Communications regulator Ofcom wants to ease the mobile switching process by hastening the time it takes to transfer your number, possibly to within two hours.

It currently takes two working days to move your number to a new provider. Ofcom has launched a consultation asking for views on whether this process should be cut to either two hours or one day.

If either option is adopted, the changes will be implemented in 2011 (see the Cheap Mobiles guide to help get the best deal).

You currently need to request a special number from your current provider, known as a Pac code, which you give to your new provider when porting mobile numbers.

The consultation is seeking views on whether your new provider should manage the process instead to ease the burden on users.

Ofcom research shows nearly a third of people have switched mobile provider in the last two years. Some 71% want to keep their number.

Daniel Lawrence, consumer products analyst, says: "Whilst anything that helps people switch to the best deal more easily is obviously welcome news, one can't help but think Ofcom might better spend its resources elsewhere.

"This includes doing more to tackle unavailability of broadband in some areas, prohibitive overseas mobile internet costs, and the misselling of so-called 'unlimited' tariffs that are not unlimited."

Further reading/Key links

Slash mobile costs:
Sell old mobiles: