What does “porting a line” mean?
Officially known as “Wireless Local Number Portability (WLNP)”, porting a line is the process that lets you change carriers but keep your wireless number. Watch out when porting your line because each of the big carriers has different traps if you’re not careful.
AT&TAT&T will cancel your old service for you. The longest they take to transfer a number is 4 hours. They will also keep both your old and new service active until the porting process is complete so you’re never without service.
SprintSprints’ overall process takes 2 to 5 days. During this time your old service will remain active while your new service is activating, AND you will get double billed for 2-5 days. Ask Sprint to credit the time you were with a temporary phone number – all the other carriers take no more than 24 hours to port a phone number.
T-MobileT-Mobile will not cancel your old service for you. T-Mobile’s porting process has typical delays ranging from 5 minutes to 24 hours. If you’re porting multiple lines expect as much as a 10 day delay. Do NOT cancel your old service until your new T-Mobile device(s) can make and receive phone calls, texts and browse online without WiFi.
VerizonVerizon will cancel your old service for you. The longest they take to transfer a number is 4 hours, but be careful because your old and new service can be cutoff at the same time during this process.