Are you thinking of changing your telco provider, moving to the National Broadband Network (NBN), or upgrading to a fully integrated communications platform, like RingCentral?
When you move telco providers or switch to a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), porting your phone numbers allows your business to transition smoothly so your customers never notice the difference. Find out how to port a phone number, what kind of numbers you can transfer, and how long it takes with our guide.
What does it mean to port a number?
When you port a number, you transfer an existing phone number from one telco provider to another. The process allows you to switch providers while keeping all your same phone numbers.
Whether you want to port mobile numbers, your business landlines, international phone numbers or even freephone numbers and inbound services, number porting allows you to easily transfer an existing phone number from one provider to another in a few steps.
How do you port a number?
So, how does porting a number work? The process is straightforward. In Australia, consumer law means your telco provider cannot refuse your request to transfer a phone number. Here are the steps you need to go through:
Step 1: Customer authorisation and identity check
The first step is for your new telco to get customer authorisation (CA) and undertake an identity check to make sure you are the rights-of-use holder. If you are transferring a mobile phone, the check can be done with a phone call or SMS code.
Step 2: Verification checks
Once the identity check is done, your new communications service provider (CSP) will perform verification checks on the account, including ensuring your CA is not older than 90 days.
Step 3: Number transfer
When your porting request has been authorised, your new telco will forward the port number request to your old carrier. They must accept or reject that request within two business days and issue a port number request validation. Your new carrier will then start what is called the port proceed transaction to transfer your numbers.
What kind of numbers can you port?
There are two types of number porting, for mobile phone and landline numbers.
Porting mobile numbers
Mobile number portability (MNP) allows you to port both calls and MMS to a new telco provider. If you want to transfer your mobile phone to a new carrier you just advise them that you wish to keep your business mobile number when you sign up for a new contract.
Your new carrier will then handle the port number process and inform you of any costs (such as a termination fee) and provide you with any terms and conditions affecting your contract. Note that you cannot use the porting phone number process to try and cancel a telco contract.
What information is needed to port my mobile phone number?
The information needed to port a mobile phone number includes:
- Your current telco provider.
- The number(s) to be transferred. This should still be active with your current service provider. You can transfer a suspended number, but not a cancelled number.
- Your account number(s).
- Your details including your name, business name, and address.
- The customer authorisation to prove that you are allowed to transfer the number.
How do I confirm my identity to port a mobile phone?
Before you can port a mobile phone number to your new telco, you need to confirm your identity. This can be done in three ways:
- In a store – your telco will call the mobile number to be ported while you are in the store.
- By call centre – your telco will call back the number to be ported to check.
- Online – you will be sent a unique verification code via SMS; you will then be asked to confirm the code.
Porting landline phone numbers
Local number portability (LNP) means you can move your landline from one provider to another. If you are transferring just one landline number, it is called category A porting.
This is usually a free service, provided you are at the end of the contract. Multiple porting of landlines, extensions, and local numbers is called a category C port (complex porting) and applies to most business phone ports due to the amount and type of numbers involved.
Can you port a prepaid number?
Yes – porting a prepaid, a freephone (1800) or local rate number (13, 1300), or a number chosen by you is the same as porting a landline number.
How long does it take to port a number?
The standard number porting time frame in Australia is set out in industry codes. Once your identity check is complete, and the port number request validation has been issued, 90% of ports must be finalised within three hours, and 99% of ports within two business days.
Porting mobile phones is usually faster than landline numbers. Your new telco will tell you when the port is complete, or if anything will delay the time taken to port your number.
When do I cancel my existing service during number porting?
You should maintain your existing service until your new telco tells you your port is complete. You cannot port a cancelled number.
Will my existing service work during the number porting process?
Yes, until your port is complete, your service is still handled by your existing provider.
Whether you are using our full suite of office tools or our app, porting numbers to us and making business calls with RingCentral is easy. Find out more about our phone services online, or get in touch if you want to discuss your business needs with one of our expert team members.
Originally published 06 Apr, 2021, updated 29 Apr, 2021