You can easily transfer a phone number to another phone on the same network. Doing a phone number transfer across network providers is also possible but may require a few extra steps to ensure you keep the original number. Keeping your phone number is convenient and means you are not required to notify everyone in your network of a number change.
Transferring to a New Phone
Changing phones within the same network makes it easy to keep your number. You can swap numbers with Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or any other provider within the network. The only steps required are deactivating the old phone and activating the new phone on the number. The phone plan does not ever change so the transfer is simple to execute.
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The easiest method of transfer is by visiting a physical store for your provider. If you purchase the new phone at a provider storefront, they can make the transfer on the spot. Otherwise, bring both phones to your service provider and ask to activate the new phone on your plan. The entire process should only require a few minutes because the contract is not changing.
The other options involve calling the customer service number for your service provider or using an online portal if they allow phone changes through a web-based process. The phone number service is often convenient if the wait times are not too long. Regardless of the process chosen, you will need to know the account information and password to make the change official.
Changing Between Networks
Changing between networks is also relatively easy to accomplish. You will, however, need the information for the account and password for the old network and a new plan or contract for the new network. You can make the switch by visiting the stores for each network provider but there is an easier method of securing your number for the transfer.
The Federal Communications Commission has set up a porting process to hold your phone number while transferring between providers. The process is designed to prevent mobile networks from locking you into service by holding the number hostage. The porting system means you can legally change providers at any time while keeping the phone number. No phone number portability check is required, just the ability to cancel the old contract and begin a new one.
First, find the new service provider and new phone and get the contract started. Once you have requested the new service, porting the number from the old company becomes possible. You must remain in the same area code for this to work, however. Contact your old company and ask to cancel the service while receiving a 10-digit porting code. Supply the code to your new provider and they can complete the contract and new phone activation under the same phone number.
Parking a Phone Number
In some cases, you may experience a time-lapse between phone contracts. In this case, you can park the number until it's time for a new contract. Do a quick web search and numerous number parking services are available. They often require a small fee but they are convenient and make it easy to hold the number until you are prepared to activate a new phone.
The way number parking works is actually similar to the transfer between services. You will use the same porting service but rather than transferring the number to a new phone, it will transfer to a parking space where you essentially pay a small monthly fee to maintain ownership of the phone number. The entire process is easy and relatively inexpensive.