Around 13 million mobile phone users would switch networks
regularly if it took less time for operators to 'port'
the number, according to research by uSwitch.
The findings come as Ofcom consults on whether to reduce the time
it takes networks to switch numbers from the current two days to
either one day or two hours.
Comparison website uSwitch estimates UK mobile phone users miss
out on savings of £1.5 billion every year because they fear they
will lose their number if they switch networks.
According to the research, around 18 million users in the UK have
never switched to get better tariffs. Another two million users
believe they will lose their old number if they switch networks.
However, uSwitch found that 11 million users have cut their bills,
showing a collective saving of £895 million by switching networks,
with over half successfully keeping their existing number.
However, some users report having to wait up to six days for their
number to be transferred to their new network, forcing up to 25%
of users that switch to take new numbers.
Matthew Wheeler, communications expert at uSwitch said: 'Anyone
who has lost their mobile phone will know what a hassle it is to
contact everyone you know with your new number - so of course
people want to keep their number when they switch.'
He added that
the PAC code system - which enables people to move their numbers
- makes it easier for people to transfer between networks.