What is a PAC (Port Authorisation Code)?

The P.A.C. stands for "Port Authorisation Code" and is usually referred to as a "PAC code" or "PAC number". In essence, it is a 3 letter plus 6 number code generated by your current or previous mobile phone network to give permission for your new network provider to port your existing mobile phone number over to them.

Port Authorization Codes are valid for 30 days from the date they are issued. If you do not use your PAC code with your new mobile network within this time it will expire and you will need to request a new one from your current provider.

Can I transfer my mobile number later?

Yes you should be able to transfer your old number to your new network provider at any time even after you have received a new number. There is no set time limit to when you can do this, but you must ensure you have requested your PAC number before your old account has been closed and that you use your PAC code within the 30-day expiry period.

Can I be refused my PAC code?

Provided that the account and number belong to you and have not been cancelled there should be no reason why you cannot get your PAC code.

Under the regulator, Ofcom's code of practice, service providers must issue you with a PAC number within 2 working days of your request, or a reason for why it cannot be issued.

Your provider shouldn't refuse to issue a PAC if you have any outstanding bills or charges to pay. These charges should be included in your final bill after the port has taken place and should be settled according to the terms of your contract.

If you are having problems getting your PAC code you can try writing to your provider using the Ofcom template letter.

Can I port my number to the same network?

Not normally, since PAC codes were intended for transfering your number to other networks. However, first ask your current network provider if they will internally transfer your number on to a new contract or PAYG (Pay-As-You-Go) account. If they won't then it is possible to temporarily port your number to a PAYG SIM card on another network and then port it back to your original provider in the same way.

Can I transfer my PAYG pre-pay credit balance?

It's not possible to transfer your PAYG (Pay-As-You-Go) pre-pay credit from a SIM on one network provider to another. Any credit that you don't use will be lost when you port your number across. Therefore it is advisable to use your credit or donate it to charity before porting your number.

What is Ofcom?

In the United Kingdom, Ofcom (The Office of Communications) is the independent telecommunications regulator that directs fixed-line telephone providers, mobile phone providers and broadband internet service providers to offer number portability under the code of practice for Porting Authorisation Code rules and Migration Authorisation Code regulations.