Mobile Phones – Regulator Confirms Consumers Can Soon Change Providers Within One Working Day

Mobile regulators, Ofcom have revealed that mobile phone consumers will soon be able to change providers and network carriers within one working day as opposed to the current two-day changeover period.

Although the change is still subject to further consultation, it looks likely to be brought into place, with consumers currently frustrated at having to wait 48 hours to receive their Port Authorisation Code (PAC) in order to change providers and tariffs. As part of the change in conditions, consumers will be able to receive their PAC immediately or within two hours via SMS.

The estimated date for the implementation of this idea is currently set for Q1 of 2011.

Ofcom chief executive, Ed Richards, said: “Our research shows that over 70% of consumers want to keep their mobile numbers when they switch providers.

“Reducing the time it takes to transfer a mobile number to one working day and enabling consumers to obtain a PAC quickly, means consumers will be able to switch provider more easily without the costs or inconvenience of changing their number.”

A further consultation is likely to be arranged by Ofcom towards the end of the year, as it seeks to finalise the switch.

There were four initial options which Ofcom investigated as a means of improving the speed and process of changing mobile phone providers. These ranged from a two-hour process to one-day transfers.

The battle for network supremacy between mobile carriers is as intense and as competitive as ever, with the latest smartphones causing providers to compete in terms of tariffs and usage.

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