Can I keep my number if I switch provider?

telephone keupadAt Ofcom we fully understand that your phone number is important to you.

If you choose to change providers, you want to keep that number and avoid any hassle for friends and family.

If you’re a business, your customers will have your number in their phones and systems, and any change can also be very costly.

So if you’re staying at the same address and your number is active, your current provider must allow it to be transferred to a new phone company.

Whilst the new provider doesn’t have to accept this request, it is in their interests to do so. They should also make all the transfer arrangements.

Can I take my number when moving home?

If you're moving home within your own telephone exchange area then you may be able to take your current phone number with you. However, this is not something which is regulated by Ofcom and you should first speak to your provider to check whether this is possible.

If you are moving outside of your local exchange area then you probably won’t be able to keep your number if you want to have a traditional landline.

However, you can keep your landline number by moving – or porting – it to a web based VoIP service.

A number of VoIP providers will allow you to port your landline number to their service for a one-off fee.

With a VoIP service you can make calls from your computer or use purpose built VoIP telephones or telephone adapters with ordinary telephones plugged in.

There are also VoIP apps which you can download to your smartphone. You can use them to make free calls to people using the same app. Remember; going over your data allowance can be expensive so try to use these apps when connected to a WiFi network.

There are different types of call plan so it’s good to shop around and do your research beforehand, taking into account how you want to use the service.