What is Phone Number Porting & How Does it Work?

how to port a phone number

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A phone number is deeply integrated with an individual’s or business identity. It is used for various communication mediums, including marketing and signage. While different telecommunication carriers provide unparalleled benefits, upgrading to a better value carrier can significantly change your business communication. Many hesitate to change carriers for fear of getting a new phone number, but with phone number porting, you can upgrade to another telecom carrier while keeping your phone identity. The porting can be done between different providers, such as wireless, IP, and wireline.

What Is Phone Number Porting?

Phone number porting is the process of retaining your existing phone number while switching to another telecom service provider. It allows you to upgrade to a carrier with better functionality without getting a new phone number.


There are two types of number porting: local number porting and full number porting.


  • Local number porting allows end users to change phone numbers while switching from a fixed-line service provider.


  • Full number porting is transferring your mobile numbers to another telecommunication provider entirely while retaining all the existing features and services associated with a phone number.

History of Phone Number Porting

The Telecommunication Fairness Act in 1996 significantly changed how telecommunication carriers work. Before the act, AT&T had total control over the distribution of phone numbers.

Intending to foster competition, it allowed anyone to enter the telecommunication industry. The act aimed to ensure fair service to users by allowing them to change their carrier with Local Number Portability (LNP) if unsatisfied.

However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires you to fulfill specific requirements to change carriers. Otherwise, the National Portability Administration Center (NPAC) will not accept your number porting request.

Number Porting Vs Call Forwarding

Number porting and call forwarding both give users control of how their number is used and how they can be reached. Though many confuse number porting with call forwarding, the two carry different functioning values for distinct purposes.

Number porting permanently transfers phone numbers to a new carrier while closing the old account associated with your number. In comparison, call forwarding is a feature that allows you to reroute designated incoming calls to another number if the designated party is unavailable without changing to a new carrier.

How Does Porting a Phone Number Work?

Porting a phone number requires the coordination of three parties. They are LSP (Losing Service Party or an old carrier), a new carrier, and NPAC.

1. Initiate the Porting Request

Contact your new carrier to initiate the porting request. After that, your new carrier will notify your old carrier about the request.

2. Submit Required Documentation

Provide the required documents and information needed to start the porting. It typically includes a porting authorization form and a recent bill from LSP.

3. Document and Information Validation

Your new carrier will verify your details and information with LSP. [Note: The process gets caught in a loop if the provided documentation is inaccurate.]

4. Service Provider Coordination

After verifying, the new carrier will request to create a pending port from NPAC.

5. Activation on New Network

NPAC finalizes the activation of porting by notifying the LSP to release the phone number. Once the release is approved and completed, it becomes active on the new provider’s network.

6. Confirmation of Successful Porting

You’ll receive confirmation from the new provider once the porting process is completed. You can start using their services with your existing number.

What Are the Requirements for Phone Number Porting?

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) legally requires you to fulfill some requirements for porting the number to your new carrier. Before initiating the switch request, determine the eligibility of your phone number to ensure successful number porting.


  • Active phone number: The number you are trying to port must be active and in service.


  • Portable phone number: The number should be in a proper format for porting. You can easily ensure the eligibility of your number in Calilio’s phone number portability checker.


  • Clear termination fees: Review your current contract and pay any necessary outstanding fees you’re obliged to pay.


  • Service in your area: Your chosen new carrier must provide service within your geographic region.


  • Interconnection agreement: Your new carrier must have an agreement with your old carrier to ensure a fair traffic exchange.


  • Up-to-date necessary documents: Present valid documents, including service records, phone bills, and an authorization letter to start porting. It will ensure legality.

What Documents Do You Need for Number Porting?

For a successful phone number porting, you must present certain legal information and documents, including a letter of authorization and a copy of your phone bill. Only with the legal documentation is your request for porting considered eligible.

1. E.164 phone number

A phone number with a full international format is required to be eligible for porting. The format is - [+] [country code] [subscriber number including area code].

2. Letter of Authorization (LOA)

LOA is a formal document that grants the authority to your new carrier to port your phone number legally.

3. Copy of Bill (COB)

A phone bill is a statement of charges that shows the ownership over telephone service. To start the porting, you must bring a copy of the up-to-date phone bill within the last 30 days.

4. Customer Service Record (CSR)

CSR is a detailed record that includes information to authorize your service with a telecom carrier. It is needed to verify the authenticity of your account.

5. Port-out Pin Number

A port-out pin is a number provided by your current carrier to authorize the porting upon your new carrier's request. The pin is in 4-digit format.

How to Port a Phone Number?

To port a phone number, select your preferred telecommunication carrier, initiate the request, submit the required documents, and wait for verification and activation of your new network. Porting a number is a swift process with proper documents.


On Calilio, you can port a phone number in just a few steps. We ensure a smooth transition of your existing number to our business phone system.


  • Sign up and create your Admin account on Calilio.
  • Navigate to “Settings” in your dashboard.
  • Click the “My Numbers” option.
  • Choose the “Port Existing” option to chat with our support team.
  • Submit any required documents, such as LOA, phone bill, CSR, and port-out PIN.
  • Upon verification, you can use your phone number on Calilio.

Benefits of Porting Phone Numbers

Phone number porting allows you to switch to a telecom carrier without losing your established number identity. It helps you optimize service quality, cost, and features, making your business communications uninterrupted.

1. Flexibility and Service Quality

With phone number porting, you can easily switch to the new service provider to leverage superior features at better rates while keeping your existing number.

2. Continuity in Business Operations

Ensure continuous and uninterrupted communication by retaining current phone numbers. Avoid the hassle of updating marketing materials and contacts.

3. Cost Savings with Better Plans

Secure more value-added pans to optimize your communication without compromising on your budget. It can lead to significant cost savings.

4. Brand Identity Preservation

Your phone number represents your brand identity. Preserve your brand recognition to keep your established customer consistent through number porting.

5. Streamlined Customer Interaction

Maintain a single point of contact number. Porting phone numbers enhances customer interactions and experience with better customer service.


Investing in a telecom carrier with better pricing and value-added plans is significant for business growth. Phone number porting ensures you represent your brand identity while switching to a carrier that fits your budget and communication needs. Porting your phone number to wireless from a wireline carrier offers you unmatched reliability and functionality at a great value. With proper preparation and legible documents, switching to a new carrier can be a smooth and value-added process.


Both individuals and businesses can leverage number porting service on Calilio. Our business phone system enhances flexibility and continuity in business communication while retaining your existing phone numbers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when a phone number is ported?

When you port a phone number, it is transferred from one telecommunications provider to another. During porting, your old account will typically be closed once the transfer is complete, and your number will become active under the new provider.

What are the rules for porting phone numbers?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) governs phone number porting with specific rules to ensure consumer rights are protected:

  • You can port your number when changing service providers.


  • You must be able to port your number as long as you remain in the same geographic area.


  • Service providers cannot refuse to port your number, even if you have an outstanding balance or termination fees, though you are still required to pay any owed amounts.

How long does porting a phone number take?

Porting a phone number generally takes a few hours to a few days, averaging around 5 to 10 business days. The duration can vary depending on the responsiveness of your current provider and any specific issues that might arise during the verification of account details and documentation.

Can I use my phone while my number is being ported?

You can usually continue to use your phone while your number is being ported. Your old service will work until the porting process is complete. However, there might be a brief period, typically just a few hours, where service could be interrupted on the day the port is finalized.

Can someone port your phone number?

Only you can port your phone number. However, scammers can also initiate the porting request. If the scam is successful, your phone number will be victim to unauthorized porting.

Can I use my phone while my number is being ported?

You can use your phone while your phone number is being ported. The porting will only affect your call service until you switch to a new carrier.

Who is responsible for porting a phone number?

Your new telecom carrier is responsible for the porting process when you request a number porting service.

Can a ported number be reversed?

You can reverse port your phone number. However, you must submit any required documentation, including a new Letter of Authorization (LOA) and a recent phone bill.

How many times can a number be ported?

You can port your numbers as many times as you want. There are no restrictions or limitations on number porting.

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