Cross-network mobile number transfer times to be halved

Transfer times to drop to just 24-hours

Time is of the essence so hurry, hurry now

The time it will take for consumers to transfer their mobile phone numbers from one network provider to another is to be slashed in half next year, Ofcom has confirmed today.

Currently taking two days to transfer numbers cross-network, starting in 2011, the web-based transfer system will be overhauled to complete the switch in just 24-hours. Whilst this is a convenience to consumers, it also highlights the progression of the system that in 1999 was fax-based and required 25 days for action.

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Coming into force on April 11th 2011, those looking to make use of the new quick action service will still require the Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) necessary for such transfers. However, unlike at present where networks can take days to supply users with PACs via good ol’ fashioned snail mail, the new system will require the immediate supply of PACs over the phone or within two hours of request via text message.

According to Ofcom, this push to improve cross-network number transfers is one of its leading projects of the year and has propted Chief Executive, Ed Richards to say: “Ensuring consumers can switch between communications providers by removing unnecessary barriers is one of Ofcom's priorities for 2010/11. Being able to switch quickly and easily between mobile providers is an important part of healthy and effective competition.”