Transfer A Phone Number From EE to Three: Step-By-Step Instructions

Switching from EE to Three? It's a straightforward process to keep your existing phone number.


Step 1: Obtain a PAC Code from EE

The first step is to contact EE to obtain your Porting Authorisation Code (PAC Code).

You can get a PAC Code from EE by calling 150 on your EE handset. Alternatively, dial 07953 966 250 from any other phone.

You can request a PAC Code over the phone at any time during EE's opening hours:

Monday - Friday8.00am - 8.00pm
An extended service costing 50p/call is available between 8pm-10pm on weekdays.
Saturday8.00am - 6.00pm
An extended service costing 50p/call is available between 6pm-8pm on the weekend.
Sunday8.00am - 6.00pm
An extended service costing 50p/call is available between 6pm-8pm on the weekend.
  • A PAC Code is 9 digits long and follows the format ABC 123 456.
  • EE must provide a PAC code within 2 hours of your request. If they don't, they must provide a valid reason for why the PAC Code can't be issued. Your right to a PAC code is enshrined within Ofcom's "General Conditions of Entitlement" (May 2015, clause 18).
  • Your PAC Code is valid for 30 days. If you don't use it during this time, the PAC code will expire and you'll need to request a new one.
  • You shouldn't close your account at EE: it'll end automatically when your phone number is transferred to Three.

Step 2: Order your new phone or SIM card from Three's website

You should now order your new phone or SIM card using the Three website. Please select the type of tariff you're intending to move to:

For a full list of available tariffs and the latest Three deals, please refer to this page on Three's website.

Three will assign you with a temporary phone number during the transition process. This will allow you to test out the service before you finally transfer your phone number to Three.

Step 3: Give the PAC Code to Three

Once your new phone or SIM card arrives from Three, switch it on and make sure everything's working properly. If you need to return/replace the new phone or SIM card, please do this before the phone number transfer.

Once you're happy to continue with the phone number transfer, contact Three and provide them with your PAC Code.

Your PAC Code should be entered on Three's online form. Alternatively, you can give the PAC Code to Three by calling 333 on your Three handset. You can also call 0333 338 1001 from any other phone.

Providing your PAC Code to Three

The PAC Code should be submitted through a form on Three's website.

  • You must provide the PAC Code to Three within 30 days of it being issued by EE. If the PAC Code has already expired, you'll need to return to step 1 and request a new PAC Code from EE.
  • EE Pay As You Go customers: Try to use up your remaining credit as it can't be transferred to Three.

Step 4: Phone Number Transferred (Next Working Day)

As long as you've submitted your PAC Code to Three before 5.00pm, your phone number transfer will normally be scheduled for the next working day (Monday to Friday only, excluding English bank holidays). After 5.00pm, you'll need to wait one extra working day for your number to be transferred.

On the day of the transfer, you'll momentarily lose coverage on both mobile networks. When this happens, restart your handset on Three. You should find that the Three phone or SIM card will now associated with your original phone number.

  • If you see an error message (e.g. "SIM card registration failed"), this means it's time to restart your phone.
  • Once the phone number has been transferred to Three, your account on EE will automatically be closed. You'll receive a final bill from EE for any outstanding charges.

Get the Latest Deals from Three »

Any Other Questions?

In case of any problems during the transfer of your phone number, you should contact your new mobile network (Three) with details of the problem.

If you have any other questions on using a PAC Code, please see my in-depth guide to transferring your phone number between networks. You can also read comments from other visitors of this site.

« Full Article: "PAC Codes - How to transfer your mobile number when switching networks"

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About Ken

Ken Lo

My passion is helping people to get the most out of their mobile phone. I've been blogging at Ken's Tech Tips since 2005.

Aside from writing about mobile technology, my interests are in software development, digital marketing and physics. Outside of the blog, I work with numerous technology companies helping them to explain their product and helping them to market it to consumers. Please get in touch for more information.

Your Comments

We'd love to hear your comments on transferring a phone number from EE to Three. The comments below are from people who've made the same transfer. You can add your own comments here.

To view all 1150 comments about transferring a phone number, please visit the main PAC Code article.

  1. Steve said:

    Hi I have transferred from EE to 3 contract to SIM only and took my old number with me , everything has changed over to my old number after giving 3 PAC code , only problem is anyone with an iPhone is getting txts from my 3 temporary number and when they txt old number it’s only sending as a text message not iMessage ! Any ideas what’s wrong please

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Steve,
      Thanks for your comment. I believe the information here should help you with regards to fixing iMessage/FaceTime?
      Many thanks,

  2. A said:

    I’ve already ended my contract with EE and have joined three HOW do I get my PAC code from EE

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi there,
      Unfortunately, it’s no longer possible to obtain a PAC Code from EE once your account has been closed. If your account was closed without a PAC Code being actioned, it’s likely the phone number has now been lost. If you like, however, you could contact EE using the details here to ask them whether they’re able to restore your number.

  3. Jack Hutchinson said:

    Hi Ken really glad I found this website it’s really excellent!

    I am currently on EE but living in Northern Ireland my signal indoors is awful!

    I am planning on moving to 3 because of their InTouch wifi SMS and calling app do you have any experience with this app and is it any good? If it is usable it would be a lifesaver.

    Also have you heard about EE doing away with an unlock fee this summer uswitch have mentioned it but I haven’t heard of it anywhere else!

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Jack,
      Thank you for the kind words and really glad to know the website has been useful! I’m afraid I haven’t had much first-hand experience using the inTouch application so I’d have to refer you to other forums for this!
      With regards to unlocking fees, the government’s digital economy bill recently proposed an end for “charges to unlock phones at the end of contracts across major mobile phone providers”. No word yet on when or whether this will be implemented, but it’s possible it could encourage EE to scrap the unlocking fees earlier.

    2. Kevin Wragg replied:

      If you are with EE and have a mobile phone that supports WiFI calling than EE has this as standard and unlike 3, doesnt need an app to make and receive calls via wifi. Most iPhones and many Samsung support wifi calling

  4. Surprizzo said:

    Hello Ken,

    My EE contract it’s ending and I move to Three. I already gave that PAC code to Three to move my old number. It’s three days from now and my number it’s still not move :/ Why?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Surprizzo,
      Has it already gone past the date on which Three promised your phone number would be transferred to their network? If so, you can check up on the status of the port by calling 333 on your Three handset.
      Hope this helps,

  5. jonny said:

    Hi. I have a contact with EE for my wifes phone (contract has since expired so I have no early settlement charges to pay).We intend to transfer this to three. However am I able to transfer both the number and change the ownership of the account at the same time, so the new contract will be correctly ordered and registered from three in my wife name? Many Thanks.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Jonny,
      Thanks for your comment. You can indeed transfer the phone number to an account that’s in someone else’s name (there are no ownership name checks during the PAC Code process). You just need to make sure the new account at Three is set up in your wife’s name.
      Hope this helps!

  6. Jayne said:

    Hi Ken, I recently signed a contract with EE for the new iPhone 6 – I was with Three using a iPhone 4s. As the iPhone 4s was a hand me down, I had a great deal with Three for £15/month as I didn’t have to pay for the handset. I bought this with Carphone Warehouse and am now thinking of cancelling my contract (within the allowed 14 days which carphone warehouse are honouring). When I closed my account with Three last Wed, I gave 30 days notice but immediately requested my PAC code which I gave to EE and I’m all set up.

    However, if I cancel the contract with EE I was told that I will lose my current number which I have had for 15 years! Obviously I do not want to do this and was wondering if you perhaps knew of a way to transfer my number back to Three without my having to lose it? Thanks in advance for any insight you may have.

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Jayne,
      Thanks for your comment. Do accept my apologies as I think I’ve failed to understand your question! I believe you’ve just succeeded in moving a phone number from Three to EE. The contract on Three was closed when you moved to EE.
      Are you now wanting to cancel the EE contract and to go back to Three on your old tariff? Or is this simply a question about what happens to your phone number in 24 months time when the EE contract ends?
      Many thanks,

      1. Jayne replied:

        Sorry I didn’t make myself clear. I am able to cancel the contract with EE (within the next 4 days). The downside to doing this as they are saying I would lose my mobile number which obviously I do not want to happen. So if I went back to Three, is there any way I can get out of this contract and still keep my old number?
        Hope that clarifies?

        1. Ken Lo
          Ken replied:

          Hi Jayne,
          You’ll be able to keep the phone number providing you’re able to get a PAC Code from EE. I’d have thought this should still be possible or are they imposing other conditions (e.g. not allowing you to get a PAC Code if you cancel the contract during the cooling off period)?

  7. Abiodun said:

    Hi Ken,
    My mother passed away a few weeks ago and my contract was in her name. I am trying to leave EE to join 3 as they seem to have cheaper deals however I still want to keep my number.

    EE will not release my PAC Code as the contract is not in my name however the customer service team advised me to transfer the contract into my name and then request for a Pac code once I am the owner.
    The issue is that if I leave EE now and cancel both lines, they will erase any outstanding money my mother owes however if I want to keep my number, I will have to transfer the contract into my name meaning that I have to pay the cost of cancelling a 24 month contract before it has ended.

    How would I be able to get the PAC code for my number before leaving EE? (and not being charged after transferring the contract into my name)

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Abiodun,
      I’m very sorry to hear about the situation: my thoughts are with you and your family.
      In regards to your question, I can kind of understand where EE are coming from: typically they have something called an early termination fee when you need to leave a mobile contract early. There are certain situations where they’re able to waive the fee (e.g. in the case of the account owner’s death). If you were to first transfer the contract into your own name, they would no longer be able to waive the fee under this rule.
      My initial thoughts are simply to lodge your request in writing with EE. I suspect this is something which really needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Hence, make a written request through the online form here. If they aren’t able to solve the situation, my other thought is to see whether they’re able to move the number over to Pay As You Go (this will wipe out any charges remaining on the contract; you’ll then subsequently be able to transfer the number elsewhere.

  8. Mark said:

    Hi, I recently transferred my account from EE to Three using a PAC code. Now when I log-in to the EE website and attempt to pay my final bill, it says number is invalid and refuses to log me in. How do I pay my final bill of £32 if EE doesn’t recognise me anymore??

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Mark,
      Thanks for your comment. Have you tried logging in without your mobile number (there’s a small link where you’re able to do this underneath the normal box for logging in). If you still aren’t able to access your account, the chances are they may have closed your online account. It’s probably worth contacting EE Customer Services (dial 07953 966 250 from your Three handset) and paying your bill with one of the methods listed here.

  9. Lauren said:

    Hi Ken,

    I’m moving from EE to 3. I bought a SIM only plan from 3 and I am currently on pay-as-you-go on EE. Everything I’ve read so far on keeping my number when switching networks talks about ‘both’ devices. I only have the one handset so should I leave my EE sim card in and wait for it to stop working then put my 3 card in? Or should I use my temporary 3 number in the mean time and wait for that to stop working and then restart it?

    1. Ken Lo
      Ken replied:

      Hi Lauren,
      Please accept my apologies! When writing, we often assume there’s two different handsets (an old one and new one). In many cases, its actually the same handset (only the network & SIM card is changing). I hope this didn’t cause too much confusion!
      To answer your question, you have the option of using either SIM card until the transfer takes place. If you’d like to continue receiving calls & texts on your existing phone number, I would recommend continuing to use your EE SIM card. Be sure to keep the 3 SIM card somewhere convenient (you’ll need to change the SIM cards over as soon as the number transfer takes place).
      It’s also possible to use your Three SIM immediately. In this case, you’ll be using a temporary number until the transfer takes place. It’s not necessarily a problem but you’ll miss calls & texts sent to your number.
      Hope this helps,

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