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Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) is a unique identifier used by some mobile and fixed-line telephone network providers to facilitate mobile number portability (MNP). This allows users to retain their mobile telephone number when switching operators.


United Kingdom

Telecommunications service is regulated in the UK by Ofcom. On 25 July 2003, Ofcom introduced the General Conditions of Entitlement which apply to all communications networks and service providers in the UK.

Condition 18 requires all providers to provide number portability but only to subscribers of publicly available telephone services who request it. Number portability must be provided as soon as practicable and on reasonable terms to subscribers and bilateral porting arrangements between providers must accord with agreed processes.

  1. Your current Service Provider must give you a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) or a reason why it cannot be issued within 2 working days of your request. You can obtain your PAC by calling the customer service group of your current network. Usually your network operator will be able to provide your PAC over the phone and will then follow this up in writing.
  2. Your PAC is valid for a period of 30 calendar days and your request must be submitted to your new Service Provider within that time.
  3. Your number can then be transferred anytime between 2 and 32 calendar days from the date your PAC is issued.

If the customer is on a fixed term contract, they will often be expected to pay any outstanding sums owed to the end of the contract before they can port their number. Some mobile phone companies can charge a fee to move your number. This is usually no more than £25. The provider must issue you a PAC not for 2 working days of your request even if you have not paid your bill.

See also

Orange UK

If you request a PAC from Orange they will send it out via a letter, through Post which can take 2 working days excluding the bank holiday. If a customer does not receive the PAC within the time scale given, they must contact the Orange Loyalty Dept. to chase up. Caution - if you decide not to use your PAC within 30 days, then your contract will not terminate. The PAC will begin with the letters ORG.

Orange will issue a PAC to pre pay & pay monthly customers via letter only. This can be requested by calling 450 from a pay as you go phone, or 150 from a pay monthly phone. Customers can also dial the following from any other phone. PAYG: 07973100450 PAYM: 07973100150.

Vodafone UK


As of 2007, Vodafone policy for people joining the network is that a PAC has to be given prior to a new account being set up - there is no ability at all to port across the number at a later date under Vodafone terms and conditions, short of cancelling the contract and starting again. As of 2008 this does not apply to PAYG phones, a PAC can be used to import a number from another provider after the phone has been purchased and SIM registered.

As of May 6, 2008: Vodafone UK policy to issue a PAC for contract customers is as follows: (a) Customer must write to Vodafone giving 30 days notice of termination. (b) Vodafone then issue a final bill (c) Once final bill is paid, Vodafone UK issue a PAC by post.

As of July 3, 2008: Vodafone UK will issue a PAC via SMS or letter within 5 working days.

As of July 12, 2008: Vodafone UK will issue a PAC via letter/email within '48 working hours'[citation needed], although customers can call before receipt of the letter to check if the code has been issued. Customers maybe subject to a 25% discount on early termination of their contract.


To obtain a port authorisation code, telephone 08080945945 (as advised from the 191 help service on 26 October 2008). A PAC is provided immediately for a PAYT customer.


O2 takes no more than two working days to send the PAC. Generally this is sent via SMS and is valid for one calendar month.


If you bought your O2 phone at the Carphone Warehouse, then your service provider may be "O2 at the Carphone Warehouse", and not O2 direct. In this case, Carphone Warehouse will not issue a PAC immediately over the phone, and it will take a lot longer than 2 working days to receive it.

When you call customer services to request the PAC, they will first put you through to a depeartment where they will offer you a number of options to not leave that you must keep rejecting. Finally, if you keep insisting that you want your PAC, they will reveal a PO Box address that you must write a letter to (by Recorded Delivery as they'll deny receipt otherwise) to actually make the PAC request and wait. The whole process will take over a week.

Virgin Mobile UK

Virgin Mobile send PACs to the customer's registered home address, usually arriving within 2 working days. It is also available immediately by phoning their customer service directly. They may also send the PAC via SMS. Virgin PACs begin with the letters VRG, followed by a six digit number.

ASDA Mobile

The PAC can be acquired by calling Customer Service on 2732 from Asda mobiles, where you will receive your PAC instantly. It will also be sent by post.

Tesco Mobile

Tesco Mobile give the customer their PAC over the phone when they request it, and provide confirmation in writing within a few days of the enquiry. The PAC is also sent through by SMS. Call Customer Care on 0845 301 4455 (you can call this for free by dialling 4455 from a Tesco phone, but with a PAYG phone you will be redirected to the PAYG topup system which has no facility for requesting a PAC).


T-Mobile give the customer their PAC over the phone when they request it, and provide confirmation in writing within a few days of the enquiry. The codes start with ONE followed by a six digit number. The 'ONE' makes reference to T-Mobile's previous name of One2One.


Three give the customer their PAC over the phone as well as sending an SMS with the PAC. The codes start with HTG followed by a six digit number, this being an abbreviation of Hutchinson Telecommunications Group. Warning: If you decide not to use your PAC within 30 days, then your contract will not terminate.

Carphone Warehouse

Carphone Warehouse require you to write to them quoting your account number, phone number and a disconnection code.

The process is long and painful, as to obtain the disconnection code over the phone, and the PO Box address that you must write to requires some persistance and patience.

You are advised to send this letter via recorded delivery otherwise they will deny receipt. The whole process will take over a week.

CPW are prolonging the time you spend with them as a customer to maximise their profits, so do not make it quick or easy to leave them. OFCOM should fine CPW for dragging their feet, and making it difficult. The problems are well-documented: [1].

Lyca Mobile

Call Lyca Mobile on the numbers below and ask for your PAC. Call free on 322 from your Lycamobile and authenticate your self or dial 0207 132 0322 from any other phone. Is better to register SIM on first.

External links


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