Porting Challenges With International Numbers

Posted on February 25, 2020

Porting numbers when you switch carriers within the United States isn’t always a walk in the park. However, international number porting can add several more layers of complexity to the process. For example, a lot depends on the country the number is coming from and the carrier that it’s coming from in that country.

International number porting can be a much longer process than within the U.S. Each country has their own telecom regulations – some countries are easier to work with than others and others might not require carriers to port their phones numbers at all.

It will generally take longer to port international numbers and the time range is dependent on many variables. Some countries have very stringent documentation requirements, and some countries require you to have a physical presence in that country to have a number there.

One of the biggest misconceptions with international numbers is that porting with international numbers should work exactly like it does in the U.S. The reality right now is that it’s not even close. It’s much more complex to port international numbers. The timeframe to handle the added complexity may be more like 30-90 days.

Additionally, keep in mind that most countries don’t have an FCC and other regulations like the U.S. does. Rules can often change midstream. A country can arbitrarily decide they are now going to require an additional piece of documentation. They may not have wanted it before but now they do.

If people’s expectations about the longer time frames are set up front, this will eliminate some of the frustration that can occur when the process takes three to ten times longer than porting a number within the U.S.

Flowroute, now part of Intrado, has the most geographically expansive offering of international DIDs currently in the marketplace today – more than 160; and we also offer termination services to more than 200 countries. We also have a dedicated and experienced team of porting specialists within our Customer Support department, providing our customers with superior service including for international solutions.