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One day mobile number transfers comes into effect

To change provider customers require a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) from the operator they are leaving. Ofcom’s new rules require that operators issue PACs immediately over the phone or within a maximum of two hours by text message.

Previously some operators issued PACs via post, which could take several days to arrive.

According to Ofcom research, in 2010 eight per cent of all people with a mobile phone switched provider.

Advice for consumers about the number transfer process can be found at: http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/files/2010/07/Transferring_Mobile_Guide.pdf

Advice for consumers on switching their mobile provider can be found at: http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/files/2010/03/mobiledeal_v2b.pdf


  1. In 2007, Ofcom published a statement requiring mobile providers to reduce porting times to two hours from two days by September 2009.  Following a successful appeal by Vodafone to the Competition Appeals Tribunal, Ofcom withdrew the requirement and initiated a fresh review of mobile number portability.
  2. In accordance with sections  45 and 48 of the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom set General Condition 18, which requires communications providers to provide number portability as soon as reasonably practicable on reasonable terms.

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