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How to Port a Number to a New Business Phone System

desktop telephone on wooden table

When you move your existing phone number from one service provider to another, the process is known as porting. You may not be happy with your current telephone service and may be wondering how to port a number.

Oh! No, you won’t lose your number in the process, as many have come to believe. Phone number porting is simple to do when you do it right (that’s why this guide exists!).

When you port your business number, you can avoid high phone bills from traditional carriers. Let’s see what else there is to know to help you ensure your number porting is successful.

What is Porting and How Does It Work?

Porting or number porting is the process of migrating an existing phone number from one communications system or provider to another.

The system will sound familiar if you know anything about mobile numbers and mobile network carriers. Porting is precisely what happens when you upgrade your mobile phone and keep your number.

Or, have you signed a contract with another network and couldn’t imagine the hassle of informing your contacts of your new number? Porting is all you need to do to get your telephone number running on the backbone of a new provider.

So, how do you port a number? Porting works by getting one communications provider to transfer your telephone number to an alternative carrier or provider.

Why Do You Need to Port a Number?

Number porting will enable your business to retain existing phone numbers while switching systems, providers, or expanding offices. If you’re asking, “what do I need to port my number?”, Let’s look at these in detail.

Switching Providers

There are a good number of reasons why you may decide it’s best to choose a different communications provider than your current one.

The new provider may offer cheaper tariffs and plans. In other words, the current provider isn’t offering rates you might consider to be fair relative to other providers.

Also, your current provider may be offering solutions that are less-than-ideal for your business. Thus, it’s a no-brainer to move to a provider that offers the best solution for your business.

Businesses should always consider switching to providers or phone systems that offer better features. This is usually a VOIP or hosted solution that supports your business needs.


Despite the broader adoption of remote work practices since COVID-19 came on the scene, many businesses use office premises. Relocation may not affect remote operations, but the possibility that physical companies will move for any reason always exists.

You can easily port your business or VoIP phone number to retain it under a specific area code when you’re relocating. This will ensure you don’t have to adopt a new one, forcing you to start business communications afresh.

When your number retains its previous area code, it communicates the impression of locality even after you’ve moved from a particular location.

It’s the same with opening additional office locations (maybe for an additional team. Using a fixed number for the entire company and its different offices helps maintain your brand presence, status, and business ranking.

Pre-Porting Preparation

Before you port your number, there are a few things to ensure that the process goes without problems.

It’s advisable not to cancel your service with your old provider before trying to port. Doing so makes it impossible to port the number since it’s no longer attached to a provider. You can cancel the old plan when you’re done porting. This will lower the risk of losing your number.

Then, you’ll need to confirm that your number is portable by asking your current provider. Service providers can help to know if you can port your number. Once you determine that it’s eligible for porting, you can proceed with the other steps.

Another thing to note is that your physical device or phone system should be compatible with the new carrier and is unlocked. If it isn’t, you may need to purchase a new device, and new providers usually have special offers for these situations. Cloud-based phone systems are excellent options after number porting.

AS a final check, have all your account information available to make the porting process quick and easy. Your account number, PIN, and service address are essential details.

You’ll also provide your billing address, number(s), and extension(s) you wish to port, as well as a recent phone bill.

How to Port a Number to a New Phone System

This is the process of ensuring successful completion of porting your business number.

1. Get in touch with your new provider (using a recent phone bill)

You need to inform the service provider you’ve chosen that you want to port your number. Before that, ensure you have a copy of your recent phone bill. This document contains the necessary information to process your request to port your current business number.

2. Complete a Number Request Form

A Number Request Form consents your new provider to request your number from the old one. Number porting means the original provider transfers responsibility for the phone number.

A porting agreement and number portability transit path need to be available between the two communication providers for a successful number transfer.

On the forms, you’ll need to provide your customer and account details, installation address, and your current telephone service details. You’ll also include your primary billing number, associated numbers, porting details, and charges.

Once you’re done filling, you’ll send the Number Request Form with a copy of your recent bill as proof that you won the number.

3. Send your new provider a Letter of Authorization

A Letter of Authorization (LOA) is a letter that allows your new provider to port your number and collect the information they require to make it possible to port your number.

The LOA must contain all the relevant information, and once your new supplier receives this, they’ll review your request and either begin porting your number or reject doing so.

Sometimes, it’s not possible to port a phone number. This can happen when your provided information is incorrect; it should be the same as what’s on the phone bill. Your current carrier can help you verify the information or you simply ask for a Customer Service Report.

4. Be patient!

Once the appropriate documentation is in place and you’ve taken the steps above, you’ll need to wait for a while. Porting can take time and a lot depends on the type of number you’re transferring.

Business or VoIP numbers take some time to port successfully, especially if there are multiple numbers and extensions. The typical timeline is anywhere between several hours and a few months. Your new provider will let you know when porting is complete, or you can check the porting status online.

Post-Port Configuration and Testing

A porting request that will go on will have a firm order commitment or FOC date. After successful porting, the post-port testing can commence.

The main difference is the hidden routing, the port itself should be transparent to the end-user. Routing will now happen over your new carrier’s network. And that’s where your testing begins.

Thorough testing ensures that you don’t experience undesirable technical issues and non-provisioned issues. Here are a few items you need to test thoroughly:

  • Outbound and inbound calls
  • Sending and receiving SMS or text messaging (if the number is SMS-capable)
  • Sending and receiving faxes (if the number is fax-capable)
  • CNAM/caller ID, E911, and 411 directory assistance

Once these work, the telephone number port is successful.


Communication companies want customers to port phone numbers to their service. However, they have different rules or protocols regarding number porting. However, these steps will ensure that you can port your business phone number from your old service provider to a new one without hassles.You can see the process of how to port a number to a new business phone system is much easier than you think it is.

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