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How To Change Mobile Network Provider - A guide from our experts

Whatever your reason for wanting to switch mobile network providers - it doesn’t have to be complicated. It happens, sometimes your provider just doesn’t serve your needs anymore, whether that’s available phone models, price or even service you have received. Switching then becomes increasingly attractive, but can also be beneficial - you can save money on a new handset or get a better monthly rate.

Whatever is making you scope out a new deal, whether that’s with us or not, - our experts will guide you through the necessary steps, to ensure a smooth transition over to a brand new network. 

When should you switch mobile provider?

There are many instances where switching could be beneficial to you...

  • The most obvious reason would be that your mobile contract is nearing its end -  naturally that opens up the chance for you to switch. If you have your eyes on a new phone with a different provider and your current one can’t match it, then it’s time to take the plunge and switch. 
  • You might also want to keep your working phone after your contract expires, in this case opting for a SIM-only contract with any provider that can offer a better rate is a good idea. Find out how SIM only works
  • This one is a given. The mobile signal and/or 4G connection for your mobile internet just might not be good enough with your current network. This could be down to the quality of coverage that is available in your area. If you use your phone for business then it might be a good idea to look into specific mobile contracts for business.
  • Have you had a bad customer service experience that you want to forget? Some networks offer more support than online chat bots or overflowing social media accounts, so it might be worth a look around.
  • If you want to start making more sustainable choices when it comes to your gadgets and devices, your current network might not be actively supporting sustainable practices. Many networks, including us, offer environmentally friendly mobiles, with top of the range features so you don’t have to settle for less of a luxury to be sustainable. 
  • You could also be paying for extras included in your phone contract that you don’t actually use, therefore you don’t really need - and this could be costing you extra- e.g international roaming or even cinema tickets. So it's always worth checking this out.

How to check if you are eligible to switch

Figuring out if you are able to switch mobile providers is relatively easy. In most cases you can log onto your network portal through their website or app and see the status of your contract and check if you are free to leave without costs.

  • If you are out of contract you can switch. If you are still under a contract then you might have to pay a cancellation fee to get out of it. If so, it might not be the best option and you should probably wait until your contract is over. However, you can still browse deals and keep one eye open.
  • Mobile phone networks are legally obliged to inform you when you are out of contract; so it’s always good to keep track of any communications you receive from your provider. If you don’t take action, you might still be paying for a mobile that you’ve already paid off.
  • If you have a rolling 30 day contract - then this is easy to get out of, you can cancel anytime and make the switch.

How to transfer mobile network and keep the same number

Transferring your number from any UK network to another is simple. If you follow this process then you can easily make the switch: 

  1. Text ‘PAC’ to 65075 to begin the switch to a new network, you can do this at any time. Within minutes you'll receive a text with a switching code - this is called a ‘PAC’. This code is valid for 30 days. Once you’ve started this process your provider should indicate any charges that you have to pay if you’re cancelling your contract before it ends. You can also request your ‘PAC’ code online - to do this you’ll need to contact your current network provider.
  2. When you have your ‘PAC’ code, you’ll need to contact your new provider and supply them with the code - this is how they start the switchover. The best way to do this is give them a call or message via customer services.
  3. Ensure you do this within 30 days as this is how long your ‘PAC’ code will be valid for. If you leave it longer than this, then you’ll have to contact your current network again and ask for a replacement code.

How can you switch mobile networks and get a new mobile number?

To switch mobile networks and get a brand new mobile number: text ‘STAC’ to 75075.

In case you have multiple mobile numbers under your account - e.g. family mobile packages. You will need to request the ‘STAC code online or by phone to ensure it’s the right number.

Will I have to pay a fee when I cancel my contract?

Possibly, especially if you’re still in contract with your current provider. If you’re not sure, find this out by texting ‘INFO’ to 85075. If you do this, you’ll get an answer without having to request a PAC or STAC code.