What exactly is telephone number portability?

Telephone Number PortabilitySimply put, it is the process of transferring to a new telephone service provider but keeping your old telephone number. There are two types of telephone number portability: (1) local number portability or transferring service providers for your fixed line or landline; and (2) mobile number portability or transferring mobile service providers – and in both cases keeping the old telephone number even as you switch providers.

When porting a phone number, that phone number is either: (1) reassigned to the new service provider, also referred to as Service Provider Portability, (2) moved to another location, also called Geographical Portability, or (3) changed as far as in the type of service such as from mobile to VoIP, or Service Portability – although the definition of the last two are not always consistent and can vary between countries or even service providers.

In the UK, telephone number portability is regulated and the Office of Communications has the authority in directing the portability of fixed lines, mobile lines and broadband service providers. The process is governed and regulated by the UK Porting Authorisation Code and the Migration Authorisation Code and the EU Directive 2002/22/EU.

How is telephone number portability useful?

Porting your existing fixed line or mobile number will allow you to get better options in terms of services or plans offered by other service providers, without the hassle of changing your phone number. By keeping your existing telephone number, you will not have to send all your contacts your new phone number. If you have had that telephone number for a long time, and especially if you are using it for business purposes, porting your number means you will not risk losing calls or messages from contacts that you made years ago who might be trying to get in touch with you now. In fact, your friends, family and business contacts will not even know that you changed service providers.

For businesses looking to move but keep their landline number, the savings can be huge to not have to change phone numbers on stationery, online citations or a company website.

We can help you to keep your existing number and possibly even add more features to your calling service. Check out our number porting page to get more information or if you are worried about processing your telephone number portability – call us on 01753 624 121 and ask!