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How to Change Mobile Network and Keep the Same Number with a PAC Code.

How to Change Mobile Network and Keep the Same Number with a PAC Code.

A new phone network doesn’t have to mean a new phone number. If you want to get out of your current phone contract and change mobile network, but still keep the same number, all you’ll need is your new network provider’s phone number, new SIM and something called a PAC code.

What does a PAC code look like? 

PAC, or Porting Authorisation Code, is a mixture of nine letters and numbers, and usually follows the format: ABC 123 456

Your PAC code will be unique to you, and it is important you don't let anyone else have access to it- otherwise they will be able to port your number to.

How long does PAC code last?

Quite a while actually – but do bear in mind they still are only temporary! You should receive your PAC code within 2 hours of contacting your current network provider, then you will have 30 days to transfer your old number – so make sure you write the code down! If you lose your PAC code, you won’t be able to get another until it has expired- as per Ofcom’s General Conditions.

How long for the PAC code to work?

It should only take around one working day (perhaps 2 if you do not let them know until a little late in the day). You won’t be able to port your number over the weekend, so bear that in mind when scheduling the transfer – i.e. if you request the transfer on a Saturday you probably won’t get your old number back until Tuesday at the earliest.

Daily cut off time for submitting your PAC number for next-day transfer varies depending on the network, but a general rule is that you should contact your new network before 3pm.

How to transfer mobile number?

Here are the numbers to call in order to request your PAC code from some of the UK’s most popular networks:



When calling from handset

From another phone



0800 800 150 



07953 966 250 






020 3059 0304


(or 4445 if you’re PAYG)

0344 8090202
0344 8090222 (PAYG).



07973 100 150


03300 412 524 

03300 412 524 



0345 172 0044



0345 301 4455



020 7362 0200



0333 338 1001 



0345 6000 789



 03333 040 191


*If you're adverse to talking on the phone, Giffgaff allows you to request your PAC code online too.

So now you have your nine digits, you will be wondering what to do with a PAC code. Generally, you’ll need to give this to your new mobile network. But remember, this process is not reversible – so make sure you are certain about the new network you are moving to!

On the day of transfer you can expect:

  • To still receive calls and texts to your old number
  • To lose coverage on both your old and new networks while the transfer takes place
  • To restart your headset in order to recover coverage
  • To receive the calls and texts missed during transfer upon restarting your phone
  • Your old network to close


  • PAC codes are only for mobile phone number transfers
  • You only need a PAC when you are changing networks, not handsets/tariffs
  • If you have changed handsets in the process, you can sell your old phone and get a little pocket money!

We hope this PAC code guide has been useful to you- now that you know how to change mobile networks and keep the same number, let us know in the comments which network you’ve gone to and why!