Ofcom Demands Same-Day Mobile Network Swaps

Under the terms of a new ruling by UK telecoms regulator Ofcom, UK mobile service providers will have to allow users to port their mobile numbers to a different network within one working day.

Under the new Ofcom directive, which will come into effect next year, consumers who have requested for a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) by phone, will have to be given the code either on the spot or within two hours via SMS.

Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards said in a statement to BBC News “Ensuring customers can switch between communications providers by removing unnecessary barriers is one of Ofcom's priorities. Being able to switch quickly and easily between mobile providers is an important part of healthy and effective competition.”

Previously, consumers have had to wait up to 25 working days in order to change their network service provider.

Mobile service provider 3Mobile had hoped to eliminate the concept of PAC numbers altogether, by letting consumers choose their mobile network and letting the new service provider do all that was necessary to carry out the transfer.