Phone Number Porting – Understand The Porting Process Before Changing Business VoIP Providers

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.

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What the premises guys don’t tell you about is all the extra little hidden costs that come as a result of the limitations of the hardware and software in their systems.

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Cloud (or Hosted) business communication services are today’s mainstream alternative to on-premises phone systems. Here are 10 reasons to move to the Cloud.

1. Increased Agility

Cloud communications enable businesses to act nimbly and rapidly react to ever-changing market conditions. Work anywhere, instant office moves and easy expansions are common reasons to move to the Cloud.

2. Embrace Mobile

From simple mobile integration to powerful smartphone apps, users can embrace mobile and escape the confines of their cubicles! Customers get better service and employees are more productive.

3. Lower Total Cost of Ownership

Pay-as-you-use subscription model with functionality mapped to personas. And never worry about system obsolescence, maintenance, unplanned upgrades or costs to install new servers.

4. Business Continuity Even Through A Disaster

Stay open for business and sleep soundly at night knowing your Cloud communications service is naturally immune to any troubles at your premises – be it fire, flood, network or electrical outage.

5. More Control

Business owners / managers can focus on strategic business projects rather than managing telephony infrastructure. Intuitive user interfaces and analytics keep you in the driving seat.

6. More Functionality, Customized User Experiences

Cloud communication services tend to offer more useful features and easier business application integrations than the average-Joe on-premises telephone system. What’s more, persona-based packaging and pricing means you can tailor the functionality to each user’s needs.

7. Increased Resilience

Get high levels of resilience and security most businesses could not afford if they had to invest in their own system infrastructure.

8. Scale Up, Scale Down

Tailor-made to the size of business whatever the season or business cycle. Scale up and down without the worry of dimensioning your own in-house system to match peak periods.

9. Future Proof – Platform Upgrades made by the Service Provider

Look for BroadSoft-based service providers who have access to a feature-rich platform and roadmap to keep your business ahead of the pack.

10. Focus on Your Business, Not Your Infrastructure

Invest time and money in running your business, not the phone system. Let the Service Provider take care of system dimensioning, maintenance and upgrades. Think of it like a gym membership versus buying and maintaining all your own fitness machines!

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“Video is the new voice” is hardly original, and it’s proven untrue for decades. The hard part about predictions is timing. Of course, there’ll be flying cars and robots that wash our dishes, the question is when. While there’s a lot of interesting new technologies to get excited about, it’s video that’s quietly transforming the way we work and collaborate.

It wasn’t long ago that video communications were limited to science fiction. On Star Trek Captain Kirk brought video communications into our living rooms, and other shows highlighted the concept of portable video on watches and tablets. In “Back to the Future,” when the 1955 Dr. Brown saw a 1985 camcorder, he quipped, “This is truly amazing. A portable television studio. No wonder your president has to be an actor.”

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Take the time to find answers to the 9 key questions outlined below before upgrading your new phone system.

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  • Costs: Check what is included and not included in the minutes bundle. Are there any exit clauses in the service contract? Do you have to rent the phones for longer than the service contract?
  • Flexibility: Can you add or remove users during the service contract? Do you have to pay for devices or for users?
  • Disasters: Can the system divert calls to tablets or mobile phones when the access network is down? Are there restrictions in the features when people are remote?
  • Consiste0ncy: Are all the features available to remote workers or do some get removed? Is the quality the same – for example, some mobile systems only use a technology called VoIP when remote, which can hurt voice quality if the network is congested.
  • Usability: Are the features the same on the phone, PC and mobile devices or are they different? Do you still have to rely on a telephone?
  • Professionalism: Does the system support features such as auto-attendant, music on hold, automatic call distribution, call queuing, so you never miss a call.
  • Productivity: Does the system have features like conferencing, room-based collaboration and instant messaging and presence?
  • Mobility: Does the system support iOS and Android devices? Can it support all the productivity features above when mobile.
  • Maintenance: Does the system have web-based user self-administration and allow you to control powerful features from a single web page? Does the service support diagnostics so the service provider can quickly identify any issues that you may run into?

Be sure to ask about the underlying technologies that the service providers have in place that allows them to innovate rapidly and drive the biggest impact for your business. The fanciest features or the lowest price won’t do you much good if the quality, reliability, and security are not core components of the service provider’s platform upon which your service relies on.

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