The time it takes to transfer your mobile phone number to a different network looks set to be slashed under new proposals.
Telecoms regulator Ofcom says it wants to make it much easier for customers to switch suppliers.
Currently mobile firms can take up to five working days to transfer a number to a rival company.
But Ofcom wants that time slashed to two working days by next April.
It then wants the switching process to be further cut to just two hours by autumn 2009.
Porting Authorisation Code
Ofcom say the current process is lengthy and customers looking to switch their telephone number to a new provider must first obtain a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) from their current provider.
They must then wait up to five working days for their number to be transferred to the new network.
Ofcom CEO Ed Richards said: ‘The UK was one of the first countries to introduce number portability and this has helped create a competitive mobile market in the UK.
‘However, the original process is now out-of-date. We believe that the industry should introduce a new system which will stimulate competition and encourage consumers to exercise choice between competing suppliers with a minimum of inconvenience.’