“Porting” a number is the process of moving an existing phone number from one service provider to another carrier. “How to port a number?” is a very simple question! A major reason that people are hesitant to switch carriers is the misapprehension that they will lose their phone number by doing so. This is actually untrue! It’s very easy and simple to transfer numbers from one carrier to another and take your number with you. 

This is called “porting” and is increasingly popular with people who are fed up with high bills from their traditional cell phone carriers. More and more people are switching to VoIP for their cell phone service. Read on to find out how easy it is to port your number!

What is porting and how does it work? 

“Porting” a number means taking it a number from one number provider and transferring it to another. In that case, the losing carrier would be porting the number out. The gaining carrier would be porting the number in! Makes sense, right?

Keep in mind, this is very different from “call forwarding,” which is a feature on many service providers that lets you send telephone calls from one number to another. 

You have the ability to port your cell phone number, landline number or even a fax number. There’s nothing preventing you from taking your local area code number and moving across the country with it. Good news for cord-cutters: you can even port your landline to your mobile carrier and use it as a cell phone number! Pay-as-you-go phone numbers can be ported but they must be active at the time of the port request. Expired PAYG numbers cannot be ported. 

In the US, a federal regulation even protects your right to keep your number when transferring service. This is called Local Number Portability (LNP) for fixed lines (landlines) or full mobile number portability (FMNP) for mobile phone lines. Numbers with LNP or FMNP allow the number owner to reassign their existing number to another carrier.

How to Switch Carriers: The Rules of Porting

To switch number providers, just follow these five steps: 

  1. Choose a new calling plan with your new carrier. 
  2. Contact the new carrier and request a port-in for your existing phone number. Some carriers may charge you to transfer in your number, and according to the FCC, they are allowed to do so. 
  3. Provide the requested information to your new carrier. They will ask for your name, address and customer account number as they appear on your bill. They may also request your PIN.
  4. Keep your number active with the old carrier until the new carrier confirms the port request has been completed. You won’t be able to port your number if it has been decommissioned.
  5. Cancel service with your old carrier. Pay off any debts as well!

What Information Do I Need to Port my Number?

In order to port your number, you need to prove that you own the number. That means you will most likely have to provide your account number with your current carrier. You’ll also need your full name and address. They may need your service address for a landline as well as your billing address if the two are different. 

Another item typically requested is the PIN. A phone number PIN is a personal identification number that you would set up on your phone provider account online. 

Some carriers like Sprint, for example, require all customers to use a PIN. Others like T-Mobile and Verizon have it as an option. Other carriers may request the last four digits of your SSN (Social Security Number) or the credit card on your billing account in lieu of a PIN.  

Phone Number Porting and Safety

If porting sounds too easy, don’t worry—there are mechanisms in place to prevent illicit, unauthorized ports. 

For starters, only the primary account holder can initiate a phone number port. In the event that the person wanting to port is part of a family plan or shared minutes plan, they must establish a separate service with their carrier first (apart from the shared plan). Then, they are able to proceed with the port request. 

Likewise, for company phone numbers, you cannot transfer your number if the service is registered to your employer. You would, in that case, need to have an authorized representative from the business initiate the port for you.

If you owe payments to your carrier, it is possible to port out your number–but those debts still stand. They will need to be paid in order to terminate service, and you might be subject to a fee in order to end your contract. 

Porting to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol)

We’ve said before that we think Voice over IP is the way of the future for cell phones, and recent trends in porting are proving us correct. 

The average cost of cellular voice service in the US is over $80 per month. Now, that does include data, a service that VoIP providers do not offer, but still, that’s an extremely high cost. Especially when you consider that VoIP carriers like Hushed offer unlimited US/Canada calling and texting for only $4.99/month!  It’s no wonder that many people are choosing to switch to VoIP carriers instead. 

Hushed does this without any fee at all. If you’re interested in porting your number over to Hushed, you certainly can! Contact our Support team at support@hushed.com for details relevant to your specific request. Spoiler alert: it’s a super simple process! We’ve had thousands of happy customers port their numbers over to Hushed and free themselves from exorbitant cell phone bills. 

Should you port your number?

Common reasons for porting include moving to a new location or changing cell phone carriers. Many people port because they are attached to a particular number, either for sentimental or practical reasons and don’t want to lose it when changing carriers. Others port to escape the expense of high-cost traditional carriers, instead choosing to get a lower-priced data plan and rely on a secondary number app like Hushed for phone service. 

Whatever your reason for porting, we hope we’ve shed some light on the subject! It’s not nearly as complicated as it seems, and it’s becoming increasingly common both in the US and all over the world.