What is a PAC (Porting Authorisation Code)?

PAC is an abbreviation for "Porting Authorisation Code" and is usually referred to as a "PAC code" or "PAC number". It is a code with 3 letters followed by 6 numbers, 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.

How do I get my PAC code?

You need to contact your old mobile network provider and request your PAC code in order to transfer your mobile number to your new service provider. Use the form below to select your mobile network(s) and get instructions on how to keep your existing phone number while switching mobile providers.

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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 shouldn't be a reason why you cannot get your Porting Authorisation Code (PAC).

Under the communications regulator, Ofcom's rules require service providers to issue you with a PAC immediately over the phone or within two working hours by text message, unless there is a valid 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 number 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.

Can I check mobile signal coverage in my area?

Yes, Ofcom provide a mobile signal checker to check your location for the availability of voice, 3G and 4G services from the four main UK network operators (EE, O2, Three, Vodafone).

Since all the other mobile phone operators in the UK are provisioned over one of the above networks, you can use the information to find out coverage for any mobile operator once you know which underlying network they use.

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.