Porting a Phone Number to AT&T Mobility
Porting a phone number to AT&T Mobility is the process of moving the number from the current carrier (losing carrier) to AT&T Mobility (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.
- – Gather current account information for where the new number is right now.
- – Submit that information to AT&T Mobility.
- – Reprogram outbound caller ID on your wireless phone handset.
- – Wait 3 calendar days for the number to start working automatically.
- o Carrier currently holding the number
- o Account number
- o Account PIN (not your voicemail pin)
- o Name on account
- o Address on account, including zip code
- o 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 AT&T Mobility rep may ask for the other details mentioned above.
– You do not need to bring in any documentation. Just the information is sufficient.
SUBMIT INFORMATION TO AT&T MOBILITY
– Call 611 SEND on your AT&T Mobility handset or go into an AT&T Mobility store to initiate the port request.
– You must have an AT&T Mobility enabled handset in order to perform the port. An unlocked SIM card based smart phone will usually suffice, though.
– If you are calling AT&T Mobility, and you have a second handset, it will be more convenient to call from the second handset since you can’t program a phone at the same time you are talking on it. They will sometimes offer to help you to program the target handset at the end of the call. But, if not, you can easily do this by yourself after the call. Or go into the store to submit the port request and execute these steps while there.
NEW LINE OR EXISTING LINE?
– The AT&T Mobility 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 AT&T Mobility account first. AT&T may provide you with a temporary number just for this purpose. 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.
– AT&T Mobility does not charge a fee for porting a new number in.
– If you are porting your new number over top of an existing one, your existing 2 year contract period will 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.
PROGRAMMING YOUR PHONE
– Your phone will now need to be reprogrammed.
– Reprogramming, in this case, means that your new number will be transmitted to the receiving party’s phone handset on their caller ID.
– However, this is NOT the same thing as the port itself. It is merely programming the phone handset. A port requires the cooperation of both the losing carrier and the winning carrier. Which takes time. A reprogramming, however, is an AT&T Mobility function alone and is specific to the particular handset you are using.
– To program your handset, you or your AT&T Mobility representative dial a coded sequence of keys on the dial pay and wait for your phone to reboot.
– If you make any outbound calls before your number ports through, the receiving party will see your new number, not your temporary number. This does NOT mean that your number has been ported.
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 the FCC has required there to be automated porting systems between carriers.
– 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 3-4 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 AT&T Mobility representative may incorrectly estimate that the 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 representatives 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 AT&T Mobility after one to two business days (not calendar days) to get an FOC date. The FOC date is the port date that the losing carrier has scheduled your number to port to AT&T Mobility. (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 AT&T to let you know that the port request is complete and the number is now functioning on the new handset.
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 AT&T Mobility 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 AT&T about this problem unless it lasts for longer than 2 days.
– Text messaging capabilities can sometimes take up to 3 business days to begin functioning normally.
USEFUL CONTACT INFORMATION
– 611 SEND may be used to reach the AT&T Mobility customer service department from your AT&T 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 AT&T Mobility service, go the following link:
— To check on the status of a port request, go to the following link:
— To get the FOC date, you will still need to call the porting department.