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Number Portability: How to Keep Your Phone Number When Switching Operators?

Number Portability

When deciding to change your subscription, one often hesitates for fear of losing their phone number, which friends and family already have saved in their contacts. Discover in this guide how to keep it thanks to number portability.

Have you already identified the new operator to transfer your number to? Compare mobile subscriptions and save!

What Does Number Portability Mean and How Does It Work?

Number portability is the process that allows users to keep their phone number when changing telecom operators. In other words, if you want to switch from one telecom operator to another, you can take your existing phone number with you instead of having to activate a new one and losing contacts.

How Does the Transfer of My Old Mobile Number Work?

The process of number portability involves several steps:

  1. Portability Request: The customer contacts the new telecom operator and initiates the number portability process. During the mobile contract subscription phase, it may be required to fill out forms or provide additional information. Sometimes, this request may be subject to a fee.

  2. Eligibility Check: The new operator verifies if the phone number can be transferred. Some factors, such as a negative credit check or active contract restrictions, may affect the eligibility of the number.

  3. Old Operator Authorization: Once eligibility is confirmed, the new operator contacts the old operator to request the number transfer. The old operator may require customer authorization to proceed.

  4. Transfer Coordination: After obtaining authorization, the old and new operators coordinate the number transfer. This process may take a few working days. During the technical phase of portability, the number may not be available for a short period.

  5. New Service Activation: Once the transfer is completed, the new operator activates the service on the customer's phone number. From this point forward, the customer can use the number with the new operator on the received SIM card.

How Much Does Number Portability Cost?

In Switzerland, number portability is not always available, and when offered, it may not be granted for free. However, many virtual operators online offer number portability for free.

When Will the Number Portability Be Done?

On average, once the new SIM card is received and activated, you may have to wait from 2 working days up to a couple of weeks before the number is transferred from the original operator.

What Happens During Number Portability?

With number portability, the number associated with the old operator is transferred to the new operator with the tariff you have chosen. Once the portability process is completed, a new number portability may be requested unless the subscribed plan has contractual constraints.

Can I Transfer the Phone Number with a Prepaid SIM?

All Swiss operators allow transferring a number from a prepaid to a subscription without charging additional costs. Since this procedure may take up to a couple of weeks, our advice is to use up the phone credit before the number is transferred to the subscription.


Some operators also allow converting the mobile subscription into a prepaid tariff by transferring the phone number for free with a 2-month notice period.


To transfer a phone number from a prepaid SIM to another prepaid rate, it is necessary to send an SMS in advance to number 499 with the word YES. If the cancellation with the old provider is successful, a confirmation SMS will be received.

Instructions for Number Portability with Major Telecom Operators

Below you will find instructions for requesting the transfer of your phone number to the major Swiss operators.

Number portability with Swisscom

To transfer your phone number to Swisscom, you can take advantage of Swisscom's offer for new customers: if you terminate a contract with another provider in advance and subscribe to a blue Mobile S, M, or L subscription, you can receive up to 500 CHF reimbursement for the termination costs incurred by filling out the transfer form and uploading the final invoice from the old provider.

Number portability with Sunrise

Sunrise offers the option to transfer the phone number for free by selecting the option when subscribing to the subscription and providing the following data:

  • Name of the contract holder

  • The first date when the contract can be terminated without penalties or additional costs

  • The desired date for the number transfer


For transferring the number to Sunrise, it takes about 10 working days, and the request can be made between 60 and 120 days before the old contract expires.

Number portability with Salt 

Salt also offers the possibility of transferring the mandate for free management of number portability. During the transfer, Salt will update the new customer by sending SMS and email about the progress of the request.


For transferring the number to Salt Mobile, you will have to wait a maximum of 3 weeks, and the request can be made up to 365 days before the old contract expires.

Number portability with Wingo

Even with Wingo, it is possible to request the number portability up to 6 months in advance of the chosen transfer date to Wingo. The new customer will receive the SIM card at home 10 days before the activation of the phone number, and this process costs 59 CHF.

Number portability with Coop Mobile

Coop Mobile allows you to request number portability by requesting the transfer up to 6 months before the chosen start date of the purchased subscription. The new SIM card will be sent about 10 days before the card activation, and the cost is 49 CHF.

Number portability with M-Budget Mobile

Unfortunately, M-Budget does not provide information on the processing time for number portability. However, it is confirmed that in this case, the transfer can be requested through a power of attorney.

Number portability with yallo

With yallo, the transfer of the phone number is requested during the subscription process, and it usually takes between 4 and 8 working days to confirm the transfer and activation date (which depends on the one indicated at the time of contract signing).


For prepaid SIM cards, the process takes about 10 working days, and the status of the request can be monitored at any time on "my yallo."

Can I transfer my fixed telephone number?

Thanks to a decision from April 2002, telecommunications operators can allow their customers to transfer their old landline number to the new home during a move even outside the originating canton. For this reason, it is no longer 100% certain to recognize the calling number based on the telephone prefix.

To transfer a landline number from one operator to another, you should check the portability conditions before subscribing to the new Fixed line subscription.

Get Informed about Phone Number Portability and Save with

With this guide, you have received the main information to know how to request phone number portability in Switzerland. If you want to learn about other important topics to manage your subscription in Switzerland, you can go to the "Guides" section on Alternatively, select the product from the list below and find the tariff with which you can request number portability.

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Author: Lapo Zarina

First Published: May 2024

Sources: Swiss Federal Communications Commission UFCOM, Wikipedia page on Number Portability, Mentioned operator websites | Own and WIX stock image material

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