Number Porting – How to Switch Your Cell Provider While Keeping Your Number

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One of the main factors that stop people from moving from one network provider to another is the fact that they do not want to change their existing phone numbers. For most people like myself, your phone number is much more than a number, it is a means of identity that helps you to communicate with people. Network providers do the most to keep your allegiance to them. They think of strategies with which they can keep you on their network.

Quick Read:

  • Intro to porting to a new cell phone provider
  • The types of numbers you can port
  • The process of porting your number and switching cell providers
  • What happens to my phone during the porting process?
  • What does it cost to port my number?
  • Things to do for a smooth transition

The great news is that you can change your network provider and maintain your unique mobile number. Once upon a time, this process used to be lengthy and exhausting. Today, you can have your service cancelled immediately and opt for a new service provider immediately. The only condition is that your new provider must exist within the same locality (city).

Intro to porting to a new cell phone provider

Just like any formal process, there are a standard set of rules that must be followed when porting from one network to another. These organized set of rules are set to make the process very easy and straightforward for you. The rules include;

  • You need to organize a transfer when if you want to retain your number. Ensure that you do not cancel it; all you need to do is to take the necessary steps.
  • If you are moving from one locality to another then you may not be able to port your number. Before moving, you need to check your new service provider to ensure that their terms are similar or compatible with the old one.
  • Your number is yours and a carrier cannot prevent you from porting. Although your old network provider cannot stop you from porting, your old network provider is under no obligation to accept you. This is hardly ever a problem because network providers look forward to welcoming new customers with open arms.
  • The porting process can only be done by the primary account holder. Accounts with family/share plan need to establish a separate service within the network in order to This is simply done by initiating a port request. Please note that you might not be able to port your number if it is registered in a company’s name.
  • Regarding the issue of debts, you can still port your line even if you owe your current provider. However, if you are under contract then you might need to pay some fees.

The types of numbers you can port

You can port with virtually all kinds of numbers. As long as it is active at the time of the request, you can port with the following;

  • Your cell phone number
  • Your landline number
  • Prepaid number
  • Any number used for your fax machine.

On the other hand, there are certain numbers that you cannot port. They include;

  • Pager number
  • Any number that is affiliated with an existing account. Porting a number only works when you open a new account with a carrier.

The process of porting your number and switching cell providers

The process of porting is simple and straightforward and it involves the following steps;

  • Ensure that your number is active in order to be able to port. When you want to port, do not cancel your service with your current provider. Porting only works if your number has not been deactivated by a carrier.
  • Once the decision has been made, you need to contact your new service provider. This is done in a bid to provide them with your details and information about the account you wish to port to. Also, you will need to provide information concerning your old account as well as your recent phone bills.
  • If you plan to continue using your old device, you might need to provide certain Your phone’s ESN/IMEI number must be provided for you to keep using that device. This number is located on the back of your phone or somewhere under the battery.
  • After this has been done, your new service provider will contact the old one. This is where the porting process earnestly begins and it takes about 2 to 3 business hours.
  • Once your new service has been activated, the old one should cancel out automatically. However, it is best to call the company and ask for the transfer to be finalized. At this point, you will be informed if you have any outstanding payments.

What happens to my phone during the porting process?

This question is very common when it comes to the porting process. You would be able to use your phone for all normal processes and activities during the porting process. However, certain services will be disrupted. Also, there are instances where a phone is locked to its original carrier. When this happens, you will need to unlock it before moving to another service provider.

It might be difficult for you to make an emergency call during the process as emergency services might not be able to locate you via your phone number during the transfer period. This is due to the fact that your details are being deleted from one database and added to another. You might need to provide your exact location during the porting period in case of an emergency.

What does it cost to port my number?

Service rates for porting are unregulated and this means that it is up to network providers to decide. The competition between various service providers has made the process free or at worst close to free.

Things to do for a smooth transition

  • Make sure that you do the necessary research and find out the needed details. This will keep you informed about the terms of the plan that you want to move to.
  • Also, you need to check to make sure that your phone is not locked by a carrier.
  • Before you decide to port, ensure that you have looked up the coverage of the chosen service provider. Ensure that you check for the areas where there is a proper reception for your new service provider.
  • Compatibility matters a lot, therefore, you need to be sure that your mobile phone is compatible with your new network.
  • Do not forget to pay up your outstanding debts because you are liable for any outstanding debts.
  • Lastly, you need to take note of the fact that your old voicemails will not be transferred to your new phone or account.

Now that you know everything you need to know about switching cell phone providers, it’s time to choose the best cell phone plan for you.

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