Did you know that if you switch to a new phone provider, you can still carry over your old number with you? There have actually been laws in place to protect your right to do exactly this since 2004.
Many of us have likely experienced the temptation to at least consider switching over to a new provider for reasons ranging from switching to a remote working model or the need for better support, the thought of getting a new number after everyone has had it for fifteen years is almost unbearable. The ability to port your number to a new provider is the best solution for most people in this situation.
There are plenty of reasons you want to keep the same number, after all, especially if it’s a business number that your customers use to get in touch. The last thing you need is to lose clients because they didn’t get the message about your new digits.
And contrary to popular misconception, porting a phone number to a new provider is actually a pretty easy process, and it’s often an inexpensive one, too. Let’s take a look at how it works.
The Porting Process: How it Works
We’re going to start off with some great news: it’s going to be your new provider who will be doing most of the work here.
In most cases, you simply have to provide them with your phone number and other information they request, which may include who your current carrier is, additional contact information, and more.
Before you start, though, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Don’t terminate your service with your existing (past) phone company until you’ve initiated service with another provider. The FCC warns that this is essential, otherwise there’s a chance that your number could be given away before you sign up for the new contract. This also allows for a seamless transfer, so that this number stays active and in service without any hiccups.
- Make sure that any fees from your old provider are already dealt with. If you have outstanding fees or any issues with your current account, it may cause some difficulties when getting your new account up and running. If there are cancellation fees, sometimes the new provider will cover them. You can find out whether or not this is something you’ll need to deal with by reviewing your current contract.
- If you’re moving to a new geographic area, you may not be able to keep your old number. This is the one exception to the porting regulations, and it may prevent you from keeping that same number if you’re getting a new number in a new zip code.
Port Your Phone Number FAQ
Still have a few questions? We’ve got you covered with our FAQ section.
Why can’t I keep the same number if I move?
If you’re moving across the country or to a different country and setting up a new phone line, you may not be able to keep the same phone number. While this can be frustrating, ultimately it can work in your favor if you’re porting a number for business purposes– someone in Denver will be wary of a “local business” with an area code coming from Manhattan.
Sometimes, though, you may be able to keep the same number– it all depends on your situation and how far you’re moving.
How long will it take to port my phone number?
The FCC does require that simple porting takes place within one business day, so you’ll be up and running pretty quickly. Simple ports are those involving a single phone line.
It’s important to note, however, that this only refers to the time it takes for your old carrier to respond to the port request. It typically takes at least a few more days for the process to be complete and your number to have service with your new carrier.
Want a faster process? Porting a phone number into Tresta only takes 48 hours, which is faster than many other providers can offer.
Will I have to pay more to port my phone number?
This varies between providers. Some companies may charge to port your number, while others won’t. You can always ask if they’ll waive the fee, but be ready for a fight.
Not feeling like a debate and don’t want to pay unnecessary fees? Check out Tresta– we port numbers for free.
Can I port a landline phone number to a wireless provider or vice-versa?
If you have a landline number that you want to convert to a wireless provider, or vice-versa, that’s certainly possible. We actually see this sometimes when our clients are ready to be a little more mobile and take their offices on-the-go with them by adding a business number to their personal phone through our app.
So yes, this is possible, but it might take a little bit longer. Expect up to a few extra days of transfering.
Will I experience any service interruptions during the porting process?
Fortunately, the answer to this is usually no. Tresta, for example, ports phone numbers seamlessly and without any interruption in service. We know how important it is for you to be able to continue service and not miss a single call, and we take this seriously, though again, this does vary between providers.
Porting your phone number to a new provider is shockingly easy, especially since your new provider is going to be the one doing most of the legwork. It’s also relatively fast in the majority of cases, so you won’t have a ton of downtime.
This is great news for people and businesses who are interested in checking out providers that have more to offer, like Tresta’s business phone numbers that can be added to the phones you already have with a quick download of our mobile app. We can make the porting process quick, easy, and painless on your end, and we’ll be here when you’re ready!