What is number portability?
Number porting is the process of moving a telephone number from one provider to another. In Canada, the Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunication Commission distinguish between landline, wireless and VoIP phone number probabilities.
Don’t cancel it! One can keep the current number.
One can ask new service provider about keeping the phone number. The phone numbers can be kept if one switches:
- from one wireless service provider to another wireless service provider
- from a landline phone line to a wireless service provider
- from a wireless service provider to a landline phone line carrier
But new service providers will need to be asked whether the number can be kept or not, if a user moves out of the local exchange area at the same time as he or she change service providers.
Voice over IP (VoIP) is a technology that provides telephone service. There are few services associated with VoIP technology, for example the Online Fax for receiing and sending faxes by email, Virtual Switchboard numbers for call routing, and conference calling services use the phone numbers. So, number portability applies to VoIP users as well. This means that one can keep their phone number when switching between VoIP, landline or wireless services.
Rates, costs and fees
Wireless service rates are not regulated. Service providers can charge for the porting service, as they take up the process on your behalf with all its administrative hurdles. Some do free portability to attract the customers to their services and plans. Among them is Axiatel Telco Company that provides VoIP services in Canada.
The contracts for service agreement need to be checked, as one may have to pay some penalties for switching before the end of a term. Also, it is important to be aware about all conditions. So before switching companies, ask about local and long-distance call plans, because companies may have different billing practices and rates. For instance, your landline phone’s long-distance plan may not move with your number, and you may need a different plan.
Time of transfer
The transfer time differs greatly. So it is advisable to ask new service provider when your number will change. When switching between wireless providers, the transfer takes a few hours. When switching between a landline and wireless (and vice versa) it takes at least 2 business days. Some of your phone features may be interrupted while your number is being transferred, but you should be able to make and receive calls during that time.