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Transferring your mobile number to a new phone

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Porting your number

Getting a new phone is exciting. Having a new phone number, however, is not quite so much fun.

For starters, you’ll probably need to text everyone in your address book to tell them you’ve got a new number. Unless you regularly cull your contacts list, this will almost certainly get you a few replies from people you hoped you’d lost touch with.

Then, there’s the hassle of having to reregister your phone number with your doctor, dentist, bank, etc. And before all that, you have to actually learn it off by heart, because no-one looks cool when they can’t even remember their own phone number.

The good news is you can avoid all that hassle by transferring your existing number to your new phone. This is called porting your mobile number.

To keep your mobile number and transfer it to another network, you need to request a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) from your old provider and then let your new provider know the code. They will then schedule the switch.

Read on for a step-by-step guide to keeping your mobile number and how to use a PAC code.

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How do I transfer my mobile number?

keep my mobile number

Follow the instructions below and we’ll walk you through the process.

1. Call your current provider to request a mobile PAC code.

A PAC code should be given to you immediately over the phone or within two hours by text.

PAC codes are normally made up of nine digits and will be valid for 30 days. If it runs out, you’ll need to request a new PAC from your existing mobile provider.

2. Contact your new network and give them the PAC code.

When you provide your PAC code to a new network, the cancellation process will begin automatically with your old network.

Once your new network has the code, it can then schedule the switch. This will normally be for the next working day.

If a weekend gets in the way, the process may take longer. But by and large, if you supply a carrier with a PAC Code on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you can expect the number transfer to be completed on the following Tuesday.

3. Check the SIM works in your phone and that the new number has ported across.

Provided you've fulfilled your contractual obligations to your existing network or service provider, you shouldn’t be charged for this.

Will I lose service?

The porting process is designed to minimise the time you'll be without a service.

After you've supplied your new network with the PAC code, your old number will remain active. That means you'll still receive calls and texts.

When the number transfer is actually being done, however, your service may go down for a very short time. When that happens, it should simply be a case of restarting your handset for full service to return.

Can I transfer a disconnected number?

You cannot transfer disconnected numbers so DO NOT cancel your existing contract if you wish to port your mobile number.

Porting your mobile number when buying online

how to keep your mobile number

If you are buying your new mobile online, you should still be able to port your mobile number using the following simple steps:

  1. Request your PAC code from your existing network and make a note of it.
  2. Select a mobile handset and network tariff combination that suits you and order online.
  3. You will be sent your phone once you have passed any necessary credit checks.
  4. Get connected by following the instructions that come with your new mobile.
  5. Once connected, you will have a temporary mobile number.
  6. Contact your new network or service provider quoting your temporary number, the number you wish to Port and the PAC provided by your old network.
  7. Your existing number will then be transferred within a few working days, sometimes even the next working day.

Feel ready to choose a new phone now? Check out the newest models and best deals here: Best phone deals

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