Your business phone number is one of the easiest ways your workers, partners, and customers can contact and reach you. Once you have already established your business identity using your current phone number, it can be frustrating on your part to change to a new number when you plan to transition to a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system or to switch to a different phone carrier to cut telephone costs.
Fortunately, there is an easier and more convenient way for you to port or transfer your existing telephone number or numbers from your old service provider to another carrier of your choice. How can you do this? By taking advantage of number porting.
What is Number Porting?
Number porting allows you to transfer an existing phone number from your current service provider to a new service provider. In this way, you can maintain your current phone number or numbers while taking full advantage of what your new service provider has to offer. Through number porting, you can save time and avoid the hassle of giving your employees, partners, and customers your new contact information. In this way, you can reduce the chances of your customers and associates not being able to contact you.
Once you've decided to port your current business phone number, follow these simple steps to help you have a hassle-free and smooth transition.
1. Ensure that your phone number is portable.
The first step that you need to do is to check if your phone number is eligible for porting. Typically, service providers have a tool that enables you to test your number for portability. Aside from asking your current service provider if your business phone number is portable, make sure to check your contract with them to ensure that you are not obligated to remain with the company for more service time. In this way, you can also avoid paying a penalty for the early termination of your contract.
2. Keep your current number active until the switch.
Once you’ve checked if your business phone number is portable, do not cancel your existing plan with your current provider before your request to port the number comes through and your service with another carrier has begun. Doing this will enable you not to lose your phone number before you make the switch. But for other special features like call hunting, you can cancel this to avoid hassle once you started a new service with your preferred carrier.
3. Get a copy of your recent phone bill.
Your phone bill contains all the information needed to process your request to port your current phone number. These include the services purchased, the main account details, the numbers associated with the account, the service address, and the billing telephone number (BTN). Identifying the BTN is also crucial because it serves as your account identifier, which is used as a reference point to manage all the services. Additionally, the BTN is used by your provider for billing purposes as well.
4. Contact your new service provider.
After you have secured a copy of your recent phone bill from your current service provider, you can contact your new carrier and tell them about your intention to port your existing number to them. Make sure to fill out the Number Transfer Request form, which enables your new service provider to request your number from your old service provider.
5. Send a Letter of Authorization.
To start the number porting process, you will have to send a Letter of Authorization (LOA) that contains relevant information such as the BTn, address, and other important details to your new carrier. Once your new provider receives the copy of your signed LOA, your new carrier will initiate and ensure the completion of the porting process. This may take anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on the carrier and whether the service you are porting is a landline, wireless, or a VoIP phone.
6. Expect a response from your new carrier.
Once you have submitted your LOA, you must wait for the response from your new service provider. Your request to have your number ported may have three outcomes: firm order commitment (FOC), jeopardy, or canceled. A jeopardy notification means that your port request was rejected by your old provider due to incomplete or incorrect information while receiving a cancellation confirmation indicates that your new carrier was not able to port your existing number or numbers for that specific rate center or particular location. On the other hand, getting the FOC date indicates that your old provider has agreed to release the numbers to your new carrier and that the latter agreed to pick-up the number.
7. Wait for the number porting process to complete.
The process of porting may differ depending on what type of number you are planning on transferring to another carrier. Unlike porting a mobile number, which can be done instantly, number porting for a business phone may require some time. If you are also porting more than one number, it may take 24 hours or two months to complete the porting process. To know if the number porting process has been completed, check the porting status online via the admin control panel of your new phone system. Once the numbers have been ported, make sure to perform a few test calls (both inbound and outbound) to test the connectivity and call quality.
Service providers have different rules or protocols when it comes to number porting. But as a general rule, you can easily and seamlessly transfer your business phone number or numbers from your old carrier to a new service provider by following the aforementioned steps.