Market musings

Technically Speaking: How Do I Port My Phone Number

by Sasha Viasasha
March 31, 2018

There’s no reason to give up your phone number just because you’ve got a new phone system. It makes sense to port your number because that’s how customers contact you and growing businesses can’t afford to lose anyone over a back office provider change. For the supplier, porting a number can be very simple or get complicated fast and there’s little indication of what’s coming at the start of the process. The realities of moving a number between competitors can be frustrating but they will proceed much smoother with planning and patience.

What’s involved in porting a number?

That’s not really a fair question. There are many different answers depending on the context and what you are trying to achieve.

For the vast majority of people, all that is involved is asking the new phone service provider, “Could you port my number?”

That simple request sets off a chain reaction that goes on behind the scenes among a host of telecom players.

In New Zealand, carriers that participate in the Local and Mobile Number Portability (LMNP) environment agree to certain rights and obligations of all the parties involved. The centralized system for handling porting is known as the Industry Portability Management System (IPMS).

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You can download the full white paper on IMPS here

In Australia, the regulatory framework for number portability is a combination of formal government regulation and industry-wide self regulation. It is co-ordinated and governed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Communications Alliance. Read more about the minutiae of the porting agreements here.

Do all numbers port? 

Unfortunately, no. There are several reasons why a port request might fail. An initial port request rejection may still be able to be ported with adjustments.

The majority of carrier rejections can be avoided if you submit the exact information that your current carrier has on file. If you have any question about what’s on file, contact your current carrier ahead of the port request to verify it. The most recent bill from your current carrier will should have all the information you need. 

Here are the most common reasons for port request failures:

1 Wrong information – As mentioned above, the details of the port request don’t match the Customer Service Record (CSR) of the old carrier. That could mean there’s a data mismatch on info like authorized user, service address, postal code, etc. Contacting the carrier and adding authorized users are usually enough to correct any mismatches, then the porting request can be resubmitted.

2 Locked numbers – A port request might have all the right info but the number may be switched off for porting. If there is an unpaid balance or a port away fee, those must be taken care of before requesting the port again. The number could just be inactive from lack of use, in which case the carrier just needs to reactivate it.

Another problem occurs when a business operates many lines. The company needs to let the new provider know what the master billing number is for all the lines before it can be ported. Also, Google Voice is one the providers that keeps numbers locked unless you specifically request it to be unlocked before a port request.

Finally, some providers have purchased the number you used from another provider. If the new carrier see this rejection code, you will need to contact the old provider and get detailed directions on how to port it.

3 Unportables – There are just simply some regions of the world where numbers don’t port from one place to another. In those cases, you may need to forward calls from the old number to the new number. Usually this can be done through an online portal.

How to port your number to Spoke Phone

To port your existing number to Spoke Port a number to Spoke, just send an email to PortMyNumbers@Spokephone.com with the number or numbers you wish to port. That’s all there is to it. Once we find the Spoke account that matches your company name, we’ll take care of the rest.

While the porting process goes on in the background, we forward your current number or numbers to your new Spoke line so your company never misses a call. When you call out, the person on the other end will see your current number on the CallerID so they know it’s you.

After the number is ported, you will pay Spoke directly and you won’t have to pay the old provider for hosting that number anymore. There may be a cost to port some numbers in some countries, including Australia and New Zealand.

Why port your number to Spoke Phone?

Spoke is a professional virtual phone system deployed on employee mobile phones. It’s designed for small and growing businesses to replace or extend their office phone network at substantial cost savings over traditional setups like PBX or hosted VoIP

Your mobile network carrier provides the phone service. Spoke provides professional services like call transfers, free team-to-team calling internationally, hunt groups, auto georouting, call log data, DDIs in 56 countries and an AI answering attendant that speaks multiple languages and adapts to the caller.

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