One of the primary concerns businesses in particular ask themselves before deciding whether or not to migrate to a VoIP communications solution is if they can keep their existing phone number. This is often referred to as number portability. While it is completely possible in most scenarios to keep existing numbers, it is important to verify if the current number is actually portable.
In most cases, porting a number from a conventional telephone provider to a VoIP service provider is possible and a great benefit to existing businesses. For those seeking to switch between two VoIP providers, however, various problems may arise.
For example; Businesses seeking to port their original number from the local telephone provider to a VoIP service will likely experience no difficulties until they attempt to leave the original VoIP provider and port their number to a new VoIP service. This is due in part to the stipulations that many telephone service providers place on number portability. More often than not they will allow number porting to one VoIP provider, but will not permit it after that initial transfer.
According to most state regulations, however, the consumer is the legal owner of the number and they may decide to port the number wherever they wish.
If the business where to relocate outside of the service area of the VoIP provider they may be required to change their phone number as the number is less likely to be portable. Many VoIP companies like Nextiva offer local number and area codes across the globe.
The best practice approach to number portability for those businesses wishing to retain their existing number is to ask their VoIP provider prior to making a complete migration. Do not be afraid to ask if it is possible to port a number from a conventional telephone service and then to an alternate VoIP provider should you decide to switch in the future.