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What happens when I port my number?

What happens when I port my number?

I’m ready to port my number from my old carrier to a new one. Any tips?

Ting has number transfers (ports-ins) happening every day. To us, it’s just routine. But because a mobile number becomes such a part of a person’s identity, entrusting it to someone else can be scary. It doesn’t need to be. Let’s walk through the process. You can also refer to our help guide.

Step 1:  Don’t cancel anything

If you want to transfer your phone number from your old carrier to a new one (like Ting), it’s key that you don’t cancel with your soon-to-be previous carrier first. Your number and your account have to be active during this process.

Little piece of trivia: In industry jargon, the carrier you’re leaving is referred to as the “losing carrier.” The carrier you’re moving to is called the “gaining carrier.”

Step 2:  Start the process with your new “gaining” carrier

Once you’ve got a phone or SIM card compatible with your new “gaining” carrier, you’ll start the transfer process with them. Usually, that means filling out a form with the information your previous carrier has on file.

The port out information you get from your previous provider will likely include the account holder name, the billing address, account number and a number porting or account PIN. However, the information can vary pretty widely from carrier to carrier.

Make sure to find out what your old carrier is looking for in a transfer request. It just so happens that we’ve got a handy list of that information.

Also, keep in mind that if you ever need to make a change to the request, you always do that with your new “gaining” carrier.

Once you’ve submitted the transfer request form, the action moves behind the scenes.

Step 3: Behind the scenes

The information you provided the “gaining carrier” gets compared against what the “losing carrier” has on file. This is a safety measure to ensure that only someone who has access to your account information can move your phone number. It’s also why it’s so important to provide your new carrier all that (accurate) information about your old carrier account.

Everything in this step is automated unless there’s a mismatch.

In there is a mismatch, a pair of human eyes will need to look at your transfer. This might slow the process down.

Step 4: You’re approved!

If everything in the request form matches up, your old carrier approves the request and sets a time to release and transfer your number over to the new, or gaining, carrier. You’ll get an email outlining the time.

Step 5: Transfer complete

Once the release time rolls around the number is transferred over to your new carrier and they get in touch with you. From the time that you submit the form until your number is transferred is usually anywhere from two to six hours, but it can take up to 24 hours. Landlines and Google Voice lines always take five to seven days.

Number transfers are really very simple and mostly work without a hitch. When they do run into trouble, it’s usually because something in the submission form wasn’t correct or very rarely there’s a problem with one of the automated systems handling the transfer. Whatever the case, that’s when humans get involved and there’s almost always a solution.

For more specific information about getting the transfer process started, follow along here.

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