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FAQ: What is Porting?

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There are a lot of terms in the phone world that get tossed about on various phone sites and it’s generally assumed that people understand and already know what they mean. However, unless you’re super tech-savvy, you might find yourself lost when people talk about them. One of the things that I get asked about the most is porting, and it’s probably one of the terms that all prepaid users ought to be familiar with.

What is porting?

Porting is, simply, the process of moving your number from one carrier to another. If you’ve had the same phone number for a long time, but haven’t stayed with the same company then you have had your number ported. Anytime you want to switch companies and don’t want a new number, you have to port the number over.

When would I need to port?

If you want to keep the same number when moving to a new carrier, then you’ll need to port your number. However, if you want a new number or you’re signing up for a new phone and phone line, then you will not need to port as the company will assign you a number.

How do you port?

Porting is not something you, as a consumer, do on your own. What happens is that whenever you decide to switch to a new company, you have to provide them with information such as your account number and billing information for your old carrier and the new company will put in what’s called a “porting request” to have the number transferred. Depending on the company this can take a few minutes to a few days.

In order to not lose your number, you must not deactivate your account prior to putting in the request–porting a number out of an old carrier to a new carrier will automatically deactivate the account with the old carrier. All you need to do is provide the information and let the companies work it out.