Phone number porting is the process of transferring a phone number from one to a different provider.


Most people don’t know they have the right to keep their phone numbers as they switch providers. This applies to a cell phone number, virtual phone number or even a landline. This guide covers the most frequently asked questions about the porting process.

Why port your phone number?

There are many reasons you might want to port your phone number to another service:

  • switch to a more affordable mobile carrier without losing your number
  • port your phone number to a virtual phone service so you can keep it when moving abroad
  • ditch your landline while keeping your phone number

If you’re using your phone for business:

  • switch to a more suitable business phone service while keeping your phone numbers
  • ditch carrying two cell phones and port one of those phone numbers to a virtual phone service
  • port your landline to a virtual phone service so you can text (finally)

Is my phone number portable?

In the majority of cases, you should be able to port your phone number to another service. If the phone number is under your name, you should be able to start the process yourself. If it’s under a company account, ask your company admin for help.

Sometimes, a provider is unable to port a number if they don’t serve the geographic area the number belongs to. They do not have the infrastructure built-out to serve those phone numbers. For example, many providers don’t have coverage in Alaska and wouldn’t be able to port in a local 907 number.

How does phone number porting work?

1 – Let your current provider know that you’ll be porting your number out

2 – Send the following information to your new provider

  • Phone bill or latest invoice. It should include the number you’re porting, your name and billing address.
  • If you have a PIN set on your account, include it.
  • You’ll need to sign a Letter of Authorization granting permission to the new carrier to do the port.

3 – That’s it. Your new carrier will notify you about the port date.

When your number transfers, you cancel your service with your original provider.

How much does phone number porting cost?

Most companies (including OpenPhone) don’t have porting fees. This applies both to porting numbers in and out. Some companies may have porting fees. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mentions that you can ask providers to waive porting fees.

How long does it take to port a phone number?

It depends on the type of port.

  • Simple ports among wireless service providers take 1 business day or less. For example, if you’re porting 1 phone number and don’t need to switch equipment.
  • Ports from wireline (landline) to wireless service takes a bit longer.
  • Porting to a virtual / Internet-based phone service takes 5-7 business days.

The good news is that while the port is taking place, you’re still able to use your phone number.

Will my phone number be active during the port?

Yes, it will. When porting, your number will remain active during the process. You’ll be able to use your phone number with your original provider up until the port date. At that point, the number moves to your new carrier.

Does porting your phone number cancel service?

In most cases, porting your phone number out will cancel your service with your old provider. We recommend confirming that once your number is ported. Don’t cancel your service while the porting process is happening. That might interrupt the port.


How to port your phone number to OpenPhone

OpenPhone is a modern business phone service. It works on top of your existing devices via an app (mobile and web). You can get set up with a new phone number in seconds or port your existing phone number.

To port your existing number to OpenPhone, sign up for your OpenPhone account. Get a temporary phone number and try the service. Then, send us your latest phone bill for the number you want to use and we’ll do the rest.

Author

Customer Service and Operations at OpenPhone. Founder of SOUL House artist showcase in the GTA. Art is life!

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