Mobile customers will be able to move their number from one mobile phone provider to another in a single day from April 2011, the communications regulator, Ofcom, announced today.
Currently it can take several days to receive your porting authorisation code (Pac), which your new network needs to transfer your old number over. The time this takes depends on how your mobile provider chooses to issue Pac codes – some still do so by post.
Ofcom says that web-based systems mean that switching times should be faster, and all providers will be expected to meet the new one-day turnaround time by 11th April 2011.
Find everything you need to know about mobile phones, including tips on changing provider and reviews of the latest phones
Low numbers of switchers according to Which?
Which? research suggests that relatively few of us are changing providers regularly. Only 8% of Which? members had switched provider in the last year, according to research conducted in February 2010. Of those that had switched, 8% on contracts said they found it difficult, compared to 5% on pay-as-you-go (PAYG) deals.
Check how mobile phone companies compare before signing up to a new deal
Which? technology editor Matt Bath said: ‘Which? research shows that the numbers of people switching providers remains quite low, so any move that makes it quicker and easier to move to a cheaper deal while keeping your number is great for all of us.’
How to follow the latest Which? Tech news
Are you a Twitter user? Follow WhichTech on Twitter for regular tech tweets.
Prefer RSS? Don’t miss a thing with the Which? tech RSS feed.
For just the main headlines in newsletter form, sign-up to our weekly Which? tech email.
Apple iPad 2 3G data plans compared – find the best 3G plan for your iPad
Best Android tablets round-up – we look at the best iPad alternatives around
Best cheap laptops for under £500 – find the best laptop deals