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guide to number porting

The ultimate guide to number porting for businesses


Liam Spry
May 3, 2024

Number porting for businesses

Whether you’re switching carriers, upgrading your services, or just exploring your options, understanding number porting is key to maintaining communication continuity. In this blog, Liam Spry talks us through the process and things to look out for. 

Liam Spry's guide to number porting

meet the author

After building extensive experience as our Support Engineer, Liam stepped into his current management role in August 2023.

Liam now heads up the Service Desk team, who are here to help and support our Partners.

what is number porting?

Number porting is the process of moving a number from one telecommunications provider to another, while making sure the ownership of the number stays the same. Keeping the number the same means that the end user or business can continue to keep their number but is no longer restricted to a specific supplier. 

The right to port legislation means that a supplier has to allow you to port a number. 

who can port numbers?

The process of number porting is led by the gaining provider.

It’s similar to the way you would switch bank accounts, you let the new bank know that you want to switch and they take care of the rest. Number porting is now simplified in this same way for the user.

With number porting the end user who wants to switch speaks to new provider, who then sends a porting request to the losing provider. The losing provider then validates that request. 

how long does the process take?

The amount of time it take to port a number depends on type of number. There are 3 types:

Single line numbers

Typically, single-line numbers take between 5 and 10 days to port, depending on the circumstances and whether it has ever moved away from the range holder (the person who first held the number).

Multi-line numbers

To port multi-line numbers the process can take between 14 – 21 days, depending on the circumstances.

Non-geographic numbers

Non-geographic numbers (numbers that are not geographically located, typically 0300, 0500, 0800, 0808, 0844, 0845, 0870, and 0871) have varying lead times, because of their slightly more complex nature. 

Typically these numbers have more protections in place and therefore extra validation is required to port them. An LOA (letter of authority) will be required to port these numbers.  

how do I start the process?

To put you in the best starting position for porting your number(s) be sure to get as much information as possible from your current provider. The more you can get from them from the start, the easier the process will be further down the line, espcially when it comes to non-geographic number porting. 

If you have a question or want to chat about number porting in more detail, drop me a message


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