Phone Number Porting – Understand The Porting Process Before Changing Business VoIP Providers
Porting is a telecommunications industry term that refers to the process of transferring your business telephone number from your old phone service provider to your new phone service provider.
Number portability offers customers the right to exercise their choice in selecting a service provider and, at the same time, avoid the inconvenience of being allocated a new phone number. This important facility provides the customer with freedom-of-choice and, as a result, generates competition among service providers encouraging lower tariffs, improved services and enhanced Quality of Service (QoS) of the networks.
In this article we discuss the entire porting process and offer useful information to aid in a smooth transition between service providers.
Telecommunications Act of 1996
Until the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 it was not possible to port your businesses phone number to a different carrier.
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 allows any person or business to transfer from a wireless, wired line, or VoIP provider to any other wireless, wireline, or VoIP provider and keep their existing phone numbers.
Continue reading next section: Porting Documentation
Documentation required for the number porting process
When contacting the gaining carrier, it is advisable to have a letter of authorization (LOA) prepared – a legal document where the executing party makes certain statements to a service provider about their authorization to switch (or port) services and telephone numbers from one provider to another.
The LOA may be a paper document with an actual signature or a file generated by a variety of electronic methods. It is not always compulsory to include an LOA when initially submitting a porting request, but it should be provided on demand. The importance of an LOA is to ensure that moving of telephone numbers between carriers is only processed with the authorized permission of the end user.
Other documentary proof that may be required by the gaining carrier includes a completed porting application form, a copy of the last bill paid (if you are a postpaid subscriber), and an invoice that includes the account number and other billing details.
Can I Keep My Existing Phone Numbers?
Yes, in almost all cases.
Once you request service from AVAD, your old company may not refuse to port your number, even if you owe money for an outstanding balance or termination fee.
How Long Does Porting Take?
It can take 30 to 45 days to port your phone numbers. We start this process as soon as you sign your contract for services with AVAD. But this does not mean you have to wait for 30 – 45 days to start service.
We can start your new service immediately using your existing phone numbers.
Customer service records facilitate the work
Upon receipt of the porting request, the gaining carrier informs the losing provider to enable the change. Thus, the number transfer process is initiated, changes are made to the central database, and the required notifications for the gaining provider and telecom operator are issued.
Regardless of the fact that most numbers are portable, and, in most cases, the porting procedure is processed smoothly, there are some common reasons why a porting request may be rejected. The most effective method to prevent the porting request from being rejected is to ensure that the submitted information matches the data on file at the losing carrier.
It is useful to know that Customer Service Records (CSR), which may be obtained in advance from the current service provider, contain important information about the customer, list all the telephone numbers and services belonging to that customer, and include information that may significantly contribute to the success of the porting procedure.
Do I Have To Wait 30-45 Days To Start Service?
No, we can start your phone service immediately and keep your current business phone numbers.
We set up your new phone service with a temporary local phone number in your area code. We then set up Remote Call Forwarding of your existing numbers to the temporary local number we are using on your AVAD phone system. When a caller dials your existing phone numbers, they are directly connected to your new phone system with AVAD.
Do not terminate your service with your existing company before the porting process is complete.
Eligibility criteria for successful porting
The losing carrier may reject the porting request if the customer fails to comply with the following eligibility criteria (dependent on local regulations and service provider rules):
- The porting application is within the Licensed Service Area (LSA);
- The customer has no outstanding bills with the losing provider;
- A period of 90 days must have elapsed since the last porting;
- The prepaid customer must clear all credit services from the losing provider;
- The number to be ported has to be active;
- Advanced call control features are disabled;
- There should be no existing requests for change of number ownership;
- The number should not be disabled or deactivated at the time of porting;
- There is no number porting prohibition or ban by any Court of Law.
Cancellation of porting request
The number porting process generally takes 7-14 business days, but in rare cases may take up to 30 days, depending on the current service provider. With regards to port activation, the process takes about 2 hours to complete. There are no additional arrangements to be made with respect to the previous service, since that service will be automatically terminated once the porting process is successfully completed and the ported numbers appear on the records of the new service provider.
If the customer has a change of mind, then the porting request may be cancelled, generally within a maximum period of 24 hours after the initiation of such a porting request. Once the porting date has been scheduled and the automated porting process started, it is no longer possible to process a cancellation.
This Sounds Complicated, What Do I Have To Do?
Not Much, one of the first pieces of information we ask you for is a copy of your most recent phone bill. We use the information on your phone bill to figure out all of the phone numbers you have and to make sure they are “Ported” to AVAD’s system.
We take this information and convert it to the proper forms and send a copy to you for signature. This is all you will need to do.
Sometime during the next 30-45 days your numbers will port to AVAD and you can close your account with the old phone service provider.