Today (1/25/11), the Google Mobile blog announced a new feature it has gone live with called "Number Porting." In a nutshell, this feature allows you to convert a number you have directly with you carrier into a Google Voice number. The benefit of this is now being able to take advantage of Google Voice's myriad features with the phone number you've undoubtedly had for years! It seems like a fairly straight-forward process, but it's not free. Watch the following video for an explanation of how Number Porting works:
If you are unable to watch the video above, the process of Number Porting is roughly as follows:
1 - Log in to your Google Voice account, visit "Settings" and click on "Change /Port" as located next to your Google Voice number.
2 - Once the number has been ported, your mobile service plan will be canceled. You will then have to purchase a new mobile plan from your provider which means you will have a new mobile phone number.
3 - You take your new phone number and tie it to your Google Voice account. Once complete, the number you ported will now ring through to all the services you choose that are available to you from Google Voice's features!
As for cost, it will run you $20 to port your number to Google Voice and the porting process is "usually completed with 24 hours." Additionally, Google warns that early termination fees may apply with your provider. Number Porting is noted as being available now for all existing Google Voice users and will be opened to new users "within the next few weeks."
What do you think? Do you see yourself porting the phone number you've had for years to your Google Voice account or do you not trust the longevity of the service enough to make such a permanent step? I have my reservations at the moment but I absolutely see the potential in this! How about you?
Source: Google Mobile Blog