keypad on a deskphone - SIP Trunking

The Phone Number Porting Process

Number porting is the process of moving a telephone number from one provider to another or from one type of service to another (e.g. private hosted cloud, hosted VoIP or on-premise SIP), but staying with the same provider. ISDN to SIP is the most common porting process. We are also porting between SIP providers and from other resellers within the same SIP provider.

What You Need to Do

There are various paperwork and box-ticking exercises that need to be completed before beginning the number porting process in the UK:

  • Supply copies of existing bills to confirm current number ranges and account numbers.
  • Sign order forms to confirm the acceptance of porting charges.
  • Completing an LOA (letter of authority) on company headed paper, confirming permissions to port the numbers from the old provider

If any of the details are incorrect the port can be rejected and the whole process slowed down. Sometimes new information is discovered and needs to be added to the port paperwork.

Once a port date is confirmed it may be a useful exercise for you to inform your staff and customers of a potential brief interruption on the day and to email them and tell them about alternative contact options if it’s required.

Number Porting – What To Be Aware Of

Every standard telephone (PSTN) line needs a number assigned to it for it to work. If a number leaves a line during the landline number porting process, the line that it has left will cease.

Phone lines are not just used for phone calls anymore. They often carry broadband amongst other things. If the number leaves a line, the line will cease leaving you without broadband.

BT RedCare is a process whereby a constant signal is sent down the line and is then monitored for breaks in the signal. It is used in burglar alarms and panic buttons etc. If a line has RedCare on it the number for that line will not be able to be ported until RedCare has been removed. VoIP systems do not, in general, provide a good replacement for RedCare.

Number ports get rejected for all sorts of reasons. If the details given on the forms are not correct the port will fail. One of the most common reasons is an incorrect postcode. The postcode that the number is registered to needs to match that on the form. When numbers have been previously ported and/or the business has previously moved the situation can be a problem.

It is always worth ringing your old provider to make sure you have the right postcode before submitting the paperwork. Resubmissions cost time and often money.

Don’t Cease The Line Too Soon

You need to be careful that you don’t cease the line on which your chosen number sits before the number port because that terminates the number and it then enters “quarantine” where it cannot be used by someone else or you. It also means that it cannot be ported. So, ceasing a line and then deciding to port the number just doesn’t work.

How Long Does Number Porting Take?

The time it takes to port a number will depend on the complexity and type of line the number is on. The general guideline we work with is 20 working days.

When we request a date ASAP, sometimes this comes in well under that timeline. If you want to request a date, we will always ask for you to suggest one beyond 20 days into the future.

The times can vary significantly and are out of our control. If you decide to change the date, there are costs involved in re-organising it.

What Happens On The Day?

Ports can only happen on working days, Monday to Thursday during working hours. Generally, ports start mid-morning to lunchtime and are complete before you even know they have happened. Number ports usually take 15 minutes to complete.

We generally set up our customer sites so they are dialling out on their new SIP trunks already. This means only incoming calls are briefly affected.

As the ports happen our team lets you know they have started and once tested let you know they are finished.

Once Your Number Port Is Complete

Once your port is complete then you should cancel your lines with your old supplier. Although a line without a number is effectively dead, some companies continue to raise invoices until you tell them to cease the line.

How Can We Help You?

Hopefully, this has been a useful guide on our porting process. If you have any questions, please speak with your account manager. If you found this article directly and would like us to help port your numbers then please call us on 0800 032 8274 or use our contact form here.

About Datasharp Integrated Communications

Datasharp Integrated Communications is an award-winning, leading provider of Unified Communications solutions including voice, data, mobile, video, network security, contact centre and collaboration technology for businesses of 50 – 5,000 staff.

We are a premier member of the Datasharp Group – established in 1980 – one of the longest-standing and most respected communications solution providers in the UK.

We have clients across the south of England and in Europe and our own, on-premises, 1,000 ft² Technology Suite at our Bath office, where we host regular events and showcase technology solutions for our clients. Contact us for your free comms audit or product demo.

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