All you need to know about Porting

Want to keep your existing number? Depending on which country, that shouldn't be a problem. The exercise of moving your number from one supplier to another is known as porting & here we explain how it works...

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Number porting is the process of taking an existing phone number and transferring it to another provider. There are two methods of number porting you'll want to be aware of. The first is local number porting. The second is full mobile number porting. Local number porting deals with number porting that relates to fixed lines. Full mobile number porting relates to the process of changing your mobile number to a different service provider, upgrading your existing service, or moving the number to a different location entirely.

Number Porting vs Call Forwarding: What's the difference?

Benefits and advantages of number porting

In the past, switching telecom providers meant obtaining a new phone number. This caused companies to stick with vendors longer than they wanted to avoid the hassle of changing phone numbers across the organization. 

Number porting essentially gives your company the freedom to upgrade business communication providers without the hassle of having to inform existing customers and clients about the change because the phone number is still the same. On their end, everything continues to function as normal, while your organization gets the benefit of using a communication provider that support your business. 

Quicker phone number porting

Here is a high-level summary of the port processing steps, as provided by the Number Portability Administration Center (NPAC)

  1. You complete all of the documentation requested by ConXhub, and submit it to our porting team.
  2. ConXhub submits the documentation to our carrier on your behalf.
  3. Our carrier reaches out to your current provider (known as the losing carrier) to notify them of the requested port.
  4. The losing carrier confirms all of the provided information sent over by ConXhub on your behalf.
  5. Once they establish that the Letter of Authorization (LOA), Customer Service Record (CSR), and attached phone bill are all accurate they notify our carrier for confirmation.
  6. Our carrier notifies the NPAC of the requested port.
  7. The NPAC creates a pending port and sends a notification to the losing carrier.
  8. The losing carrier must then communicate with the NPAC that it approves the port.
  9. ConXhub carrier notifies the NPAC to activate the port. Once the pending port is activated in the NPAC, it is broadcasted to the telecommunications industry network within milli-seconds.
  10. Your port is complete!

That’s right: the porting process ultimately runs through nine steps from when you first submit your port request, to when the number has successfully transferred over into our system. This may look straightforward, but each step is a potential bottleneck that can delay the porting process.

The root cause of most porting delays

Most bottlenecks in the porting process are caused in steps four and five. Many losing carriers delay the confirmation process in order to maintain their current customer. It makes sense why these providers would want to hold onto your number – whoever carries the number gets paid for the service.

Thus, if porting documentation isn’t submitted just right, ConXhub porting team can never get past step five in the process. The main factors we’ve found that can go wrong when submitting a port request include:

  1. Incorrect data on the Letter of Authorization or Customer Service Record. The losing carrier will typically scrutinize over your documentation to ensure every last detail is correct. This is mostly for your protection, as it prevents unauthorized porting of your numbers. At the same time, little things such as small typos or outdated business addresses can cause the losing carrier to reject your documents. You will have to fill out and submit new paperwork, causing a major delay as the process starts all over again from the beginning.

  2. Arbitrary carrier rules. Some providers will establish seemingly unnecessary rules that cause huge delays. Sometimes these take place in the form of porting fees (we’ve seen fees as large as £200 – for a single number!), or additional documentation. Other times it will be a ‘required’ period of time to process a port request – as long as 30 days.

  3. ‘Leasing’ of phone numbers. Not all call tracking providers ‘sell’ users their phone numbers. Instead they ‘lease’ the phone numbers to you while you’re using them. We’ve found that some of our customers are unaware they have been using leased numbers via a reseller and will attempt to port these numbers into ConXhub. Once the documentation is submitted it is revealed who truly owns the numbers and that they cannot be moved into ConXhub. It is important for consumers to educate themselves on the ownership of their numbers prior to selecting a supplier. 

Make your port as painless as possible

While all of the above may make the porting process seem like a long, complicated process, the good news is it doesn’t have to be. There are certain precautions every customer should take prior to porting their numbers into ConXhub.

  1.  Review any contracts with your current provider, or contact them directly for assistance. One of the simplest ways to ensure you’re aware of any additional fees or processes is to read your service agreement or reach out to your carrier directly. This way you’ll be able to take care of anything that needs to be done on their end prior to starting the process with CallRail. You’ll save a lot of headache up front, and ensure a fairly swift porting process.
  2. Have your current provider complete the CSR, prior to you completing the LOA. Submit the CSR to your current provider’s support team, or complete the document with them over the phone. This guarantees you’re putting the proper service address on file in both the CSR and LOA.
  3. Get your data right. This is the number one way you can help your ports go as quickly as possible. Double and triple check your CSR, LOA, most recent phone bill and the list of phone numbers before you submit it to the ConXhub Porting Team.
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