The cost savings and flexibility of VoIP mean that it is an increasingly popular option for businesses. One of the things that worries firms intending to make the switch, however, is what happens to their existing phone numbers.
With the old ISDN network due to be switched off in a few years, this is a problem more and more companies are facing, but fortunately there is a solution.
In the UK phone numbers are issued by the regulator, Ofcom. These are given to service providers in batches, and individual numbers or blocks are then allocated to customers. At the moment there are around 600 companies in the UK that hold batches of phone numbers.
When you switch to a wholesale voice termination provider, your number needs to move from the original issuer to the new provider. The way this usually works is that calls are still sent to the original network provider and then get forwarded to the new one.
The Porting Process
So you’ve decided to take advantage of wholesale VOIP termination rates available through https://www.idtexpress.com, but how do you go about porting your numbers? First, you need to check which numbers are live with your current service provider. When the number moves to your VoIP provider, the old service will stop. If the line is used for any extra services like alarm monitoring, this will stop too, so you need to check carefully.
Don’t tell the existing provider you want to cease the number – this may lead to you losing it altogether. They will be notified by your new provider as part of the porting process. When you’re ready to go, you will need to give your new provider a signed agreement to go ahead. They will then give the old provider a ‘letter of authority’ to show they are authorised to proceed.
There is a lead time to port numbers, usually about 10 to 30 working days. Make sure that you plan for this or you risk being left without a telephone service. If you need the transfer to take place on a certain date or outside working hours, this is often possible but is likely to incur an additional charge.
Your new VoIP provider should be able to guide you through what’s involved in the porting process, making it as seamless as possible.