Switching from Three to Orange? It's a straightforward process to keep your existing phone number.
Step 1: Get a PAC Code from Three
If you’d like to move your phone number from Three to Orange, the first step is getting your Porting Authorisation Code (or PAC Code) from Three.
There are three ways to get a PAC Code from Three:
- Online: You can get a PAC Code from Three by logging in to the My3 Account website.
- By Text Message: You can get a Three PAC Code sent to you via SMS text message. Text PAC followed by your date of birth in DDMMYY format to 65075 to receive a PAC Code from Three.
- By Phone: You can get a PAC Code by calling Three. To do this, call them on 333 using your Three handset. Alternatively, dial 0333 338 1001 from any other phone. You'll need to call during Three's opening hours (Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 9am-6pm).
Here are some key things to know:
- The PAC Code from Three should consist of six numbers with HTG at the start (e.g. HTG 123 456).
- 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 Three: it'll be closed automatically when your phone number is transferred to Orange.
Still in contract with Three? If so, you may need to pay an early exit fee on your bill from Three. To find out how much this would be, text INFO followed by your date of birth in DDMMYY format to 87075.
Don’t want to keep your Three phone number? You can switch to Orange without taking your phone number with you. If you'd like to do this, get a STAC Code from Three instead.
Three STAC Code (Leave Three Without Keeping Your Number)
If you’d like to leave Three without keeping your phone number, you’ll need to request a STAC Code rather than a PAC Code. There are three ways to get a STAC Code from Three:
- Online: You can get a STAC Code from Three by logging in to the My3 Account website.
- By Text Message: You can get a Three STAC Code sent to you via SMS text message. Text STAC followed by your date of birth in DDMMYY format to 75075 to receive a STAC Code from Three.
- By Phone: You can get a STAC Code by calling Three. Call them on 333 using your Three handset. Alternatively, dial 0333 338 1001 from any other phone. You'll need to call during Three's opening hours (Monday-Friday 8am-8pm, Saturday 9am-6pm, Sunday 9am-6pm).
Once you’ve gotten your STAC Code from Three, the rest of the process for joining Orange remains the same.
Step 2: Order your new phone or SIM card from Orange's website
You should now order your new phone or SIM card using the Orange website. Please select the type of tariff you're intending to move to:
For a full list of available tariffs and the latest Orange deals, please refer to this page on Orange's website.
Orange 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 Orange.
Step 3: Give the PAC Code to Orange
Once your new phone or SIM card arrives from Orange, switch it on and make sure everything's working properly. If, for whatever reason, you need to return or change the handset or SIM card, it's best to do this before transferring your phone number.
Once you're happy to continue with the phone number transfer, contact Orange and provide them with your PAC Code from Three.
Your PAC Code should be entered on Orange's online form. You can also provide your PAC Code to Orange over the phone:
If you're joining Orange Pay Monthly, you can submit your PAC Code by calling 150 on your Orange handset. Alternatively, call 07973 100 150 from any other phone.
Alternatively, if you're joining Orange Pay As You Go, submit your PAC Code by calling 450 (07973 100 450 if you're calling from another network).
If you have a STAC Code from Three rather than a PAC Code, this can be provided to Orange in the exact same way.
- You must provide the PAC Code to Orange within 30 days of it being issued by Three. If the PAC Code has already expired, you'll need to return to step 1 and request a new PAC Code from Three.
- Three Pay As You Go customers: Try to use up your remaining credit as it can't be transferred to Orange.
Step 4: Phone Number Transferred (Next Working Day)
As long as you've submitted your PAC Code to Orange before 5.30pm, your phone number transfer will normally be scheduled for the next working day (Monday to Friday only, excluding English bank holidays). After 5.30pm, 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 Orange. You should find that the Orange 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 Orange, your account on Three will automatically be closed. You'll receive a final bill from Three for any outstanding charges.
Any Other Questions?
In case of any problems during the transfer of your phone number, you should contact your new mobile network (Orange) 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 the comments below from other visitors to this website.