Number Porting 101

Number porting has a reputation for being a long, tedious process that can be tricky at best. However, it can all depend on how your carrier regulates the process. We discuss what number porting is, the processes involved and some of the challenges you may experience while carrying out the porting.

What is Number Porting?

Simply put, number porting refers to the process of moving your phone number(s) from one service provider to another. By doing this, users are able to keep their phone number when changing service providers.

This is a semi-permanent process and usually involves the closing of an old account. However, it is not the same as ‘call forwarding’ which the number remains assigned to that account, and calls are simply directed to another recipient.

The Process

The process begins with a customer wanting to change their network or service provider. After informing the new network provider about their request to change service providers the customer will need to submit paperwork to the new carrier to begin the number porting process.

The new carrier will need two documents: 1. The LOA (Letter of Authorisation) and 2. A copy of their previous carrier’s most recent phone bill.

Tip: The address on the LOA has to match the address on file with the previous carrier exactly or the port can be rejected.

When the new carrier receives that paperwork, they submit the port for you. Meaning this entire process is a carrier-to-carrier process. Once the new carrier submits an authorisation request to the old carrier, they can approve the request or they can reject the request.

This is where porting could become complicated.

Challenges

As mentioned earlier not every port will go smoothly. Therefore, it is important to understand some of the challenges you might face during the number porting process.

The previous service provider can also be considered as the “losing carrier”. Since the “losing carrier” is losing business by allowing the port they will try to make you jump through as many hoops as possible to delay transferring your numbers over to another service provider

There are a few reasons the losing carrier will deny the port request:

1. Mismatched Account Information:

The most common reason is mismatched account information. This may be concerning address mismatch. With incorrect information, even with something as small as a misspelling of a street in an address may cause the losing carrier to deny the port request immediately.

2. Still Being in Contract with the Previous Carrier:

You cannot port while in contract with the losing carrier. More often than not, the customer would have to stay with the old carrier until their contract ends. However, note that some carriers put in the fine print of their contract that the customer needs to notify the carrier to cancel the contract when it ends otherwise the contract will be automatically renewed.

3. Disconnection from the Existing Service Provider:

Do not under any circumstance contact your old carrier and cancel your phone numbers. By doing so, you will effectively lose ownership of your phone number. Meaning when you go to submit your port order there will be no number to port since you do not have possession of your number anymore.

Final Takeaway:

After covering the basics of the number porting process, you now hopefully have the right knowledge to guide you through your future ports. Keep in mind to always make sure you do the following:

  • Complete your LOA correctly
  • Make sure the port request contains the correct information
  • Make sure to involve your new service provider as soon as possible and let their team handle the process.
  • Acknowledge the risk that the porting process can take longer than expected.

Most importantly, it’s always best to get experts involved when number porting. At uThetha Telecoms, we have the right expertise and experience required to ensure that your number porting experience goes as smoothly as possible. Get in touch with us today for a FREE consultation.