What is a PAC code? How it can let you keep your mobile number when changing networks

The little-known code that makes life a lot easier if you're changing mobile phone providers.

Changing mobile networks is a pretty simple process nowadays, but there are still some things to remember. One of these is your PAC code.

Not sure what a PAC code is? We don’t blame you, seeing as you hardly ever use it. But read on, and we’ll explain what it is and when you need it.

[Read more: How to keep track of your smartphone account]

What does PAC stand for?

Porting Authorisation Code.

What is a PAC code?

A PAC code is a nine-character code that consists of three letters and six numbers. So ABC123456, for example.

What does a PAC code do?

It’s used to facilitate mobile number portability (MNP). In other words, if you want to keep your phone number when you switch mobile networks, such as if you join BT Mobile you’ll need your PAC code.

How do I find my PAC code?

In order to find your PAC code, you’ll need to contact the mobile network you want to move from. Once you’ve got it, you’ll need to give it to the network you’re moving to. That way, you’ll be able to keep your existing mobile number on your new network.

How long does it last?

Your PAC code lasts 30 days from the date it’s issued. If you don’t move networks within the 30-day period, you can still keep your existing number, but you’ll need to get a new PAC from your old network.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Before you move networks, you’ll need to make sure your phone is able to work with different networks, and it’s not locked to your existing one. You should also back up the contacts from your old SIM before it’s deactivated.

Click here for more information about moving to BT mobile.

[Read more: Get your smartphone holiday ready]

More from BT