Will my telephone numbers stay the same when I switch to VoIP phone service?
We explain how with a VoIP phone system you have the capability to keep all of your phone numbers, no matter what provider you choose or where you move your office to.
There’s a famous song by Tommy Tutone with that catchy phone number 867-5309. Because of that catchy song, everyone’s got Jenny’s number, but aside from everyone bobbing their head and singing along when that song comes on, it actually reinforces a great point that we deal with a lot in the VoIP industry. There’s a simple line in the song “Jenny don’t change your number”, and there’s a great reason for that.
Just like Tommy Tutone, many people get familiar with phone numbers. Whether you’ve been using the phone number for the entire life of your business, or it’s part of your corporate branding, or it fits into a good jingle, we find that many people don’t want to change their phone number. It’s a common issue that people raise.
Simply enough, a lot of people want to know if they can keep their phone numbers when switching to a VoIP phone system. And we get it. Everyone loves their number for whatever reason. So let’s discuss keeping your phone number when you switch to a VoIP provider.
Can I keep my phone number if I switch to a VoIP provider?
This is an easy answer. YES!
Yes, you can keep your number when you switch to a VoIP phone system. In fact, we recommend you keep your numbers, and don’t recommend switching to a new VoIP systems without keeping your existing phone numbers intact.
How can I keep my phone number if I switch to a VoIP system?
It’s simple, but somewhat technical, so let me give you the simple answer.
It’s called porting. When you port your phone number from your old provider to a new provider, it’s usually an easy, pain free process that we more or less take care of for you.
When we port phone numbers over, we generally ask for the following items:
- A copy of your most recent phone bill
- A list of all of your phone numbers
- Your signature
Once we get this information, we get to work on some behind the scenes stuff to get the porting process started.
Switching phone numbers to a VoIP phone system is a relatively easy process, and has added perks.
The bottom line is you do get to keep your numbers.
And, there’s other advantages. For instance, let’s say you’re moving to a location with a 732 area code and your business phone numbers are all 908 area codes. You can still keep your 908 area code phone numbers.
Not only can you port a local area code to another local area code, we can provide you with a phone number on the other side of the country if you’d like. You see this in businesses that like to give the appearance of having multiple offices. For instance, if you’re office is located in Jersey City, but want to have “offices” in Dallas, TX, and San Francisco, CA, we can set you up with phone numbers with the respective area codes. This is something that traditional telecom providers cannot match.
Once we get your information, the porting process generally goes like this.
A member of our team takes your current phone bill and looks it over for how many lines you’re paying for, if you are in contract, and if there are any Early Termination Fees (ETF). After determining the numbers and how many phone lines you have, each line is tested to see what they are being used for. Phone lines are very versatile, they can be used for anything from a ringing phone, fax machine, alarm line, or even a credit card machine.
Line Number Portability.
Once we have figured out what each line is used for we create an LNP, or Line Number Portability case. This means we submit your phone bill, the numbers we want, and a signed letter of authorization stating you, our customer is allowing us to take your numbers and put them on our system.
The porting time frame.
Port cases are generally submitted at a minimum of 10 days out from the installation date.
So let’s say you want your phones installed on the 15th of any month. We would submit a port case between the 1st & 5th of the month to your current provider. This gives us enough time to tie up any loose ends should something happen.
We then receive 2 dates. We receive a Temporary Order Commitment (TOC) date first. This means that your current carrier has acknowledged our paperwork, and has signed off that they received it and are going to review all of the information. The second date we receive is a Firm Order Commitment (FOC) date. This means your current carrier has agreed to the port request and will be releasing your numbers to us.
Your numbers will be ported over between 12-12:30pm on the FOC date, and that’s it! Your numbers are now on our new VOIP phone system.
Yes, you can keep your existing phone numbers when you switch to a VoIP phone system.
All in all, this is a relatively simple question to answer. You can keep your phone numbers, it’s usually a pretty easy process, and just like Tommy Tutone, you’ll be sure to know that special number by heart long into the future.
By Lindsey Bodnar
Systems Trainer and Account Manager, Tele-Data Solutions
E-mail: [email protected] | Direct Line: (908) 378-1218 x121
I graduated from Kean University with a bachelor’s degree in communications, and working at Tele-Data Solutions allows me to communicate in so many ways! Whether I’m helping remotely, recording auto attendants, or discussing the implementation of a new VoIP system, I’m here to help. Some of my interests include traveling, trying new food, reading, and learning new languages.