If you're looking at changing your phone provider, you'll most likely want to transfer your existing number across to the new provider so that your customers can still reach you via the number they already know. This process is known as "number porting".
Whilst transferring your phone number might like a complicated process, we're here to help every step of the way. In this post, we'll be outlining how it works and what we'll need from you before porting your number to us.
What is porting?
When a number is moved from one provider to another, the Range Holder (the original organisation that owns and has control of the number) will still receive all incoming calls to it, but calls will be sent onto the new provider's network before reaching your phones.
As a customer, you just need to confirm some details and authorise us to undertake the port - the actual process and administration is undertaken entirely by ourselves as your new provider.
Before we can begin porting a number, we'll need to know that it's possible to do so. Communications providers can have porting agreements with each other, which means that they can freely move numbers between themselves. However, not all providers do have agreements in place, and we will always ask you first to confirm the number(s) you want to port across, then we can tell you straight away if we're able to do so.
We have a current list of providers that we can port from on our website.
In the event that we don't have a current agreement with your provider, we can request that one is established with them, but unfortunately this process can take several months, if they are willing to undertake it. In the rare event that we cannot port your number, we can add it to your account for outbound caller ID purposes, so that you can still call customers through our service and present your number to them. We just request a recent bill from your provider as proof of ownership of the number.
The Letter of Authority
If we've confirmed that we can port your number, we will next need to prepare a Letter of Authority (LoA) for you to check, sign and return to us. This gives us your permission to take the number from your current provider. We just ask for the following information from you, after which we will complete the letter on your behalf and email it across to you to verify:
- The name and address of your current provider
- Your account number with your current provider
- The current address that is held on file with your provider
- If the number has been ported away, and if so, the name of the previous provider
- If the number is on a single line or multi-line service - if the latter, are there any associated numbers on the service
If you have multiple numbers on the same account, we will need to know the Main Billing Number (MBN), and which numbers need to be ported, or ceased. When we port multiple numbers from the same account, they all need to be ported or ceased, unless the Main Billing Number is to remain with the current provider.
Additionally, any numbers that have fixed services associated with them such as a security line or alarm system must have an order in place to either transfer or cease the services, otherwise, the port will be rejected by your current provider. Other services such as broadband won't prevent the port from being accepted, but they will be ceased after the number has been transferred, so you will need to ensure you have either an alternative service in place ready, or speak to your current provider to look to transfer the service onto another account or phone number.
Along with the information above, we will ask you to send us a copy of a recent bill from your provider. This helps us to check and verify the information provided.
We will then email you a completed copy of the letter to check and sign. Port attempts are charged at £15+VAT per number, but failed attempts cost £10, therefore it's essential that you thoroughly check the details in the letter are correct before returning a signed copy.
The port attempt
Once we've received the signed letter, we will go ahead and submit the port to your provider. We expect to hear back from the provider with an answer within 2 working days, either with an accept, or a reject.
If the port has been accepted, we will notify you about the accept and provide a completion date (this is usually 7-10 working days from the initial submission of the port). Additionally, we will provision the number(s) in your account ready at that time, in order to give you ample time to configure them before completion and therefore minimise any downtime. We are of course on hand to help you with any configuration if required.
In terms of the final transfer of the number, it will remain in service with your current provider until the day of completion. On that day, you can expect only a few moments of downtime while the number is routed over to our network, and you will find that calls will cease ringing on your old equipment then begin to ring according to the configuration you have set up with us almost immediately.
In the unfortunate event of a port rejection, we will contact you straight away to advise the next steps to take. In most cases a rejection might occur if the incorrect details have been submitted to the provider, so we will check these with you before going ahead with a re-attempt. The losing provider will include information in their response to us that will help to determine the cause of the rejection and therefore what needs to be done to ensure another attempt is accepted.
Once we've confirmed that everything is ready, we will submit a new port attempt to your provider.
Following the completion of a successful port attempt, we will notify you that the number is transferred to us and calls are routing successfully. If there are any outstanding contracts with your current provider, they will get in touch with you regarding cessation of them.