Mobile customers will now be able to switch their network provider via text, under new rules that come into force today (Monday).

Ofcom says the new rules will allow customers to switch more easily and quickly, being able to take their phone number with them to a new provider in 24 hours or less.

Previously, users would have had to phone their network provider and request a porting authorisation code (PAC) in order to keep their number after switching, a process which can sometimes take a few days to complete.

Ofcom says having to phone the network providers was one of the biggest reasons people don't switch, with them often having to deal with unwanted attempts by the network to get them to stay, usually in the form of cheaper deals.

The regulator warned that network providers that fail to enable their customers to leave within the specified timeframe will face investigations and fines.

To keep their phone number, customers should text "PAC" to 65075. They will receive a response within one minute including the PAC and details of any early termination charges.