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How to switch your mobile provider

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Last update: March 27, 2024
Roams UK
Author: Roams UK

Are you thinking of switching your mobile provider? You’re not alone. With such a wide range of options available right now, so many mobile users are searching for a better deal. Here at Roams we want to make it easier for you to make that decision with confidence.

This article will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about mobile networks, coverage, sim-cards and plans. So, without further ado, let’s jump into it!

Can I switch my mobile provider?

This is the most fundamental question you must ask yourself before you set out to switch your network. It is important to remember that if you are in a contract with a provider, it may be more complicated than you think to switch or cancel your current deal. Have a look at any emails or documents regarding your contract, or simply ring up your provider and ask them when your contract is due to expire, and the terms of this contract.

If you are on a rolling-contract SIM-only deal, you need to give your network 30 days’ notice before switching. If your contract is a year or two long, you may have to pay for the remaining months of your contract up front, which may prove to be expensive if you want to switch right away with many months left on the current contract.

The best thing to do is have a chat with your mobile network, get some information on your contract and what would happen if you were to switch. You never know, if the network wants to keep you as a customer they may offer you a better deal!


What steps do I have to follow?

Once you have figured out the terms of your current contract and how to cancel it, the next step is checking out coverage.

Whichever network you choose, you need to ensure it can provide good coverage to your area. You can find so many great coverage comparison tools in one Google search, so have a look at our best mobile coverage guide to get a good overview!


How can I keep my number when switching providers?

It’s a pain to have to tell all your contacts that you have a new number, and then comes the tasks of learning your new number off by heart! Thankfully, keeping your current number is very simple.

All you need is a PAC code (Porting Authorisation Code), which your current provider can give you in store or via customer services online or on the phone.

This PAC Code will allow you to switch your number by simply providing it to your new chosen provider.

Make sure you use it within 30 days. After this 30-day period, it runs out, and you'll need to text or call your network and ask for another one.

Here’s a table listing the major network providers and their contact information to get your PAC Code:

Provider Contact Number
EE
  • Call 150 from an EE mobile phone
  • Call 079 5396 6250 from any other phone (mobile or landline)
Three
  • Call 333 from a Three phone
  • Call 033 3338 1001 from any other phone (mobile or landline)
O2
  • Call 202 from an O2 phone
  • Call 034 4809 0222 from any other phone (mobile or landline)
Virgin Mobile
  • Call 789 from a Virgin Mobile phone
  • Call 034 5600 0789 from any other phone (mobile or landline)
Vodafone
  • Call 191 from a Vodafone phone
  • Call 033 3304 0191 from any other phone (mobile or landline)
BT Mobile
  • Call 150 from a BT Mobile phone
  • Call 0800 800 150 from any other phone (mobile or landline)
Tesco Mobile
  • Call 4455 from a Tesco Mobile phone
  • Call 034 5301 4455 from any other phone (mobile or landline)
Plusnet Mobile
  • Call 500 from a Plusnet Mobile phone
  • Call 080 0013 2632 from any other phone (mobile or landline)
ID Mobile
  • Call 7777 from an ID Mobile phone
  • Call 033 3003 7777 from any other phone (mobile or landline)

How can I keep my old phone and get a new deal?

Holding on to your current mobile is becoming more and more popular as many consumers reject the fast turnovers of new mobile models and choose to keep using their trusty models that still work. If this sounds good to you, we have some great news! By choosing a sim-only deal, you aren’t locked into a yearly contract.

One-month SIM deals can be cancelled with just 30 days' notice. So, you can change your mind as many times as you want and get a new phone if your current one dies, or even if you just fancy an upgrade.

We hope this comprehensive overview detailing how to switch your mobile provider has been helpful! Feel free to comment or reach out for further information or mention any tips you have.

Our methodology
Roams offers a free information and comparison service, which tries to help anyone find the product that best suits their needs. To ensure that the data presented is correct, extensive market research and product analysis is carried out. Our database of mobile phone and internet rates is updated every day. The content is frequently reviewed by a team of writers with previous experience and/or specific training in telephony.

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Roams UKRoams
Actualizado por Roams UK

Roams offers its advice on recurring-use services to enhance consumer savings. Its expertise is already valued by thousands of users, who trust Roams comparisons in different sectors to hire the best option.

Laura Burón
Edited and revised por Laura Burón