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What Happens While Your Number is Being Ported?


What is the first concern you have when switching phone service providers? It probably won’t take you long to answer. You’re probably going to be worried about what is going on with your long-held business phone number while your new provider is porting it into the service. There is actually nothing to worry about, and here’s what you need to know about the process.


Your Number is Still Yours

One of the more common misconceptions about porting a phone number is that the new provider takes ownership of the number. You absolutely retain ownership of your number, and the FCC guarantees that your provider will allow you to transfer your number out if you decide to switch again to another service provider.

Your number is your number. The thing that is being transferred during a port is merely the phone service from one carrier to another; ownership is not being transferred.


Here’s How It Works

Let’s say you’ve been a Verizon subscriber for a long time, and you have a current, active phone number which you purchased from them or acquired it for free.

Then, let’s say that you have fallen out of love with Verizon and have decided to switch to Talkroute, meaning that you’ll need to port that number to Talkroute (the fact that Talkroute is a virtual provider doesn’t make a difference for porting).

What happens when you port is that the current carrier who is keeping that number active (Verizon) approves your number to be released, or “unlocks” it so that it can be transferred away, and the new carrier (Talkroute) takes the phone number and activates it again as the new carrier.


Will You Miss Any Calls?

Despite popular belief, no, you will never miss any calls because your number will never be out of service at any point, so there is no downtime. The reason for this is that, during the porting process, your current carrier keeps the number active during the transfer all the way up until the moment that it transfers to your new carrier.

At that moment, it seamlessly becomes active with the new carrier. That’s why it’s also important to not cancel service with the previous provider until the port is complete.

Ports generally take 1-2 weeks to complete. And if you ever have any questions during the porting process, you can contact your new provider, as they handle number ports into their service, not the old provider.

Hopefully, this sets your mind at ease when you port your existing phone number into a new phone service, and if you would like to learn more about ports, you can find a number of informative articles in our blog here:

Phone Number Porting




Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.

Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.

StephanieWhat Happens While Your Number is Being Ported?