of your search

    Change Mobile Network - Switch Phone provider package

    Once you've chosen one of the options above, you can filter your results by a range of different criteria to find the right deal.

    Firstly, you need to choose between pay monthly, pay as you go, SIM free and SIM only deals.

    If you opt for pay monthly, you can filter your results by:

    Contract length

    Network e.g. Orange or Vodafone.

    Mobile phone brand

    Tariff - e.g. monthly minutes and texts, unlimited internet deals

    Features, e.g. touchscreen, Bluetooth, camera etc

    Style of phone, e.g. flip, slide etc

    Special offers, e.g. free gifts or cashback

    Colour

    Operating system

    Check out the latest pay monthly deals.

    If you opt for pay as you go, you can filter your results by:

    Network e.g. Orange or Vodafone

    Mobile phone brand e.g. Apple, Samsung etc

    Handset cost

    Features, e.g. touchscreen, Bluetooth, camera etc

    Style of phone, e.g. flip, slide etc

    Colour

    Operating system

    Find pay as you go deals here.

    If you opt for SIM free, you can filter your results by:

    Handset cost

    Mobile phone brand

    Features, e.g. touchscreen, Bluetooth, camera etc

    Style of phone, e.g. flip, slide etc

    Colour

    Operating system

    If you opt for SIM only, you can filter your results by:

    Contract length

    Network e.g. Orange or Vodafone.

    Tariff - e.g. monthly minutes and texts, unlimited internet deals

    Browse SIM only deals here.

    The options you've selected will be shown at the top of the comparison table, so it's easy to remove them if you need. You can also start again by clicking the 'Reset' button at any time.

  3. Compare mobile phone deals and pick the one you want

    Our calculator looks through the mobile phone tariffs available and works out the best deals for you instantly, based on the criteria you have selected.

    We'll give you a list of deals that fit the bill, and you can sort these by handset cost, monthly cost, free gifts etc, using the drop-down menus at the top of the results table.

    You can find out more about the phone by clicking on the 'Phone info' icon and find out more about the tariff by clicking on tariff name.

  4. Complete your new provider's application process

    When you've chosen a mobile phone deal, click 'See deal' and you'll be transferred to the mobile phone deal provider's website, where you complete the application process. This should take about 10 minutes, depending on the provider.

Frequently asked questions

What should you expect after you switch mobile phone deals? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:

Will I be able to keep my mobile number after I switch?

Keeping your number when switching mobile networks is very easy. To do so, you need to get a PAC code (porting authorisation code) from your existing provider. Your service provider has to give you the PAC code within two days of you asking for it, or provide a reason why it can't be issued.

You then give the PAC code to your new mobile phone provider to transfer your number. When you call your mobile phone company to ask for your PAC code they will most likely try to convince you to stay on their network by offering you a better tariff or phone.

If they do offer you a new to deal in return for staying with them, be sure to come and check that it's the cheapest deal for you and that you can't find a better deal elsewhere.

We have a full guide that explains how to keep your number when you switch providers.

How long will it take for my number to be transferred to my new mobile phone provider?

switching mobile providers

It can take up to 14 days from the time you provide your PAC code. In most cases it only takes a few working days, sometimes even the following working day depending on your network and the network you are transferring to.

Your new mobile phone provider will give you a temporary number while you're waiting for this to happen.

Will I lose my service when I switch mobile phone?

No. You'll either get a new SIM card from your new provider, or, if you're keeping your number, your new mobile phone provider will give you a temporary number while you're waiting for it to be transferred - so you won't lose service at all.

Will I be able to keep using my mobile phone handset?

Yes, as long as your mobile phone is supported by your new network. However, bear in mind that your old mobile phone may be locked to the network that issued it.

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