Port Your Mobile Number To Google Voice Now Live

The option to port your existing cellphone number over to Google Voice is now live and direct, baby.

To do it, just go to your Google Voice account, hit settings and hit “Change/Port” next to your Google Voice number. The cost is $20 and it should go through in about a day.

Why would you want to do this? Well, Google Voice lets you do call forwarding for free. So you can have your old cellphone number that everyone knows forward to all your new devices and programs. “One Number To Rule Them All,” so to speak.

You can also set up a series of filters and rules, so if your buddy Jane calls you after 10 on a weeknight, it can forward straight to voicemail. The voicemail transcribing service and free text messages are handy too.

Mo control over your telecommunications preferences, mo better!

Before taking the porting plunge, be advised that if you are in contract with your cellphone service provider, this will break your contract and you will have to pay an early termination fee. Here’s a lil’ video Google made on how it all works:

Port your existing mobile number to Google Voice [Google Voice Blog]

Coming Soon: Port Your Number To Google Voice For $20


Edit Your Comment

  1. Grogey says:

    Some people had the thought of asking for a new number from your provider and then sending the old number to google. Not sure how you would do it logistically.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      You can’t. Technically once you change your number with your provider you have no more claim to it and it isn’t portable. More than likely, it’d belong to someone else before Google got around to requesting the port.

      • dangerp says:

        Yup. I once had a Sprint rep tell me that it was possible. It took several days of 2 hour long phone calls with sprint to get my number back from the void. I think I may have just gotten lucky in actually pulling it off.

    • Grogey says:

      I guess those people that have the contract up could do this then.

    • golfinggiraffe says:

      It’s actually relatively simple.

      (A) If you want to stay with the same carrier:
      (1) Sign up for a second line.
      (2) Make your secondary line your primary line. The number you want to keep will turn into a secondary line.
      (3) Port the number you want to keep to Google. Your secondary line will now be numberless and be terminated.
      (4) Have Google Voice direct calls to your new number. Done!

      (B) If you want to sign up with a new carrier:
      (1) Sign up for two lines, porting the number you want to keep to the secondary line.
      (2) Follow steps (2)-(4).

      Of course, there may be an Early Termination Fee involved with either (A) or (B) if you’re currently on contract. This might be overcome if you have a phone with high resale value, such as an iPhone.

  2. gerald.saul says:

    Interesting new development. What happens for people who have, say, free mobile calling? Do their plans see your Google Voice number as a “mobile” number and the call is free, or do those people get charged for calling you?

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      Used to be more predictable for people with say the T-mobile fave 5. But because carriers complained for this exact reason, google calls you back from a different number each time.

      Anyway, if you use Gvoice to call someone you get free calling to, it isn’t free because you’re calling Google. The only way this works is if you get Free Incoming Calls, you can use it to “call out” by getting google to call them and call you back.

    • tomz17 says:

      Mobile 2 Mobile calling used to go by exchange. However, AFAIK carriers now maintain a database of individual in-network numbers for billing purposes (as a result of number portability). So no, once you port-out it should no longer count as Mobile2Mobile.

      • gerald.saul says:

        I’m talking not just about the in-network free calling, but aren’t there some carriers where you can call *any* cell phone from *any* other carrier and it’s a free call? How do they handle this new development? Or, more specifically, how does Google identify themselves in the telecom landscape?

        • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

          Carriers complained to Google about this (the fave 5 and alltell’s circle for example) because you could add your Gvoice number to your circle and in theory call EVERYONE for free. This is why carriers have 1) mostly done away with these circles of calling or 2) require absurd amounts of minutes to be purchased (I think AT&T is above 900) before you qualify for a plan where you can call people for free.

  3. danmac says:

    Great…now I officially feel old…this just has me scratching my head like a confused monkey…I think I’ll need to read up on it more.

    Also, I’m curious how “free text messaging” works…if I port my number over to google, then get a new service plan that does not include a texting package, won’t it still charge me a texting fee when google forwards the text to my phone? If so, how is that free? I mean, if that’s the case, I would have to pay the same for texts as I’m paying now, just on the new service plan…

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      If google *forwards* the text to your phone, you receive it as a text so yes it is not free.
      However, they can also forward it to your email instead, or if you have a smartphone you can receive it on the gvoice app, both those methods would be free of charge because they don’t involve the phone company in any way.

    • DJSeanMac says:

      The really big benefit with Google is it consolidates all your numbers and acts as a receptionist when you can’t take calls or won’t take them for specific people. You can control who gets through with most smart phones, but what if your phone dies? Would you have to start over again with the controls list? Or would you prefer to have the controls stay constant, even if you change phones or carriers?

    • jvanbrecht says:

      If you forward the texts, then yes, you will pay for the incoming text.

      However, google voice applications are all data driven initially (I will get the the initially point in a min). So sent and recieved text messages are actually using your data service, and no actual text messages through your phone provider.

      What many people do not understand, is that google voice is not VOIP, actual voice calls still use minutes, and whatever voice channels you are using (cell phone, land line, or voip provider). When you make a call using google voice, you initiate the call through the application using data, the google system then calls your phone back, and then initiates the call to whomever you are trying to call.

      So porting your number to google will do very little, as you will still need some sort of phone service, and still use voice minutes.

      What google does allow, is how those calls are routed, using rules, you can filter some calls to one phone, other calls to another phone number, some to voicemail, etc. People need to be aware of this before they make the jump.

      • danmac says:

        Thanks much for the info…it really helps in determining whether I think this service will be useful to me.

  4. DJSeanMac says:

    It’s just seems much easier to get a brand new Google Voice number and send out a contact update email or change Plaxo & LinkedIn. This would assume your contacts are organized and easy to notify, though.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      Good thing about that is that once they have your Gvoice number you’ll never have to do it again.

      I just did this, actually so that I can drop texting on AT&T.

    • mac-phisto says:

      if you’re looking at switching carriers (like i am), the port to GV actually seems much easier to me. i’ve been wanting to switch over to a smartphone plan w/ sprint (from at&t). the best deals are online but i’ve been hesitant to buy b/c i’ve been concerned about losing inbound calls in the 2-5 days it would take me to get the phone & have the port take effect.

      i’m glad i know about this now – i can just activate the new phone w/ a new number & then port to GV once i’m all set up w/ the new provider.

  5. JustAnotherJoe says:

    Does this mean that Google Voice won’t ever offer land line phone number porting?

    I can’t be the only one that’s had the same landline for 25 years. I find mobile numbers as disposable as Kleenex.

    • jvanbrecht says:

      Its porting a number, land line or cell should make no difference.

      • JustAnotherJoe says:

        Thanks for the quick reply.

        I have Google Voice. The porting page rejects my landline….

      • dangerp says:

        There are significant differences between mobile number portability and local number portability. My understanding has always been that you can port a landline number locally (roughly within area code), and you can port cellphone numbers to other cellphones (since 2003, when it was mandated), but you couldn’t port a landline number to a cellphone.

        But, based on this vague wikipedia reference, it looks like the FCC may have mandated that you can also port landlines to mobile carriers. I don’t know what that means in practice though. Mobile number portability is based on a totally different infrastructure, and I wonder if maybe google is only using that infrastructure for porting.

      • hennese says:

        It does make a difference, and no, you cannot port a land-line to google. Already tried, said it was not available.

  6. toddb says:

    Anyone test this with a landline or VoIP provider phone number? Or is it just mobiles?

    • JustAnotherJoe says:

      Posted on the google voice porting page:

      “Please note: at this time, number porting to Google Voice is not available for land line numbers or corporate mobile numbers.”

  7. bobreck says:

    Ok, so I have a land line with Verizon through their FiOS service. Could I port that number to GV?

  8. Supes says:

    The logistics of this still confuses me.

    I’m on Verizon. Month-to-month right now, so no early termination fee issues. I can port this number to GV of course.

    What are the consequences with my existing Verizon plan though? Does Verizon assign me a new number? Do I need to actually cancel my Verizon plan and sign up for a new one after porting (this would be a dealbreaker, my plan is an old one with favorable rates)?

    • mac-phisto says:

      porting your number should cancel your plan w/ verizon completely.

      i stress the should b/c it’s always a good idea to make sure that your account is closed so you aren’t being billed for a service you can’t use.

      so, this may be a dealbreaker for you. there may be some way to game the system by adding a line to your existing account & then cancelling your original line, but they will most likely make you sign a new contract w/ new rates either when you add the new line or when you cancel the old one.

  9. mike1731 says:

    I’m with some of the others in this thread. How I’d love to use this is to port my land line phone over, and redirect to our cell numbers. Really the only reason we have a land line number these days is for older family who are hard coded to call that number. Quick way to save a hunk of change if it’d work.

  10. benh999 says:

    Great idea if you are getting rid of your cell phone, otherwise, why bother?

  11. ncboxer says:

    I ported my land line to cell at least 5 years ago. Had no problems. I assume then that I got port my now cell number to Google if I wanted to.

    • JustAnotherJoe says:

      I wouldn’t make that assumption.

      And you don’t have to as you can log onto google voice, go to https://www.google.com/voice/porting enter your land line and see if it’s acceptable.

      Would be interesting to know if a number that originated as a landline retains any characteristic that prevents the porting.

  12. The Twilight Clone says:

    Maybe I’m getting old (almost 33), but this whole thing seems like adding a needless amount of complexity to my life. I think I’d have to watch that video five more times to fully understand it.

    I’m quite happy with the basic google voice services I have right now. Thanks.

  13. romoish says:

    I absolutely cannot live without Google Voice at this point. I’ve been using it for a while and it has made my text use go from several thousand/mo on my bill to zero. I call outbound through my google voice number at work for personal calls, receive a transcribed voice mail message if I am busy and can’t answer my phone. I listen to voicemails straight on the web with the ability to send them to others if need be. I have different answering message and screening options for different contacts and can block callers entirely if need be instantly from the web interface.

    I text through my browser with a keyboard if I am at home or work, make calls through the number through gmail for free while at home.

    I seriously can’t gush enough about it and I would without reservations pay for this service but I’m glad it is free.

    I created a number through the service that was much easier to remember and strong-armed everyone into using it. I still get the occasional call or text to my old number but for the most part it works a charm.

  14. Andy Dufresne says:

    You lose access to MMS since your current cell phone will no longer have access to your old number.

  15. SelfishMom says:

    I actually want to do the opposite: port my google voice number to my cell phone. Is this possible?

  16. Dethzilla says:

    What you want to do is port your home number to Google voice and drop your home phone. Have it ring on all the cell phone numbers in your house.

    • SelfishMom says:

      Was that in response to my question about porting my Google Voice # to my cell phone? That wouldn’t solve my problem. I’ve had a GV # for ages, since it was Grand Central, and I don’t want to use the service any more, but I want to keep the number. So I want to port it to my cell phone. Is this at all possible?