Some companies wish to switch telecoms providers but want to retain their number. This is possible through a process known as number portability which is a mechanism and set of procedures that allow companies or individuals to switch networks in any Licensed Service Area (LSA) whilst retaining their number. Number portability is important because it gives customers the choice to select their service provider and that freedom produces competition, resulting in lower tariffs and improved Quality of Service QoS.
Contact your current provider first
In UK customers wishing to port their number must first contact their current provider, inform them of their desire and the current carrier will send on the number portability request to the new carrier gaining the customer. You can port a mobile number, a local fixed line number and full number portability which not only allows you to change carrier but also geographic location. There are some restrictions on geographic transfer, service area coverage and technology.
Country specific rules
Rules governing portability are country specific. For example, the only two countries that provide full number portability are the US and South Africa. This is because both mobile and fixed line numbers in both countries use the same area codes and are identically billed for anyone calling those numbers. When you are contacting a new carrier make sure you have a letter of authorisation prepared. Other documentation you may require are an application form plus a copy of the last paid bill and an invoice and any other billing details.
Make sure you obtain your CSR
Most numbers are in fact portable though there are a few reasons why a porting request may end up being rejected. The main reason being that the information you provide fails to match with the data on file at the carrier you are leaving. You can obtain Customer Service Records in advance which contains all the relevant information and that will help you successfully port your phone number to a new carrier.
Very few requests get rejected
Regardless of the fact that most numbers are portable, and, in most cases, the porting procedure is processed smoothly, there are some common reasons why a porting request may be rejected. The most effective method to prevent the porting request from being rejected is to ensure that the submitted information matches the data on file at the losing carrier.