1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Moving your mobile number to a new network provider - how does it work?

Discussion in 'Tablets, Smartphones and Mobile Devices' started by JakeNoolan, 23 Sep 2014.

  1. JakeNoolan

    JakeNoolan Well-Known Geek

    I'm moving back to O2 from EE and am currently in that no man's land of waiting for it to port over. Turning the phone off and again to see if my number had magically appeared in the address book (instead of the temporary O2 one).

    But I wondered what the actual process was and where the number is stored. Is it on the SIM, phone or with the network provider? (or all three?)

    Anyone know how it all works?
  2. classic33

    classic33 Über Geek

    Your number isn't your property so to speak. You are "renting" it from your network provider.
    They have to come to an agreement with your new provider to allow your number to be transferred over to another network. Done by issuing you with a PAC code.

    The actual number is registered against a particular SIM card, and also registered on that SIM card. So when it does get transferred across, you'll be required to confirm the new SIM card number.

    The actual process takes only minutes to do, but requires the number be placed in quarantine for a while. Longer period between networks than on the same network. Just like paying money into a bank from obe account to another. Always takes longer from another bank.
    JakeNoolan likes this.
  3. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn Well-Known Geek

    I have the dubious honour of having written the documentation process for number porting for one of the major phone providers! The process is actually quite easy and simple and does not take a particularly long time to do, but the queue of them that needs doing is one of those endless tasks... It is nice and easy when it is an 'internal' port (same provider to same provider) but takes longer when you have to get to providers talking to each other - lets just say the one you are leaving is probably the hold up - they are not that keen on loosing customers and actually doing the work and providing the new provider with the details is at the bottom of most task lists...
    JakeNoolan likes this.
  4. JakeNoolan

    JakeNoolan Well-Known Geek

    Thanks guys - interesting stuff. So they can move within the same provider? I was advised they don't like doing that - to stop you bailing from an existing contract to get a better / newer deal?
    classic33 likes this.