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Number porting to GV - my experience

Started by chaiwan2000, June 16, 2011, 11:20:56 PM

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I lived in Bay Area, CA and recently ported my land line number to GV successfully. Just want to share my log here, hopefully it can demystify this process a bit.

First, I go to to make sure my land line number is eligible to transfer.

Then I started out with a T-mobile prepaid SIM card for $6.99 which I purchased online. Plus tax, it is $7.64 shipped. I got 10 minutes talk time.

Day 1 (evening): Received the package from T-mobile. Follow the instructions and activate that SIM card. Provided a PIN # of my choice and in return I got a new phone number (408-xxx-yyyy). Put that SIM in one of my mobile phone and make sure this number actually works.

Day 2 (morning): Called T-mobile's activation dept (1-800-937-8997) and requested them to port my land line number to my prepaid SIM. I need to provide my AT&T account number to T-mobile for this.

Day 3 (morning): Received a SMS from T-mobile at 7:58am telling me that the porting is done. Called both ways and confirmed it is working.

Day 3 (lunch time): Login to my Google Voice account and request the porting at 12:22pm. Google charges $20 for this, payable via Google Checkout. Also, I need to provide my T-mobile account number and PIN to Google. A T-mobile agent told me that, for prepaid SIM, the account number is usually 1+mobile number. You may want to double check with T-mobile if you're not sure. Therefore, in my case, it is 1-408-xxx-yyyy. PIN is the one I created on Day 1. Part of the Google activation process is for Google to make a call to your mobile number, and you need to enter a 2-digit code that they provided to complete the validation process. This is where your 10-minute talk time becomes useful.

Day 4 (morning): Received an email from Google saying that their porting is done. Just tried calling both ways and it seems to work so far.

This is just my personal experience and for sure, YMMV. Good luck and have fun with Obi110.


Excellent information and review!  I have been wondering how smooth the process of porting a landline number to Google would be.  Thank you for your post; it is very helpful!


I'll second what pc44 said.  Excellent review and helpful information.

I will probably be porting my land line in the near future and this info will definitely help.

I'm just debating on porting my land line number to GV or something like Callcentric in which I already have an account.

Google Voice is great, but I also really like Callcentric even though it's not free like GV.  Great support at CC and GV is really lacking in that area.

Oh well, I'm starting to wander off topic so I'll say good bye.

Again, Thanks for posting on your porting experience.


Thanks for the kind words.

Like Johnny, I asked myself the same question. My primary goal here is to keep my land line number and my secondary goal is to enjoy the free services from Google for as long as they are available.

That said, I choose to port my number to GV because in case there is any hiccup with Google Chat, I can always route my calls to my other phone numbers. If I port my land line straight to CC, then I lost this flexibility. This is, of course, assuming that Google will at least continue to provide call routing. In case Google stops everything, then CC is always there for me.


This is a great explanation, and so far, it's working well. One question...AFTER you port away from T-Mobile, what number gets assigned to the T-Mobile SIM? The one you started with? Another one in the same area code? Or is it a mystery?


After porting, your original T-Mobile SIM is not associated with any number. You could probably reactivate it if you took it to a store, but they'd probably want to issue you a new SIM to avoid confusion.


I did this a while back using an ancient T-Mobile voice-only phone. If you have a Freecycle group in your area you can probably get an old T-Mo phone through them at no cost. I took the phone to a store and bought the $10 SIM+5minutes package and had the T-Mobile rep start the porting process all at once.

I'll also confirm that the account number is the telephone number with a prepended "1", just like you'd call it long-distance.


My T-Mobile experience was very simple and efficient.  I had my home Phone Service with T-Mobile.  I had the T-Mobile @Home Home Phone Service, which cost $9.99 ($13.00 with taxes) per month for unlimited US calling.  So, I did not have to first port my number to T-Mobile and they treat the @Home Line as if it was a Mobile number.  I initiated the port and exactly 24-hours later, the port went through and the T-Mobile@Home Router (WRTU54G-TM) Blue light went out and service available on the OBi110.  The T-Mobile@Home charges disappear from the account.  Total cost for the entire process was $20.00 that Google charge for porting from T-Mobile to Google!

Now I have a free (for now at least) phone system with better features and more reliable than the @Home Service.  Added e911 for $2.49 per month ($0.99 for the DID and $1.50 for e911). could not do e911 without first purchasing a DID.


For me, after the number is ported from T-Mobile to GV, I can continue to call out using my T-Mobile SIM for a couple more days until that account got closed. The other end sees my land line number.


I got to do some research on how to do all of this.  This sounds really cool.


I followed waichai2000's procedure exactly, got almost the exact the same result:

Day 1: Called T-mobile's number porting dept (1-800-937-8997 then transfered to number porting dept), requested them to port my AT&T land line number to my prepaid SIM.

Day 3 (13:00): Received a phone call on my T-mobile phone, caller confirm she was calling my AT&T landline number

Day 3 (13:30): Create a new Google Voice account and request number porting. Provided the T-mobile account number and PIN.

Day 4 (00:31): Received an email from Google: porting initiated
Day 4 (00:32): Received an email from Google: incorrect PIN (I am sure I provided the correct PIN)
Day 4 (09:30): call T-mobile to confirm my PIN, CSR note that the newly ported in AT&T number has a port-out request attached and thought it was a mistake, I told her not to worry.
Day 4 (09:40): provided GV the T-Mobile PIN again for porting (a link was provided in the google email)

Day 5 (00:29): Received an email from Google: porting initiated
Day 5 (00:29): Received an email from Google: porting completed successfully

I suspect that the T-mobile system has problem handling a number being ported in and ported out on the same day. So if you get a "incorrect PIN" email from Google, just try again. Also it seems Google is performing all the number porting shortly after midnight each day.

Thanks waichai2000


Any thoughts on how this works without a T-Mobile phone or account?


PolynesianMedic:  I'm not sure what you mean by "without a T-Mobile phone or account"?  Do you mean porting into GV directly from a land line number (POTS or VoIP), or from some other (non T-Mobile) mobile phone number?

Currently, you can't port a land line number into GV; Google doesn't provide that option at all.  You can get around this, as the OP did; port a land line over to a mobile carrier supported by GV (currently only Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, I believe), then port that number to GV.  Users' experiences porting into GV vary widely, with many problems reported, depending on carrier, area code/prefix, etc, with no clear failure pattern and very poor support from Google.

The key to success is probably using either a T-Mobile or AT&T GoPhone prepaid number, and ensuring that you have the exact, accurate account information for that number before you attempt to enter anything into Google's porting system.   For example, for AT&T GoPhone, you need to contact their customer service, and obtain the actual account number (which is NOT the same as the phone number).

There is a lot more information and war stories over on the GV help forum.


I also live in the bay area (my landline service is with Comcast), and am following the steps from post #1. Ordered my T-mobile prepaid sim card (with 10 minutes on it) at Amazon for $5.49 and free shipping (I have prime). If you search for "B004UI4WFM" (it's the product code) at the Amazon site it will bring you to the correct one. Got my phone at noon yesterday, called to activate it (took about 15 min), then called later in the day to start home number port (see tips below), and am currently waiting to get the text that the port is complete. I'll update this post as progress is made, but so far so good. Here are a few extra tips to help people out.

If you have an AT&T mobile account you can call 1-800-331-0500 and AT&T will give you the unlock code for your phone (as long as it's not an iphone) for free. Took me about 15 minutes to get the code, and you need an unlocked phone to put your T-mobile prepaid sim into (unless of course you are already a T-mobile customer).

The T-mobile direct prepaid customer service number is 1-877-778-2106. It took me 3 tries before finally getting connected to the right dept. Once you call and get to the options you want option #5 "manage account". I tried option #4 "technical support" only to be rerouted a number of times and then having the call drop. Next you want to say "representative", and once someone comes on they need to verify a few things and tell them you are trying to get connected to "pre-paid activation for number porting". Make sure you stress "pre-paid" as the first few times they connected me to the normal non prepaid account number porting and it's a completely separate department. I also verified with T-mobile that your prepaid account number is 1 + your new cell number (you need that later to give to google).

UPDATE: Got the email for google that the number port is complete at 9AM 7/23/11 which is less than 2 days from the activation of the T-mobile number (around noon on 7/21/11). Not sure if I can post links so if you do a search of "How to Port Verizon Landline to Google Voice" the first link will be a post from someone that did a landline port like these posts but he mentions the phone number 1-877-789-3106 which is a direct line to T-mobiles porting group. Call this number vs the other one and you won't have to go through a bunch of transfers. You still need to tell them you are porting a "pre-paid" number. I got the text from T-mobile around 9AM on 7/22/11 and went right into google to see if they would see the number as portable and it's amazing that there was no lag for them to report it was a number they could port. Lastly remember that when you do the port with google your T-mobile account number that you give them is 1 + "your new T-mobile # (ie. the # you are porting)". T-mobile changes your account number from "1 + original T-mobile #" once the port is complete. Lastly right after you initiate the google port expect an immediate email saying there is an error with the port. You will need to go to google voice and it will bring you to a page where they want you to input your T-mobile prepaid pin #, and then it take ~24hrs to complete. I am going to port our 2nd office #, and I going to try to see if T-mobile with activate the account with that number directly, so it would eliminate a step. I'll post back if that works.



I have a problem, i need some help and so far no one can give me an answer.
I ported my landline phone # 610-473-xxxx to Tracfone (AT&T) successfully.  I am now trying to port the # to GV, but so far no go on the GV end.  GV is giving me the "Unfortunately there are no Google Voice setup options available for this mobile phone number at this time. Click on the Back button below to setup Google Voice with a new number." crap.

What can i do to get my # to GV?


I had a good experience with 1 warning.

I had Comcast Digital voice as my land line.
I picked up a pay-as-you-go SIM card from T-Mobile and ported my number there. (I have several t-mobile phones already)

This was a bit of fun, since 1 out of 4 people I spoke with at t-mobile realized you could do that (most thought you could not port to a pay-as-you-go line).

This took a total of 2 days from purchasing the SIM and calling T-Mobile to begin the port.
Once the port was confirmed to T-Mobile, I started the process with Google voice and within 1 more day things were working nicely.

Total extra cost was $10 for the SIM & another $10 to add some minutes...I wasted them setting up voice mail- should have use the land line to do that.

The ONLY issue is that you CAN NOT FORWARD a T-Mobile Pay-As-You-Go for the 1 day that I was in process from T-Mobile to Google, I had setup a voice message saying that my phone was in transition and my temporary number was my Google Voice number.

Hope that helps someone avoid the any surprises.


Has anyone tried to port 2 diff landlines to 2 diff gv accounts using 1 tmobile prepaid sim card?

I haven't tried porting yet so not sure if the tmo account gets wiped out after the first port.


You will need a seperate T-mobile sim card for each land line ported. Once the number gets ported from T-mobile to google voice the old sim card doesn't work anymore and I assume your T-mobile account is terminated at their end.


Quote from: brav on August 05, 2011, 11:13:09 PM
Has anyone tried to port 2 diff landlines to 2 diff gv accounts using 1 tmobile prepaid sim card?

I haven't tried porting yet so not sure if the tmo account gets wiped out after the first port.


Well I followed the steps on ZDnet as documented (verbosely but thoroughly) by David Gewirtz here:

My case briefly:

1) Have Vonage and I am trying to break free from their evil empire
2) Got an ATT GoPhone with a prepaid $15 (added after I got the phone)
3) Requested porting from Vonage to ATT GoPhone
4) Checked porting status and 3 days later Vonage number was successfully ported to the ATT GoPhone
5) Opened a new Google Account to port the ATT GoPhone number to it (so I can link it to Obi, Cell, Office)
6) Got on Google Voice and I get this:
Available options for using your existing mobile number:
Get Google Voicemail for your existing mobile number
Keep your existing number with your carrier and get the lite version of Google Voice which includes some of the most popular features like online voicemail and voicemail transcriptions.
Get Google Voice Lite (as shown in attached image).

Now I wonder WTH is going on... is Vonage still holding the number even if the port was successful? The weird thing is that despite ported my Vonage is the device that receives calls on the ported number, the ATT still does not.

Anyone has had any experience with this?

I will update if/when I'll have more info/solution in the meantime thanks to all who can pitch in with a solution/suggestion.



I ported my T-Mobile cell number to Google Voice back when I moved from T-Mo to Verizon in February (so I could get an iPhone). Porting took only about a day and was a piece of cake.