From today, mobile customers can change to a new provider via a text message according to new regulations issued by Ofcom.

Currently, you usually must contact your existing provider and ask for a porting authorisation code (PAC) if you want to sign up with a new provider and keep your existing mobile number. In the process, you may have to deal with your current provide attempting to convince you not to switch.

Ofcom stated that the new “text-to-switch” procedure will make it simpler and faster for you to leave your current provider by providing you with more control on the amount of contact required with your current provider to make the switch.

If you wish to change providers and keep your current mobile number, simply text “PAC” to 65075 to start the process. Your existing provider will respond via text within a minute with their switching code (PAC), which will remain valid for 30 days. The text from your current provider will also inform you if the proposed switch will trigger any early termination charges or if you have a pay-as-you-go credit balance. You then need to give the PAC to your new provider, and this firm must complete the switch within one working day.

If you want to get a new mobile number when you switch providers, simply text “STAC” to 75075, and your current provider will respond via text with their service termination authorisation code (STAC). You then need to follow the same procedures as outlined above.

You may also text “INFO” 85075 to determine if you are still under contract with your existing provider and would have to pay an early termination charge if you switched providers.

Business contracts work slightly differently – customers can request codes typically via telephone or online and get them within two working days.