It can take time for your business to stand out from its competitors. You’ve worked hard to create a strong brand identity that’s recognisable with customers. Everything from your logo to your website's font becomes synonymous with you and any changes to core brand components can cause problems.
This is also true of your phone number. After time, customers and suppliers come to associate that number with you and trust they’ll get the support they need when they call or are called. So, what happens when you want to change phone systems and you’re at risk of losing your number?
I’ve enlisted CircleLoop’s resident number porting expert, Zac Sabatino, to answer any questions you might have.
What is number porting?
Number porting is the process of moving an existing phone number from one provider to another. It’s commonly carried out with mobile phones and personal numbers. Think signing a contract with another network without having to send a new number to all your contacts.
It’s also a simple enough practice when it comes to business numbers too. That didn’t always use to be the case and was one of the reasons businesses would remain with unsatisfactory providers rather than choose to move to another.
Zac: The process has improved drastically over the past couple of years but there is still work to do in terms of communication between providers. However, we do everything we can to guide you through the process step by step.
How does it work?
Porting is only possible with certain numbers. You’ll need to check whether yours is eligible, and this is something that can be checked by either your existing provider or by a provider you’re considering a switch to. If they give you the go ahead, then you can move providers without fear of losing your business number.
Alternatively, it might be written into your existing contract. Depending on how long you’ve been with your existing provider, you might find that you’re obligated to stay with them for a pre-determined period.
Customers who sign up with CircleLoop can speak to Zac to see if their existing number can be ported.
Can I keep my existing number when switching to VoIP?
If you’re making the switch to a VoIP system from the PSTN or ISDN (perhaps ahead of the 2025 Switch Off?), then porting can still be carried out.
Once you’ve identified the phone system you plan to switch to, you can speak to them about the porting process. They should have the capacity to make the port for you so you can continue to use your existing number.
How long does porting usually take?
The answer to that depends on how many numbers you plan on porting. For small ports the process might only take a couple of working days for mobile ports or five days for geo/non-geo numbers. The provider who is carrying out the port should be able to give you a good indication of what to expect.
Zac: We quote 7-10 working days as a rough average for your port to complete although mobile numbers are typically faster. Once we have submitted the request for your number to your current provider, we’ll give you an ETA and keep you updated every couple of days. Obviously, any rejections may extend the process by a couple of working days.
How much does porting a number cost?
This will depend on the contract you have with your provider and the kind of port you require. We recommend checking this beforehand to ensure you’re happy with the terms before getting started.
Zac: We’ll let you know how much your port will cost before beginning the process. We also do everything we can to make sure we keep the cost to a minimum by trying to get the information correct on the first attempt. One thing to bear in mind is there is a charge per attempt.
Can I port a local number?
We can port 98% of local phone numbers into CircleLoop. The process to do this is a bit clunky, but don’t worry, we’ll do most of the work! Your side of the bargain is to make sure you fill in the porting form accurately to avoid extra costs and delays. It generally costs £20+VAT per attempt to port a local number into CircleLoop.
Can I port a mobile number?
The process to port mobile phone numbers is very straightforward and can usually be completed within 48 hours. All we need from you is a PAC code from your existing provider. It is normally free of charge to port a mobile number into CircleLoop.
Can CircleLoop port my business number?
Absolutely, we can assist with any kind of number porting and ensure you’re setup on CircleLoop with your preferred number.
If you’re currently searching for a suitable phone system for your business, then our guide might be just the resource you need. It’s packed with useful tips and advice to ensure you find a system that will support and scale with you.
Get your free copy now by clicking on the link below.