From today UK consumers will be able to switch their mobile number to a new provider in just one day, under new rules from Ofcom.
To change providers, customers need a porting authorisation code (PAC) from the network they are leaving. In the past the operator could issue these codes by post. But now they must provide the code over the phone or by text message within two hours.
A decade ago, switching operators took 25 days and was done by fax. Ofcom has long worked to bring down the porting time, publishing a statement in 2007 that demanded the time be brought down from two days to two hours. This was overturned by the Competition Appeals Tribunal after Vodafone appealed.