How To Keep Your Existing Phone Number When Changing Phone Companies

How To Keep Your Existing Phone Number When Changing Phone Companies

Literally everyone asks, when they move from one phone company to the next :  How To Keep Your Existing Phone Number When Changing Phone Companies.

The process is called ‘Porting’, short for transporting. Best of all, it is extremely easy to do. As you work through the online checkout process for the phone company you’re signing up to, you will be asked if you want to change your phone number or whether you would like a new one.

Behind the scenes is a huge database which contains all the phone numbers in Australia. From that database, the phone companies ‘rent’ phone numbers. Literally, they pay to have access to a phone number for a period. If you want a new phone number, you get one of the ones that the phone company you’re signing up to has ‘rented.’

If you want to keep the phone number you already have, you simply state that in the checkout process. You’ll have to enter your exiting phone number in to a field in the checkout. For safety, only the person who is using the number ( the Account Holder ) can switch it across.

Just to be absolutely sure, the best advice is not to cancel your old contract before you move your number across. When you cancel your account, the phone number goes in to a holding position for 6 months, at the end of which, it’s thrown back in to the database for anyone to use. If you keep your existing account open at your current phone company, it will remain yours so you can transfer or port it across to your new provider. Then you can cancel your old contract.

You will, of course, have to pay any debts you have to your old phone company. This may involve Early Termination Fees if you have exited your contract before it finished by porting. However, just because you owe them money doesn’t mean they won’t port your number. By law, your old phone company has to let you move your number across when you want to.

Then, as one of the tasks they undertake to connect you to their network ( this is called provisioning your service ) they contact this database and put a request in to move the number from allocation with your previous phone company to them. For you, it’s seamless, free and it requires no action whatsoever. All the hard work is done by the phone company you’re signing up to.

Most of the time the number will come across from your old phone company to your new company in 24 hours. It can take longer but not usually more than 2 or 3 days. While it’s being ported, you won’t be able to use your new phone and you won’t get calls to the number you’re moving. You can of course, still use your old service until the number moves across.


Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.