How to port your mobile telephone number

porting your sim

Porting is the process of transferring your existing mobile phone number to your new contract on a different network. This works the same with SIM only contracts as it is with any other contract, so you don’t have to change your number and don’t have to risk missing any calls. 

Can I port my telephone number?

Yes. Anyone can keep their telephone number when they move to a new phone contract, no matter what type of phone contract they have. 

Before you can port your number make sure your minimum contract term has elapsed. You could be liable for penalty charges (likely paying off the remainder of your contract) if you haven’t met your contractual obligations.

Porting your mobile number is straightforward to do and most networks have an easy to follow procedure in place to help you.

How long will it take to port my number?

It can take up to 24 hours to port your number. The actual swap over is fast and although you may lose service on both your new and your old SIM cards, but don’t worry – it will only be for an hour or two. When the tranfer starts you’ll see an error on your phone’s screen saying ‘SIM card registration failed’, or something similar. 

Follow the steps below to complete the transfer:

  • Once you have lost service, turn off your phone and swap your new SIM into your handset.
  • Switch your phone back on and you should see your *new network’s logo appear. 
  • You may need to switch your mobile off and on more than once.
  • Contact your new network if you are concerned that the transfer hasn’t been successful.

*If you’re new network in an MVNO you may see the logo for the network they run on – so for giffgaff and Tesco Mobile you might see O2, or for Virgin Mobile and The People’s Operator you might see EE.

Can I keep any credit on my old PAYG number?

If you still have credit to use, most networks will discount the amount from your next pay monthly bill if you are switching from a pay-as-you-go to a pay monthly contract. Strictly speaking, moving from pay-as-you-go to pay monthly is known as a number migration (rather than porting), and the process is slightly different.

Check with your network to make sure you don’t miss out on any credit owed to you. If you’re moving networks, you may not be able to get back the credit you’ve bought.