Have you come to us to find a great new mobile number? Great idea! But now you need to port that number to your wireless carrier and we can help.
The very first step before buying a number is to verify that your preferred mobile carrier can support the phone number on their network.
You'll want to check with that provider first. Trust us, it's better to ask in advance than to buy the number and realize they can't support it.
But, why wouldn't a provider be able to support my number?
Two words: Rate Center
The rate center of a number is determined by the area code and first three digits (prefix) of a phone number.
These two pieces of information classify the city and state of the number.
For example (858) 922-1234:
- 858 is an area code assigned in the state of California.
- 858-922 is an exchange associated with the city of La Jolla.
- 1234 is the line number.
Learn more about rate centers in our post, What Does a Rate Center Mean For You?
Note: All US and Canadian carriers can only support numbers that are in their country of service.
Ok got it. How do I ask my cell phone provider if they support the rate center of my number?
The best way to determine if your number is supported is to directly contact your carrier and provide the number you want to port to them. They can tell you if that number is supported.
You can also check online with most major carriers (but it's always best to ask directly). Here are links to some of the major carriers:
Check portability with AT&T
Go here: https://www.att.com/wireless/transfer-your-number/
Note that this page is sometimes a little buggy so you may have to actually contact AT&T.
Here are some of the MVNOs who use the AT&T Wireless network. The AT&T portability check may help determine if you can port to these companies:
- H2O Wireless
- Red Pocket
Check portability with Verizon Wireless
Go here: https://www.verizonwireless.com/switch-to-verizon/
Here are some of the MVNOs who use the Verizon Wireless network. The Verizon portability check may help determine if you can port to these companies:
- Spectrum Mobile
- Ting Verizon
- Xfinity Mobile
Check portability with T-Mobile
Go here: https://www.t-mobile.com/resources/keep-your-number
Note that sometimes the above site doesn't work well with Google Chrome. You may need to try another browser. Or try the following link which takes you through the process of adding a line and from there you'll know for sure if T-Mobile can support your number:
Here are some of the MVNOs who use the T-Mobile network. The T-Mobile portability check may help determine if you can port to these companies:
- Boost Mobile
- Google Fi
- Lyca Mobile
- Metro PCS
- Mint Mobile
- Tello Mobile
- TIng T-Mobile
- Ultra Mobile
- US Mobile
Check portability with Sprint
Note that while T-Mobile now owns Sprint, if you are porting a number to the "Sprint side of the house" you may need to check portability here instead of the aforementioned T-Mobile site.
Go here: https://www.sprint.com/en/my-sprint/orders/transfer-check.html
What if my preferred carrier can't support my number?
If your preferred carrier doesn't support your number, you can always try a different carrier or find another NumberBarn number that will work with your preferred carrier. We always recommend confirming that a number is supported before you purchase it.
If you've already purchased a number from us and found out later it's not portable, reach out to our customer support team and we'll see how we can help.
If my preferred carrier CAN support my number, how long does it take to port?
You're likely used to porting your number from one cell phone provider to another, which takes minutes. That typically isn't the case here.
It can take 3 to 10 business days to port an active number to your new cell phone provider. This is because numbers with us are classified as landline/wireline numbers.
Follow the instructions in our Port Away Guide to get your number with your new provider.
How do I check the rate center for my number?
Are you interested in knowing more detail about the rate center for your particular telephone number? You can get more information than you could ever hope for on the following page:
Article is closed for comments.