January 2011
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Day January 21, 2011

Hold the phone! Number porting option live for select Google Voice users

Interested in freeing your phone number from your carrier’s clutches for good? Well, for some Google Voice users that dream is now reality.

Google is currently testing the feature on select users with the intent to roll it out to everyone ‘in the near future’. To see if the feature is available to you, sign into your Google Voice account and click on Voice Settings under the Settings tab located in the upper right. If your lucky, a Change/Port option will reside beside your current Google Voice number.

The process of porting a number to Google Voice is simple, but not without drawbacks. First of all, you are charged a $20 transaction fee via Google Checkout for the privilege. The porting process would also immediately cancel your current contract with your wireless carrier resulting in a potentially hefty early termination fee. Furthermore, your current Google Voice number is forfeited, although you will still have access to it for 90 days to inform everyone of the change. Finally, you still need to find another carrier for those newly emancipated digits — Google isn’t a mobile service provider yet. It’s also worth noting that not all numbers are currently eligible for the porting process, e.g. those of landlines and mobile businesses aren’t currently supported.

Having said that, can you really put a price on freedom? With your primary phone number tied to your Google Voice account, you can now manage calls and messages across multiple lines more naturally. Bar the obsolescence of the phone number itself, it’s the way mobile should be. So go ahead and make your phone number yours.

Source: Google Voice via Engadget