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How to port your landline number in 5 simple steps

Port landline

Phone number porting is when you transfer your existing number to a different service provider. Thanks to the FCC, you have a right to keep your existing number no matter which provider you work with. But the transfer process can be anxiety-inducing, especially if you’re unsure about the steps you need to take to ensure a smooth port. 

So, in this blog, we guide you on how to port your landline number in five simple steps and share best practices so you don’t run into any porting problems. 

Let’s dig in.

How to port a landline number in 5 steps

If you’re still deciding on what provider to switch to (and whether you should go with another landline service provider, a new cell phone plan, or a virtual phone service), here’s a simple process to help you decide and successfully port your number. 

1. Check if you can port your number

This may seem like a given, but only authorized account holders can port a number. To check if you’re eligible to port the number, go to your carrier’s website.

If the phone number is under your name, you can start the process yourself. This is when you can gather the information your new provider needs to port in your number from either an existing billing statement or request a Customer Service Record (CSR) from your current service provider. 

If it’s under a company account, ask the account administrator to help you gather the information you need to port your number. 

2. Select the right provider for your situation

Choosing the right provider helps you satisfy your customers while keeping costs in check. Some important considerations include network coverage and reliability, business phone features you may need, and the availability of customer support.

How to find the best business phone for your business

  1. Consider your business needs: Narrow your list to providers in your budget, then choose the one with the features and services that best suit your needs. Think about your current call volume, the number of employees who will need access to your business phone system, and the features you’ll use most frequently.

For example, a real estate agency might need more call routing  options like call groups, call transferring, and conditional call forwarding. Alternatively, a company that sells SaaS platform software might need a provider that offers unlimited text messaging and in-app team collaboration features.

Keep in mind as your business scales, you need a provider that can grow with you. For example, look for providers that offer integrations that let you bring together other tools you already use and don’t charge any hidden fees. 

  1. Assess coverage and reliability: Service reliability is not just about avoiding dropped calls; it’s about serving your customers, no matter where they are. 

If you’re a frequent traveler or your business operates in multiple regions, check your new provider’s network coverage before you submit a porting request. They won’t be able to support your operations if they don’t serve the area you operate in.

  1. Research plans and pricing: Check your potential provider’s plans and pricing to see if they align with your budget. 

For example, a startup might want flexible plans that offer adjustments based on growth, such as adding new phone numbers or scaling back services. Or an established company with a large customer service department might value plans that offer call center solutions or an account manager who can help them get started and answer questions as they come up. 

VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) plans are often more affordable than internet and phone bundles from traditional providers. And equally important: they can help you save far more time than any older phone solution. 

  1. Consider the availability of customer support: No one wants to be left hanging during an outage or product malfunction. Look into the provider’s response times and reputation for solving issues on peer-review sites like G2 and TrustRadius. 
  1. Look carefully at contract terms and agreements: Some providers have porting out fees, minimum contracts (e.g., two years), cancellation policies, and penalties for early termination. Unexpected terms can leave you footing the bill for a service you’re not happy with and result in unexpected costs — which can be difficult to manage for a growing or changing business. 

For example, say you’re moving from product-market fit to nationwide expansion. Your new customers expect customer care across different platforms. You don’t want to be trapped with a service provider that can’t accommodate these needs. 

After determining the right provider, you should contact them to ensure they can make the switch. If you’re considering moving from a landline to one of the large US cell phone providers, visit their pages here:  

As we mentioned earlier, VoIP systems are often more cost-effective alternatives to traditional phone systems. Let’s dig into why.

5 key reasons to choose a VoIP service provider

If you’re still on the fence about choosing a VoIP system for your business, here are a few more things to keep in mind:

1. You can take business calls and texts from anywhere
Forget landlines; even mobile service providers can fall short if you’re in a remote location — the connection feels choppy, voice delays interrupt your flow of thought, and calls disconnect frequently. Enough to aggravate an already irritated customer. Usually your best bet is to enable call forwarding when going away. 

But with the right VoIP provider, you can call and text from any cell phone, laptop, or computer. All you need is a stable internet connection. 

2. You can share responsibility for calls with team members

Shared phone numbers and inboxes let you split responsibility for incoming calls, resolve customer concerns quicker, and stay on top of communication. VoIP providers like OpenPhone have features such as ring groups and warm transfers that help team members back each other up and avoid missed calls.

3. You can add a personal touch to business texting 

With SMS and MMS options, you can add depth and personalization to your communication. Whether it’s sending out holiday greetings, troubleshooting advice, or giving a peek into your new product launch, videos, audio, and GIFs convey information in a way text alone can’t. 

4. Save time with auto-replies and templates 

You don’t have to spend time crafting responses to dropped calls or answering pesky FAQs. 

With auto-reply templates and snippets, you can tend to customers quicker while staying compliant and on-brand with your messages. 

5. You can improve call flow with an IVR (Interactive Voice Response)

Phone menus and call routing are VoIP features that act as virtual receptionists and direct customers to their desired departments. If the primary contact is unavailable, ring groups let the next available person handle the call.

These features keep your team from burning out while decreasing customer response time.

Once you decide on the best phone provider for your business, you’re ready to move onto the next step: filling in your current provider about the port.

3. Let your current provider know you’re porting out

While you don’t need approval from your existing carrier to port your number, you do need to give them a heads-up. That way, they can resolve objections (such as overdue balances) beforehand and port your number to the new provider as soon as they have your information.

4. Contact your prospective new provider and send them your information

Check with your new provider if they don’t have clear steps online regarding how to port your number to them.  

For legal reasons, your new provider will need the following documents:

  • Phone bill, account number, or latest invoice: This should include the number you’re porting, your name, and the billing address.
  • Personal identification number (PIN): A porting out/transfer PIN is generally associated with US numbers. Look for it in your current carrier’s account dashboard. If you’re unsure whether you specifically have a porting out PIN, ask your current carrier.
  • A letter of authorization (LOA): This is a document you sign that grants the new carrier permission to perform the port.

Your new provider will also need:

  • The phone number you want to port
  • The type of number:
    • Local US, local Canada, or toll-free
    • Mobile, landline, or VoIP
  • Your current provider
  • Whether the account is under your personal name or the business name

5. Wait to cancel your service until your number is ported

Your number has to be active to be ported, so don’t cancel your current service until your new provider informs you that the port is complete. 

The full porting process typically takes a week or more, if you move to a cell phone or VoIP provider. VoIP services take longer due to additional logistical hurdles a VoIP provider has to complete to make your number easily accessible from multiple devices.

The actual port takes place very quickly on the scheduled port date. Although rare, it’s possible you may experience temporary downtime on the port date. Consider having a backup plan to forward landline calls to your cell phone on the scheduled port date. This ensures you don’t miss a call, even if your existing provider causes delays. 

Here’s a more detailed overview of how long it takes to port a number by service provider: 

Service providerEstimated time to port a number
OpenPhoneUS numbers: 5 to 7 business days

Canadian numbers: 10 to 12 business days
VerizonMobile: 4 to 24 hours

Landline: 2 to 4 business days
AT&TMobile: Minutes to 5 business days

Landline: 5 to 7 business days
T-MobileMobile: 10 minutes to 2 hours

Landline: 3 to 10 days
Google VoiceUp to 48 hours
VonageUp to 10 business days
RingCentral15 to 30 business days
GrasshopperUp to 2 weeks

Now that you have a solid understanding of the steps involved in porting a landline number, let’s dive into the specifics of how to smoothly transition your number to OpenPhone.

How to port your phone number to OpenPhone

If you’re debating between porting to a mobile carrier or VoIP provider, consider why a VoIP provider like OpenPhone might be the better choice.

Beyond the ability to easily call and text from any smartphone, laptop, or computer, OpenPhone offers business features such as: 

To port your phone number to OpenPhone, follow these steps: 

  1. Sign up for an OpenPhone account. Get a local or toll-free new phone number, and try the service free for seven days.
  2. Once you confirm OpenPhone is a great fit for your business, complete US carrier registration to send texts to US phone numbers and submit your port request straight from the web or desktop OpenPhone app.
  3. Wait five to seven business days for your porting request to process. In the meantime, you can set up business hours, voicemail greetings, and phone menus.

3 best practices for avoiding porting delays

Waiting for requests to go through can feel like watching paint dry, and porting issues worsen the problem. To make sure you’re not on the receiving end of porting delays, follow these three best practices: 

1. Triple-check documentation

Make sure you provide identical information to both providers. Before you start the porting process, we recommend contacting your landline provider and ask them to confirm your account details. Even a small discrepancy can cause major delays. 

Some common types of incorrect or missing documentation include:

  • No LOA (Letter of Authorization) provided
  • LOA provided but not signed
  • Name on the LOA doesn’t match the name on the signature
  • No billing receipt provided
  • Wrong billing receipt provided
  • Incorrect phone number listed on the invoice
  • Mismatch of information on your billing statement and customer service record that your current provider has on file

Providing an incorrect PIN is also one of the top reasons many porting delays can occur. You’ll want to ensure you supply the porting out PIN. If you’re unsure if the PIN you have is the right one: contact your current carrier, ask for the porting department, and then have the support rep confirm all of the port-out information, including the porting out PIN, is correct.

2. Stay on top of your current provider

Before you request a port, ask your existing provider to outline their process and timeline. Then, track the porting process to keep your request moving — a three-to-four-day delay is not unusual, but reach out if things take longer. 

As mentioned earlier, your current provider needs to keep your subscription active until the porting process is complete. Disconnection during the porting process may happen if your current provider disconnects your number or cancels your subscription right away.

Sometimes you can avoid objections by proactively following up. For example, your port request may not be going through because you need authorization from the account holder. 

If you receive a rejection, call your carrier immediately to find out why. 

3. Make sure your account is in good standing

Check for and clear any early termination fees or backlogged payments since these can hold up your port request. 

It’s always a good idea to request a written confirmation of your account’s status after paying off balances or negotiating termination fees. This way, you can resolve subsequent conflicts quickly. 

Have a pain-free porting experience with OpenPhone

Porting a landline number to a wireless one can feel like a chore. You put in the port request, secure documentation, and call to follow up every few days. only to be hit with hidden fees midway. 

Porting with OpenPhone is free and painless. You avoid service interruptions during the process and can easily track your progress from inside the app. 

Try OpenPhone for free for seven days. Once you confirm it’s a great fit, you can activate your account and port any existing local US, Canadian, or North American toll-free number over. 

Landline porting FAQs

Can a landline be ported to a wireless phone?

Yes, a landline can be ported to a wireless phone. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandates that landline and wireless carriers support number portability so you can retain your phone number when switching service types or providers.

How much does number porting cost?

The cost of number porting depends on your new and existing service providers and the plan you’re switching to. Before you begin the porting process, ask about hidden costs for early termination, porting, and new plan initiation. 

If you’re looking at porting a number to OpenPhone, we don’t charge any fees on our end to port in or port out a number (if you change your mind).

Can you port a number with an outstanding account balance?

Usually, no. While some carriers may not penalize you for outstanding balances, you should settle them first. This also helps you avoid delays and additional charges.

How long does the porting process take?

As per the FCC, a landline-to-wireless port can take several days — and longer than a wireless-to-wireless port. Check with your new service provider if they don’t share that information publicly to find the exact time frame. 

Will my current phone number stay active during the port?

Yes, the FCC mandates that the number being ported stay active during the process. But since landline-to-wireless porting takes several days, it’s crucial you keep your number active so your service isn’t interrupted.

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