VoIP Number Porting: What It Is & How It Works
By Matej Mesar
| 18. April 2024 |
VoiP, Features
By M. MesarMatej Mesar
| 18 Apr 2024 |
VoiP, Features
    By M. MesarMatej Mesar
    | 18 Apr 2024
    VoiP, Features

    VoIP Number Porting Master Guide:
    What Is It & How Does It Work?

    In 2024, VoIP is the technology to use for any call center worth its salt. It gives you access to incredibly cheap call rates, offers numerous advanced automation features and integrations, and lets you connect with millions of prospects worldwide.

    If you’re not using it yet, VoIP number porting is the best way to get started (fairly) quickly and easily without damaging your relationship with existing customers. Continue reading to find out how you can enjoy all of its benefits.

    Key takeaways:

    • VoIP number porting lets you transfer your phone number into a VoIP format, maintain your identity, call for cheaper, and access advanced features.
    • How long it takes to port your VoIP number depends on multiple factors, including number type, provider processes, and your own information gathering.
    • To port your VoIP number, you must gather all your account information, submit a formal request, complete a letter of authorization, and cooperate with providers.

    What Is Number Porting?

    Number porting is the process of transferring a phone number from one service provider to another. In the case of VoIP number porting, that can mean switching between VoIP providers or integrating an existing number into a Voice over Internet Protocol solution.

    Why Is VoIP Number Porting Important?

    Generally speaking, individuals and businesses alike often port their numbers to maintain recognition with their existing customers and boost their pick-up rates, as people are less likely to answer calls from numbers they don’t know.

    This is particularly true for VoIP numbers, as they’re a technology mainly used by outbound call centers focused on customer outreach regarding appointment scheduling, upselling, and cross-selling. As such, they can actually help boost revenue generation.

    How Long Does VoIP Number Porting Take?

    There are multiple factors that influence how long porting a telephone number to VoIP takes, including geographic location, VoIP provider porting processes, local and international regulations, and more. 

    Thus, accurately answering the question “How long does number porting take?” can be tricky. Nevertheless, you can make an educated guess based on the type of number you want to port.  

    For example, CloudTalk offers mobile, local, toll-free, and international VoIPnumbers in 160+ countries. Below, you’ll find a table covering the average port times, or you can find the specifics in our article on Phone Number Requirements and Functionality.

    Avg. Port Time

    Notes

    Mobile Number

    1 to 3 business days.

    Streamlined via a standardized process.

    Local Number

    2 to 5 business days.

    Can be significantly slower due to local requirements.

    Toll-Free Number

    5 to 10 business days.

    Slowed down by the national registry process.

    International Number

    5 to 10 business days.

    Depends on international regulations and carrier agreements.

    Why Should You Port Your VoIP Number?

    Unlike standard number porting, where number recognition and business continuity are the main draws, using VoIP with number portability offers several further advantages. These include:

    • Cost-Saving Opportunities:
      VoIP requires virtually no infrastructure (pun intended) compared to traditional solutions and offers exponentially lower call and SMS rates. Porting a landline number to VoIP can save between 40% and 90% on costs.
    • International Reach:
      VoIP allows you to call not only cheaper but also farther. By choosing the right provider, you can get access to a variety of number types for countries all across the world while still calling for 45% cheaper.
    • Access to Additional Features:
      VoIP lets you amplify your calling operations, build better inbound customer experiences, automate workflows, etc. To learn more, check out our list of 75+ AI-powered features and 35+ integrations for your favorite tools.
    • Comprehensive Analytics:
      Optimize your processes and maximize positive results by tracking metrics, KPIs, and OKRs in real time for individual employees, teams, departments, or the entire call center. With VoIP, it’s that easy.
    • Advanced Security:
      VoIP protects your company’s and customers’ sensitive information with comprehensive end-to-end encryption. Thus, you can easily comply with industry-mandated regulations, including GDPR, MAN, and more.

    How To Prepare for VoIP Number Porting?

    Are you ready to start porting your telephone number to VoIP? Then think again. You first need to take several steps before you put in your port out request. Here’s everything you should do.

    Check Eligibility for Number Porting

    Some providers don’t allow number porting at all, while in certain cases, you may be limited by your contractual obligations. So, the first thing you should always do is ensure you can port your number.

    Check-in with your current provider or visit their online portal to find out if you’re eligible for number porting. Then, do the same with your new desired provider and review their regional restrictions

    Assess Your Business Needs

    If you get the go-ahead from your current provider, you can start looking at other options on the market. However, to make the selection process easier, it’s best to consider your business wants and needs first.

    Think about the VoIP features you’d like to implement. Then, consider your current monthly call volume and whether it’s likely to increase or decrease. Finally, look at their offer of numbers if you want to add some later.

    Choose the Right VoIP Provider

    You can make a short list of prospective providers and start narrowing down your selection. If multiple match your requirements, you can look at the “nice-to-haves” to help you decide.

    We recommend examining the overall pricing, customer support quality, integration capabilities, and network reliability/uptime. If in doubt, look over the company’s review portals (G2, Capterra) and consider other customers’ experiences.

    Understand Potential Costs

    Of course, the price of your new subscription isn’t the only thing you need to account for. The port for VoIP can sometimes carry additional fees, which you need to think about before you commit to the switch.

    Some things to watch for include the new provider’s porting fees, the previous provider’s cancellation penalties, and any additional hardware/set-up costs the latest software may require.

    Review Technical Requirements

    Speaking of technical requirements, it’s always good to make sure you can run and support your new VoIP number. That includes looking at your current devices and overall infrastructure.

    Look at your bandwidth and network capacity, phone/laptop and microphone/headset VoIP compatibility, and any upgrades you may need to make the most of your new software.

    How to Port Your VoIP Number?

    Did all that? Great! Now, you can port a VoIP number to a cell phone or vice versa. Below, you’ll find general information about what to expect.

    #1: Gather the Required Information

    First, you must gather all the required information to submit a formal request and initiate the VoIP number porting process. Double-check this between your previous provider and current company to ensure it’s correct. Info to collect:

    • Current account details
    • Service address
    • Authorized name on the account
    • A recent bill of verification

    #2: Submit a Porting Request

    Next, reach out to your selected VoIP provider and send an email detailing your request, including all the information detailed in the previous step. Once they acknowledge and accept your request, you’ll have to:

    • Fill out a Letter of Authorization (LOA).
    • Provide any additional information they request.

    #3: Notify Your Current Provider

    Once the porting process has been successfully initiated, contacting your current provider is best to let them know what’s happening. This is important for two reasons:

    • Submitting a port-out request streamlines the process.
    • Ensuring your account stays open until the port prevents losing your number.

    #4:  Configure Your VoIP Account

    Before your number is ported, your new VoIP provider will create an account for you the number will be associated with. At this point, logging in and setting everything up is good, so you don’t have to do it later. Make sure to:

    • Set up user profiles and permissions.
    • Customize call routing, forwarding rules, and voicemail settings.
    • Integrate with business tools and CRM.

    #5: Test the VoIP Setup

    Once you’re logged in, it’s also a good idea to double-check everything and ensure your service quality matches what was promised in case you have to make any complaints or run troubleshooting. Make sure to:

    • Perform internal and external call tests.
    • Check for any call quality issues.
    • Ensure all configured features are working as expected.

    #6: Go Live & Monitor

    If everything went to plan, you should now have your old number officially ported out from the previous provider and associated with your new VoIP account. At this point, you should:

    • Officially switch to VoIP service.
    • Monitor call quality and system performance closely for the first few weeks.
    • Be prepared to adjust settings and configurations as needed.

    Common VoIP Number Porting Issues & Solutions

    1. Incomplete or Inaccurate Documentation:
      Missing or incorrect information on the porting request form can lead to delays and complications in the porting process.

      Solution: Double-check all documentation before submitting to ensure all details are accurate and complete. Verify that the information matches the records of your current provider to expedite the process.
    2. Delays in Processing Due to Administrative Reasons:
      Administrative delays within either the current or new provider’s organization can slow down the porting process.

      Solution: Communicate openly with both providers and follow up regularly to ensure that the porting request is progressing smoothly.

      Designate a point of contact within your organization to coordinate with the providers and address any administrative issues promptly.
    3. Technical Issues with Network Configuration:
      Incompatibility between your existing network infrastructure and the VoIP provider’s system can result in technical difficulties during porting.

      Solution: Conduct thorough testing of your network setup and address any compatibility issues before initiating the porting process.

      Work closely with your VoIP provider’s technical support team to resolve configuration challenges and ensure seamless integration with your network environment.
    4. Regulatory Constraints in Certain Regions:
      Regulatory requirements and restrictions imposed by local authorities or telecommunications agencies may complicate the porting process, especially in international scenarios.

      Solution: Stay informed about the regulatory landscape in your region and consult with legal experts or regulatory specialists to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. 

      Work with your VoIP provider to navigate regulatory hurdles and obtain necessary approvals or permits for cross-border porting.

    How to Prepare for Number Porting

    Overall, the number porting process can be quite simple on your side, but you can do a few things to ensure it goes as smoothly and quickly as possible. This includes:

    • Ensure Your Number Is Portable:
      Before initiating a porting request with CloudTalk, we recommend contacting your current service provider (SP) to let them know you will be porting the number. 

      This helps ensure the fastest and smoothest port possible, as your SP will be able to provide you with all the necessary details regarding your number.
    • Identify The Carrier Or Range Holder:
      Often, your VoIP service provider and carrier are two different entities, and you may need to make a request to the latter to complete your porting request. Ask your SP about their process to make sure you know how to proceed.
    • Double-check Your Service Address:
      This is the address that the current carrier has on record connected to your number. It may differ from your company’s billing address with the commercial SP.
    • Identify The Authorized User:
      Most providers require the LOA to be signed by a specific user connected to the account where the number is hosted, such as the main account holder or administrator.
    • Find Out Your Account Number:
      Your provider may have a unique account number for you, which should be listed on the LOA.
    • Track Down Your PIN Or Migration Code:
      Some providers require a specific verification code or PIN to port numbers. For example:

      • USA wireless numbers usually have a 4-digit PIN.
      • UK mobile numbers require a PAC code.
      • French mobile numbers require an RIO code.
      • Italian numbers each have an individual migration code.
      • Czech numbers have an OKU code.

    How to Choose the Right Provider for VoIP Number Porting?

    There are several considerations you should take into account when looking for your next VoIP provider. These include:

    1. Call Center Type:
      The type of call center software you choose can vary greatly. In addition to the features and integrations included, the solution type also influences deployment time and pricing

      For example, you can get cloud-based software like CloudTalk up and running for just $25 per user/month in a day.
    2. Use Case:
      Different providers specialize in solutions based on business size or specific use cases. For example, a solution focused on SMB customer support will likely be cheaper but have fewer features and international numbers.

      On the other hand, a provider primarily selling to outbound, enterprise-size call centers will be much more expensive but offer numerous features, integrations, international numbers, and high call quality.
    3. Users and Features:
      How many agents you onboard naturally influences the price of your solution. However, many providers have a minimum/maximum number of users on their pricing plans, which can cause issues when selecting the correct plan.

      For example, if you have only a few agents but need high-tier features, you may need to buy add-ons or more licenses than you need. Similarly, if you have a lot of agents but low feature requirements, you still might get stuck with a more expensive plan.
    4. Number Selection:
      The amount, type, and geographical location of numbers a VoIP provider can offer greatly depends on their connections within the industry, including local providers, regulators, etc.

      As such, it’s best practice to not only look at the numbers you want to port right away but also think into the future and consider your expansion plans (international numbers) or possible initiatives (toll-free numbers).

    Find the Perfect VoIP Package for Your Business in 2024 in Just a Few Simple Steps!

    How to Port Your Number to CloudTalk

    Ready to make the jump to CloudTalk? Here’s everything you need to know and do to make the transition as smooth as possible.

    YouTube video
    • Make Sure You Have Everything You Need:
      You need to fulfill several requirements to be eligible for porting your number to CloudTalk. This includes:

    • Ensure Your Number Can Be Ported:
      There are two situations when it might be impossible to port your number. The first is that CloudTalk doesn’t offer the specific country/format combination you requested. The other is that your service provider doesn’t allow number porting.

      In either situation, you can purchase a different number alternative from our selection of 160+ globally available phone numbers.
    • Submit All The Necessary Documentation:
      To start a porting request for your existing phone numbers, send us an email to porting@cloudtalk.io with the subject “Port-in request” and provide us with the following:

      • The numbers you want to port in an E. 164 international format (e.g., +442012345678).
      • Name of your current service provider for the numbers you want ported.
      • Name of the range holder or underlying carrier. This can be different from the service provider, so ask your current VoIP company.
      • Name of the person, company, or organization the number is registered under with your current service provider.
      • Full registered address of the person, company, or organization the number is registered under with your current service provider. This may be different from your billing address, so make sure to double-check.
      • A copy of your last bill for the numbers you want to port.
    • Fill Out The Letter Of Authorization:
      After you make your porting request, our team will check if the number is portable from our side. If it is, we’ll provide you with an LOA (Letter of Authorization) template to fill out and ask you for any other documents that may be required. 

      Please take care when filling out the LOA to ensure all the information submitted is correct.
    • Wait While CloudTalk Takes Care Of The Rest:
      Once the LOA and all signed documents are received, the process is as follows:

      • CloudTalk and our partnered “gaining” carrier will submit all documents to the current “losing” carrier.
      • CloudTalk will add the number to your dashboard so you can start setting inbound call flows, business hours, agents, and call groups.
      • When the losing carrier accepts the port-out request, both carriers will schedule the date the number will be moved to our network.
      • The number will be ported to CloudTalk’s carrier on the agreed-upon date and will thereby become active in your app.
    • Start Calling With Your (Old) New Number:
      In total, the set-up process will take 1-10 days, and migration around 5 days. Once everything is done, you can log into your CloudTalk account and start calling again!

    Final Thoughts On VoIP Number Porting

    VoIP number porting is a convenient way to transition to VoIP while retaining your existing phone number and maintaining recognizability with your customers. On top of that, it gives you access to numerous benefits, including better call quality, additional features and integrations, and more.

    And after reading this guide, you’re ready to kick-start your journey toward call center excellence with no fear of mistakes or delays. Just make sure to double-check your information, communicate openly, and be smart about the provider you choose.

    Unlock Operational Excellence in 2024 with New Call Center Software!

    VoIP Number Porting FAQs

    What is number porting?

    Number porting, also known as phone number portability, is the process of transferring a phone number from one service provider to another. This allows you to keep your existing phone number even if you switch carriers or service types.

    When do I need to port my number?

    You may need to port your number when switching to a new service provider, changing your service type (e.g., from landline to mobile or vice versa), or consolidating multiple phone numbers into one account. This is typically done to maintain recognizability with your existing customers.

    What phone numbers cannot be ported?

    Generally, toll-free numbers, emergency service numbers (like 911 in the United States), and certain special service numbers may not be eligible for porting. However, in certain situations (specific jurisdictions and providers), it may still be possible to do so.

    Can I port a VoIP number to a cell phone?

    Yes, it is possible to port a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) number to a cell phone or vice versa, provided both service providers support number porting.

    Can a phone company refuse to port your number?

    In most cases, phone companies are legally required to allow customers to port their numbers. However, there may be exceptions, such as if you owe money on your current account or if your number is associated with fraudulent activity. Rarely, some providers have rules against number porting altogether and may refuse your request.

    How do you check if my number can be ported?

    You can typically check if your number can be ported by contacting the service provider you wish to switch to. They can provide you with information about their porting policies and whether your number is eligible.

    What does VoIP mean after a phone number?

    u0022VoIPu0022 stands for Voice over Internet Protocol. When it appears after a phone number, it indicates that the number is associated with an internet-based phone service rather than a traditional landline or cellular network. That’s usually a sign that you’re being contacted by a company’s call center rather than a private individual.

    How much does VoIP number porting cost?

    The cost of porting a VoIP number can vary depending on the service provider and any associated fees. Some providers may offer free number porting as part of their service, while others may charge a nominal fee.

    How do I convert my phone line to VoIP?

    To convert your phone line to VoIP, you typically need to sign up for a VoIP service provider, obtain a VoIP-compatible device (nowadays, anything with a microphone and Wi-Fi connection will do), and follow the provider’s instructions for setting up your service and porting your number if desired.