Porting phone numbers

Christina Dechent
Christina Dechent
  • Updated

babelforce can port your existing phone numbers in almost any situation where porting is possible.

Porting is generally possible under the following circumstances

  • The contract between you and the provider of your phone number allows to port the number to another provider
  • The telecommunications carrier or operator that the phone numbers are actually routed to supports the porting procedure

In addition, many territories have regulations that govern how porting should be done and in what way it is to be conducted.

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The process for porting numbers to babelforce

1. You need to send babelforce proof that you are the owner of the phone numbers. That means proof that your company is legally enabled as the business user of the phone numbers. For example, you could provide a copy of the last invoice from your current provider.

2. babelforce will prepare a porting form with all the relevant numbers in it. A legal representative from your company has to sign it. We need this document back as scanned PDF.

3. We send the form to one of our carriers who can receive the numbers and ask them to port numbers to us. Note, a carrier must be used who has the capability to handle good quality inbound routes for the territory or specific type of number to be ported.

4. It is possible to give the preferred porting date and time in the porting form. Note that your company has the contract with the existing provider, so you may need to specifically request and enforce that the porting is scheduled for the date and time. babelforce cannot directly control the processes or decisions at the existing provider or their carrier(s).

5. The owner, or more accurately the company contractually entitled to use the phone numbers, will be your company all the time. This is the case also after porting.

6. The numbers are switched to the new carrier. If the existing provider and carrier and the receiving carrier adhere to the date and time, then this can occur with very little or no disruption. Generally that is the case.

The easiest way is to fill out the form above and add all required data. If you want to port numbers from different regions or different types of numbers (for instance, you have a geographical and a toll-free number you want to port) you need to fill out the form for each region/ number type.


FAQ on porting numbers

What information must I provide on the numbers I wish to port to babelforce?

  • The number(s) you want us to port
  • Name of the legal entity and/or person to whom the number is registered
  • Full address of the legal entity and/or person to whom the number is registered
  • A copy of your last bill from your provider for the number
  • Your current provider
  • The current carrier, or number range holder or other entities involved in provisioning and managing the phone numbers (these may be different from your provider). Note we may be able to help you find this out, if you cannot.

Is it always possible to port numbers to a new provider?

Mostly yes but not always. For example,

  1. the phone numbers might be under contract with a specific arrangement or special pricing or billing approach. It might be not allowed under your contract with the existing provider.

  2. Some numbers can only be offered by a specific operator and/or through a specific provider.

  3. Finally, in some territories/jurisdictions providers and carriers/operators have no obligation to support porting and do not offer it or disallow it in their contracts?

Is it necessary to port numbers to babelforce in order to use the babelforce platform?

No it is not necessary. In many cases, businesses have contracts with providers and/or carriers for certain phone numbers and these contracts are retained. You can simply send the calls to the babelforce platform. We support all standard technical mechanisms to do this:

How is the receiving carrier selected?

The babelforce platform uses over 40 carriers and operators and over 300 service providers. It is necessary to select a carrier who can technically deliver the capability. We will do this assessment based on the numbers to be ported.

NOTE: It can be necessary or advisable to use more than one receiving carrier. For example, if there are better carriers for certain types of numbers. We will assess this for each number being ported.

How long does the porting process take?

In territories where porting is regulated and pretty standardized, e.g. throughout the EU, the porting process usually takes between 1 and 3 weeks. The variation in the range is largely due to the communication between the parties and secondly the relationship between the customer and the existing provider and carrier. There can of course be delays due to agreeing a scheduled porting date and time, or issues with the contract for the existing numbers or some other procedure.

babelforce endeavours to assist you in this porting process and we always try to be transparent with you on who needs to do what when and at which point in the process one currently stands.

What happens if porting is not possible for some numbers? 

It can turn out that during the porting process you or we discover that some of your numbers cannot be ported (see notes in answers above on existing contractual, regulatory and carrier capability issues. In these cases, babelforce can assist you in making one of the other processes for delivering high quality calls to the platform, i.e. one of the technical SIP forwarding or interconnection mechanisms.

Note that it is not rocket science: there is usually a good way to route and handle calls to meet your business needs.

How much does it cost to port numbers?

Usually it costs between 25 EUR and 150 EUR as a one-off porting fee. We will generally bundle numbers together that are ported from one existing carrier to one receiving carrier and charge a single fee. Generally the cost is very small or even negligible compared to overall costs.

It can happen that your existing provider or carrier charges for the porting. This is determined by the contract you have with them, their terms and conditions and potentially local regulations on porting. So there can sometimes be additional fees that are not under babelforce control. But generally the one-off fees are transparent and small.

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