Porting a Phone Number to Bell Mobility
Porting a phone number to Bell Mobility is the process of moving the number from the current carrier (losing carrier) to Bell (winning carrier). This is not the same thing as call forwarding – where an inbound call is simply forwarded to a different number. With porting, the number becomes part of the winning carrier’s network.
- Porting a phone number to a wireless carrier such as Bell Mobility is the simplest of all port types.
- It requires no paperwork to be submitted as part of the port request.
- And it takes the least amount of time – approximately 24 hours for a port from another wireless carrier, to 3-5 business days for a port from a landline or VOIP carrier.
- Gather current account information for the carrier account where the new number is right now.
- Submit that information to Bell.
- Wait approximately 1-5 business days (see above) for the number to start working automatically.
- Carrier currently holding the number
- Account number
- Account PIN (not the voicemail pin)
- Name on account
- Address on account, including area code
- Tax ID on the account, if there is one
Normally only the account number and pin will be required. But, once in in a while the Bell rep may ask for the other details mentioned above. If you are porting from a landline or VOIP carrier, the name and address on the current (losing) carrier’s account may become critical. Ask the losing carrier what they need to be sure.
You do not need to bring in any documentation. Just the information is sufficient.
SUBMIT INFORMATION TO BELL MOBILITY
Call 611 SEND on your Bell Mobility handset or go into a Bell Mobility store to initiate the port request.
You must have an unlocked SIM card based smart phone.
NEW LINE OR EXISTING LINE?
Your Bell representative will ask you if you want to port your new number to an existing line (i.e., replace an existing phone number) or to a new line. If it is to a new line, you will need to have a new line added to your Bell account first. They may or may not provide you with a temporary number just for this purpose. Either way is fine. The temporary number will be replaced by your new number when the porting process completes. It does not matter which area code the temporary number is in.
If you are porting your new number to an existing line, you will be porting the new number “over top of” the existing number – which means you will lose the old/current number permanently. So if you need to keep the old number, then open a new line for the new number. You may want to consider using call forwarding from the old number to the new number so you don’t miss any calls.
Bell Mobility sometimes tries to charge you a fee for porting a number in. Decline and ask that the fee be dismissed.
They may also tell you that you must add a new line and a new handset to port a number in. This is not true. Insist otherwise, talk to the manager and go to a different store if they won’t port it without the added line or handset.
If you are porting your new number over top of an existing one, your existing 2 year contract period should not be restarted. So if you have, for example, 5 months left on your contract, only the 5 months will be left on the line after your port request goes through. But confirm this with your representative just to make sure a mistake is not made.
WAITING FOR THE PROCESS TO COMPLETE
If your number is being ported from another wireless carrier, the acknowledgement and approval of the port request by the losing carrier can usually be instantaneous.
That is because wireless carriers are required to automate the porting systems between them.
Hence, a wireless-to-wireless port will normally take less than 24 hours to complete, including over the weekends. However, it might take only 5-10 minutes.
If your number is being ported from a landline or VOIP carrier this will normally take about 3-5 business days (not calendar days).
This is because landline/VOIP carrier port-out departments do not work weekends, and their porting systems are not automated to the same degree that wireless carrier porting departments are.
Your Bell representative may incorrectly estimate that the landline/VOIP port will take 24 hours or less if they are not familiar with landline/VOIP ports.
Conversely, a representative may tell you that the port may take 5 days, 10 days or even 15 days. This will be incorrect as well. The representative may simply want to overestimate the port times so that they do not falsely set your expectations to the short side.
FIRM ORDER COMMITMENT (FOC) DATE
If the losing carrier is a landline or VOIP carrier, you can contact Bell Mobility after one to two business days (not calendar days) to get an FOC date. The FOC date is the port date that Bell has scheduled your number to port away from the losing carrier. (They are also given the planned time of day for the port, however you will rarely be offered that information).
ONCE THE PORT IS COMPLETED
Your new number will automatically start to work on your handset once the port has completed.
You will normally get a text message from Bell to let you know that the port request is complete and the number is now functioning on the new handset, but not always.
However, be aware that, even then, it is not guaranteed to be fully functioning properly; this can take another day or two as explained in the next point.
This is something Bell rarely tells you but is important. Sometimes during the 24-48 hour period after a port is “complete” some inbound calls may still get routed to the losing carrier even while outbound calls will be functioning normally. This period is called a Dual Service or Mixed Service period. It can happen because it may take a day or two for all of the primary switches in the telephone network to be reset so that all inbound calls get routed to the correct carrier and handset. This rarely happens, but, unfortunately, it can happen while the change works its way through the multiplicity of carrier systems involved. There is no benefit to contacting Bell about this problem unless it lasts for longer than 2 days.
Text messaging capabilities can sometimes take up to 3 additional business days to begin functioning normally.
USEFUL CONTACT INFORMATION
611 SEND may be used to reach the Bell Mobility customer service department from your Bell phone. It will normally work even when you do not have an active number on it.
To check to see whether a number is eligible to be ported into your Bell Mobility service, go the following link:
To get the FOC date, you will still need to call the porting department about 2 business days after they have submitted the port request for you.