How to Port a Landline to a Cell Phone

By Jefe Nubarron

Wireless Local Number Portability (LNP) has been mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow telephone customers to retain a telephone number when switching from one telephone carrier to another. It is often possible to port a telephone number from a landline telephone to a cell phone. There are exceptions, and exclusions between carriers, but you will not know whether a port can succeed until the process has been initiated, and this must always be done through the new carrier.

Things You'll Need

  • New cell phone carrier
  • Copy of recent telephone bill

Step 1

Select the new cell phone carrier. Check first to ensure that your selected cellular carrier can port your existing landline number to their mobile service.

Step 2

Initiate the transfer process with the new cellular phone carrier when you sign up with the carrier. You must start the process with the new carrier to ensure the number is properly ported and that you don't go without service.

Step 3

Provide all necessary documentation, signatures, and fees. Your new carrier will request documentation that shows you control the number to be ported, typically in the form of an existing bill. Sign and fax everything they request. Pay any fees assessed by the new mobile carrier for the port. Wait until your old carrier has approved the porting request. The new carrier should keep you updated as your porting status changes. The entire process could take anywhere from one day to four weeks, depending upon the carriers involved.

Step 4

Address any issues that prevent the porting process from completing. If your request is denied, you may be able to supply further documentation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some small landline carriers are still not required to port numbers to wireless carriers. Check with your prospective cellular carrier to ensure they can complete the request.
  • If you cancel service with your landline telephone carrier before your number has been transferred, you could lose the number. Always initiate the porting process from the new cell phone carrier.