First, what is an MVNO?
MVNO stands for:
Mobile Virtual Network Operator
Picture a hilltop with four cell phone towers owned by Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.
Then, picture a little town below the hill with lots of little shops. These little shops are the MVNO service providers that buy service from those on the hilltop and resell it to their townsfolk for a lower price. If you want to see what MVNO service providers are on which tower, visit this page and scroll down to the section titled, “Who Is On Your Network”.
Sometimes, MVNOs will not provide phones. You’ll use your existing phone from your original hilltop provider. The MVNO is your low priced provider to help you save big bucks on your cell service.
Many customers find their dream cell phone number, like (708) I-AM-COOL, and then port it away to their desired MVNO service provider to save some money.
We’ve created this guide to help you port your number to your new MVNO provider. Happy porting!
But first, the basics:
- Porting to an MVNO (or any cell phone provider) takes 3 to 7 business days, up to 10 business days, to port away. The ports are unlikely to complete within minutes or hours.
- Our numbers are classified by the FCC as landline/wireline numbers. There are many more switches to switch on the backend of the port. This is why they take longer to port than your usual mobile number.
- The information you submit to your MVNO provider must match what is on file within your account. If it doesn’t match, it will not port.
Alright, are you ready to get started? Follow these instructions to begin:
Step 1: Wait for your new number to activate
Note that this video only mentions NumberBarn but applies equally to NumberGarage.
After you search for your desired phone number, you’ll be taken to the results page. On the left-hand side, you’ll see the phone numbers available for you to choose from. And, on the right, you’ll see the price.
Directly below the price, an activation time frame.
This activation time frame is important to take into consideration when selecting your new number.
The Get It Now Option will take approximately 2-3 hours to activate your new number.
All other numbers will complete within a 3-10 day time frame.
Since you can only port an active phone number, you will need to allow the activation time frame to complete and your number to become active in your account.
Step 2: The porting away details
Once your number has been activated, it is time to obtain the porting away details from within your account. With those details in hand, contact your new provider to initiate the port request to their service. Remember, it must match what is on file in your account.
We often see some MVNO providers enter “prepaid subscriber” as the name and do not include the PIN or account number that is associated with your account. Verify with them that they are including your information exactly as it is listed in your account.
And remember, the port out process can take anywhere from 3-7 business days, up to 10 business days, to complete (note this does not include weekends or holidays). In fact, it may take up to 3 business days for the request that they send to us to arrive with our carrier.
If your number is approved:
Awesome! This means the provider submitted the correct information. We’ll email you to confirm that your number port has been approved. The porting will happen within 3-7 business days, up to 10 business days, from the approval date. Keep your number active(meaning, do not delete it) until the number ports away to the new provider.
If your number is rejected:
Find out why. Why was the number port rejected? We’ll email you to let you know, but it is always good to check with your new provider, too. This article will walk you through overcoming port out rejections. Once the rejection has been corrected, reach out to your new provider and ask them to resubmit your request.