Number Porting: What It Is and How It Works

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Key Takeaways

  1. Number porting, or number portability, is the process of transferring your phone number from one service provider to another
  2. It’s important because it gives consumers the freedom to choose the best service provider without the hassle of changing their phone number
  3. You need to contact your previous service provider and request a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC), which you then provide to your new service provider for them to handle the transfer
  4. When requesting a PAC code, you may need to provide security details to verify your identity, and the code is usually valid for 30 days, during which you must initiate the porting process with your new provider
  5. It typically takes up to one day to complete, and you’ll receive a text message from your new carrier when it’s done. Porting is possible for both personal and business users, including landline numbers


What is number porting?


Number porting is the process of transferring your previous phone number to a new phone carrier. This allows you to keep using your previous number without being tied to a specific phone service provider. It is also sometimes referred to as number portability.


The importance of number porting


When you purchase a phone number from a phone service provider eg. by setting up a phone contract with them, that phone number is now your legal property. Even though the phone service carrier is providing you with it and its usage, the actual phone number is yours to keep. This means if you wish to switch to a different phone service provider, you’re legally allowed to take that phone number with you. 


Number porting empowers consumers with the freedom to choose the best service provider for their needs, without the fear of losing their familiar phone number. Many people will be using a phone number they’ve had for years and don’t want to go through the hassle of updating their number on important records eg. medical records, each time they decide to switch service providers. Therefore it’s important to understand the process to ensure you have full flexibility with your communications.


How does number porting work?


To initiate the number porting process, you’ll first need to contact your previous phone service provider and request a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC). The code is 9 digits long with a mix of alphabet letters and numbers.  


There are a number of ways you can request a PAC code:

  • Calling customer support 
  • Filling out an online form found on the service provider’s website (this might not be an option provided by all service providers so be sure to check) and receiving the code by email
  • Texting a request keyword to a specific number and receiving the code by text (most carriers now offer this option to request PAC codes. You’ll need to find out what the number and keyword are which can usually be found on their website)


After you get a PAC code, you’ll provide this to your new phone service provider and they will handle the rest of the process to transfer your phone number over.


Number Porting FAQ


What do I need to request a PAC code?


To protect from someone stealing your phone number, you’ll often have to provide some security details to verify your identity. This is particularly important when requesting PAC codes over the phone or by filling out a request form. These questions can be security questions you’d set up when signing up to a phone service provider or more generic questions such as the address you used when signing up.


How long does it take to get a PAC code?


Depending on the method you choose to request a PAC code, you can get the code instantly or up to 1 working day. It can sometimes take a few days depending on when you initiated the process with your previous phone service provider eg. before the weekend. So we recommend you continue using the old sim until a PAC code is provided to you if you want to continue using the same number. 


How long is the PAC code valid for?


The code will be valid for 30 days so you’ll need to initiate the porting process with your new phone service provider within that time. If you are unable to do that, you’ll need to request a new PAC code after 30 days.


What information do I need to provide my new service provider?


To transfer your number, you’ll need to provide the PAC code and phone number you’d like to bring over. Occasionally some additional information may be needed in relation to your new account with the service provider eg. email address and/or the phone number you were issued by them. 


How long do I have to wait for my number to be ported?


After submitting your PAC code to your new service provider, it usually takes up to one day for the process to be completed. During this time you’ll have to start using your new sim card. However you shouldn’t be without service for a significant time to cause disruption to your daily communications. Do bear in mind that if you start the switch process on a Friday, you may have to wait until after the weekend for the process to be completed.


How do I know when the process is completed?


You should receive a text message from your new carrier when the process is complete. Then you can use your phone number as you usually would. 


Is my plan with my previous service provider cancelled after porting?


If you are still within a contract period with the previous service provider, we’d recommend speaking with customer support before you decide to switch providers/initiating a porting process. This is because there will usually be an exit fee for leaving your contract early. However if you aren’t still in contract, you have two options:


  1. Contact your service provider to cancel your plan before joining a new service provider. You can still request a PAC code from your old carrier if you leave before signing up with a new one.
  2. Let the plan be automatically cancelled by initiating the porting process with your new provider. Usually after transferring your number over, your existing provider’s plan will automatically be cancelled. This is a more seamless process.


Who can port their number?


You can port your number as a personal user or as a business user. Porting a phone number you use for business purposes happens through the same process. 


Can I port landline numbers?


Yes! You can also port landline numbers using the exact same process. However bear in mind you will likely have to call the landline number provider for a PAC code instead of other faster methods such as text message. 



Overall the porting process should be pretty straightforward and shouldn’t take more than 2 days to complete. Whether you’re an individual seeking better service or a business looking to streamline communication, number porting offers a convenient solution for seamless transitions. By transferring your existing phone number to a new service provider, you can maintain continuity in communication without the hassle of changing phone numbers. This customer-centric approach empowers individuals and businesses to make informed choices in selecting the best service provider for their needs. With the assurance that number porting is a quick and efficient process, you can confidently explore new opportunities while staying connected to the people and networks that matter most to you. 


Porting your number to Devyce


Got Devyce for your business communications and want to keep using the phone number that you’re customers know you by? It’s no worries! 


If you aren’t familiar with Devyce, it’s a virtual business phone number provider. This means you can have two working phone numbers, on your existing phone. Devyce works the way WhatsApp does so all you’ll need is the app and good wifi or data connection. 


When signing up for Devyce, you can either use the phone number we provide or port an existing business phone number to us. These can be both mobile numbers or landline numbers. 


To port your business number to us, simply fill out the porting form on our website once you have your PAC code. Alternatively, you can give us a call on our support line to provide us with your details and PAC code or you may wish to email us. We’ll get your mobile number over to us in under 24 hours and it can take up to 3 business days for landline numbers. 


If you’re in need of a virtual business communications solution, find out more on our website.