Getting started

How do I keep my current mobile number?


How do I keep my mobile number?


It's easy to keep your current mobile number and transfer it to giffgaff. You can transfer any mobile number (contract or PAYG) from any UK mobile network.


This guide will let you know what you'll need and what to expect when transferring a number to giffgaff. If you are looking to transfer your number from giffgaff to another provider, have a look at this article.


 Here's a breakdown of the contents of this guide, click the link to go to each section:




If you are looking for information about how to transfer your giffgaff number to another giffgaff SIM, please have a look at this article about SIM Swap.



What you need to know

Back to top


A PAC (Porting Authorisation Code) is required to transfer a mobile number from one UK network to a different UK network. You can transfer any UK mobile phone number to giffgaff, provided you have fulfilled any contractual agreement you may have with your previous service provider. If you're still locked into a contract, it may be possible for you to leave it early although you may be charged a fee - typically this would be your remaining line rental.


The PAC code format is ABC123456


You cannot transfer international numbers. 


You do not need a PAC to transfer your giffgaff number to a new SIM card - for that you need to do a SIM swap.


NB You cannot transfer a giffgaff number between different giffgaff accounts.



What happens to my credit?


The credit and/or goodybag on your giffgaff account will be available after your number has transferred in, although it will be removed from your account during the transfer.


Any remaining credit with your previous service provider will be lost when your number is transferred to giffgaff. It is not possible to have this credit transferred to your giffgaff account.

Rather than letting this credit go to waste you could donate it to charity; various charities accept donations by text. For example, giffgaff have a justgiving page in support of Great Ormond Street Hospital giffgaffGOSH. Of course you are free to donate to any charity of your choice



Getting ready to transfer

Back to top


To keep your number and transfer it to giffgaff, you just need two things:


1. Active giffgaff SIM

You need an active giffgaff SIM so we can process the transfer. You will know that your sim is active because your account dashboard will display your randomly assigned giffgaff number and you will have received an SMS from giffgaff confirming your new giffgaff number. 


2. PAC (Porting Authorisation Code)

You need a PAC from your current service provider. Contact your current service provider and request a PAC saying you want to transfer ('port') your number to another network. PACs are valid for 30 days from the issue date. See the table below for a list of network contact numbers. Networks are obliged to provide a PAC immediately on request by telephone, or within 2 hours by SMS. Ofcom has some handy links and tips here.


Once you have your PAC and active SIM - head to Help > Transfer your number



Contact details for each network

Back to top


Call up your existing network and request your PAC. Calling the three/four digit number from your mobile using your old SIM is the quickest and easiest way to go.


Network Name


Contract SIM
T-Mobile 150 150
EE 150 150
O2 4445 202
Vodafone 191 191
3 Mobile 333 333
Asda Mobile 2732 N/A
Lyca Mobile 322 N/A



Alternatively, giffgaff member wman2 put together this list of numbers if you cannot call directly from your handset and don't fancy paying for an 0845 number.


Vodafone 0808 094 5945 (03333 040101 from mobiles) Direct line to PAC department
O2 0800 028 8151 Ask for "Retentions"
EE 0800 079 7777 Direct line to PAC department
T-Mobile 0800 956 5000 Choose Option 2, then ask for "Retentions"
3 0800 358 6796
Tesco Mobile 0800 433 4990 Ask to be put through to Customer Services, then "Retentions"
Asda Mobile 0800 952 0101 Choose Option 1, then 3, then 4, then 1
Virgin Mobile 0808 100 8282 Ask to be put through to Customer Services
Talk Mobile 0800 049 4401 Ask to be put through to Customer Services
Lyca Talk 0800 652 7566 Ask for "Retentions"
Lyca Mobile 020 7132 0322 Say you need your PAC
Lebara Mobile 020 7031 0791 No freephone number (sorry) - say you need your PAC
Vectone Mobile 020 7179 0134 No freephone number (sorry) - say you need your PAC
Family Mobile 0800 112 4350 Say you need your PAC
iCard Mobile 020 7870 5722

Say you need your PAC


[Incidentally, on giffgaff it is free to call numbers starting 0500, 0800 and 0808 - we believe calling freephone numbers should be free]




You have your PAC, request to transfer your number

Back to top


Once you've got your PAC, next step is to fill out the 'Transfer your number' form (you must be logged in and already have activated your SIM).

You'll need the following info:

  • The mobile number you want to keep
  • The PAC (Porting Authorisation Code)
  • Your preferred transfer date. This must be within the next 14 days, but cannot be the same day that you submit your request. You can't transfer your number over the weekend or on a Bank Holiday. If you do choose one of these dates the system will select the next available day for your transfer.

    Want to transfer your number tomorrow? It is possible - but you MUST submit your PAC before 15:00 (3pm) on the day of your request. Please see the table below:

    Time/Day of request Earliest transfer day
    Between 15:01 on Friday and 15:00 on Monday Tuesday
    Between 15:01 on Monday and 15:00 on Tuesday Wednesday
    Between 15:01 on Tuesday and 15:00 on Wednesday Thursday
    Between 15:01 on Wednesday and 15:00 on Thursday Friday
    Between 15:01 on Thursday and 15:00 on Friday Monday


  • An alternative contact number (just in case we need to get hold of you)

If you have all this info at hand, click here to complete the form


Insert your PAC code to transfer your number


Once you submit the form, the screen will refresh and show confirmation of the transfer details. You can now relax - we'll do the rest. Your number will transfer before 9pm on the selected day What happens on transfer day?



Saving your contacts before you transfer your number

Back to top


So you don't lose any info - if you have contacts stored on your SIM you will need to do a little phone 'housekeeping'.

You have three options:

  • copy the contacts from your SIM onto your phone and after the number transfer copy them back from the phone to the new giffgaff SIM
  • If you have a smartphone you could backup your information to the cloud, e.g. Google contacts for Android and iCloud for iPhones, and restore from this backup after the transfer
  • ultimately you can make a note of any important numbers on your old SIM/mobile or any data from your message folders, as well as calendar reminders and transfer these manually to the new SIM.



What happens on transfer day?

Back to top


You will experience a loss of service at some stage between the hours of approximately 9am and 9pm - typically this is no more than a few hours but may take all day, so please make plans so you're not caught out. The transfer is a manual process and the start time is dependent on a number of factors including the time your old service provider releases your number, so we cannot say what time your transfer will start or how long you will be without service. Two numbers transferring from the same network may start and finish at different times and one may take longer than the other.


The graph below illustrates how we process the transfers during a typical day. The violet bars are numbers moving from giffgaff, the green bars are numbers moving to giffgaff. As you can see, we release most giffgaff numbers to port out from 6am to 7am.



Port statistics.jpg




The transfer process:


At some point during the day, both SIMs will stop working (may be at different times) and after a while (this could be 10 minutes or several hours) your giffgaff SIM will start working again with the transferred number. You may find that calls, texts and data start working at different times and service may be erratic until the process is complete.


It is advisable to switch your phone (with the giffgaff sim inserted) off and on every hour or so until everything works correctly, which signifies that the number transfer has completed.


Note: During the transfer process, any credit and/or goodybag on your account will be removed temporarily. Don't worry, it will all be returned once the process completes.


Important: Do not attempt to top-up or buy a goodybag on the day your number is transferring as it is likely to fail and you may lose your money. Once your number has updated on My giffgaff, you can top-up and buy goodybags as normal.




  1. Keep your old SIM (if you have it) in your phone until you lose service and/or it shows an error message (e.g. "SIM card registration failed").
  2. Switch off your phone, remove your old SIM and insert your giffgaff SIM.
  3. Switch on your phone:
    • If your phone shows 'giffgaff' as the carrier, and My giffgaff shows your credit/goodybag  and your transferred number, your transfer is complete and you'll be able to make calls and send texts as normal.
    • If it says something like 'SIM card registration failed', it has not completed yet - switch your phone off and try again in an hour or so.
  4. When the transfer is completed and your giffgaff SIM is fully working, you may dispose of your old SIM as it cannot be reused.



Worried about your transfer?

Back to top


If your number still hasn't transferred by 9am on the following day, you can raise a query to a Member Service Agent. Make sure to accurately complete the following information:

  • Existing giffgaff mobile number;
  • New mobile number (the one to transfer);
  • Alternative contact number;
  • PAC

Please do not contact the agents before 9am on the day following the transfer date as the process may be still ongoing and they could not act on it.



Handy links

Back to top





We'd love to hear what you think of this article. Really. We mean it.


Let the community know what you would do to improve this article.


Voice your opinion now



How do I keep my current mobile number?

started by chriskm on ‎23-03-2012 09:37 - last edited on ‎26-03-2015 09:25 by handy giff-staffer jeremyn
Looking for something?