What You Need to Know About Number Portability

13th August 2019

Number Porting is serious business. You have probably heard of William Wilson, a man who abandoned Sky for BT only to lose his phone number along the way.

Or maybe the name is new to you. Either way, the story remains the same. William knew his number by heart because he had kept it for over three decades. This was the same number his friends and family had been using to contact him for years.number porting

But when he made the move to BT, they simply issued him a new number. They couldn’t be bothered to bring his old number over. William has quite a way to go before he resolves this problem.

And you don’t really need to worry about him because Number Porting is an issue that affects you as well. So you might as well worry about your own situation. Here is what you need to know:

The Law

Number Porting isn’t a luxury that companies can choose to either offer or reject; the law recognises number porting as an essential component of the telecommunication landscape, a tool that encourages competition.

Section 40, in particular, gives users the right to retain their telephone numbers whenever they change service providers.

What we are saying is that your old phone company cannot prevent you from taking your old phone number with you when you leave.


If you want to move your number to a new service provider, you must initiate the process yourself. This means presenting all the documentation required to prove your identities such as your old service provider’s account number and your Tax ID.

The idea is to prevent external parties from moving your number without your permission. Of course, if you lack the necessary documentation to verify your ownership over your phone number, you won’t be able to retain it when you change service providers.


Phone companies do not always port phone numbers for free. So you should expect to part with some money, though this is not always the case. The rates will vary.


Before you join any phone company, pay close attention to your contract. Some service providers attach heavy penalties to users who attempt to terminate their contracts and this could affect your efforts to move your number to a new phone company down the line.

The Transition

This is more common sense than anything. If your objective is to change phone companies and to bring your old number along with you, wait to complete your contractual obligations with your old service provider until a relationship with the new company is established.

This will prevent you from facing unnecessary charges.


Number porting allows you to transfer your old number to a new phone company. But old voicemails are not included in that package. So make sure you review them all before you ultimately lose them.

It is worth noting that number porting gets even more complicated when you bring special numbers into the equation. 0800 numbers, for instance, are likely to cost you more if you ever decide to transfer them.

You should also know that it isn’t always possible to move numbers to different countries. Of course, things are so much easier with VoIP.

At Planet Telecom, we can help you transfer your numbers fast and for free. For more details, please visit our Number Portability page or call free on 0800 0886 886 to speak with one of our friendly team.