To acquire and keep a phone number with a network carrier, you have to subscribe to a phone plan. As long as you continue to pay the fees associated with the plan, the number is yours to keep. At least, this is what most people assume.
What happens if you want to keep your number without maintaining a plan or service with your carrier? let’s assume that you have to travel to another country on an extended visit, and your carrier’s network isn’t available in the new country. You may be wondering what options are available in such a scenario.
Not to worry, in this post, we explain tips on how to keep your number without a plan. But to keep it short, you have two options available. You can either temporarily suspend your number with your network carrier or park your phone number online.
Can You Keep A Phone Number Without Service?
Under Federal Communications Commission (FCC) law, you have the right to keep your cell phone number. This means that your phone number belongs to you and not the network carrier.
Keeping your cell phone number is easier when you are trying to port to a new carrier and you want to take your phone number along. But what happens when you want to cancel your service outrightly?
Despite the backing of the law, you can’t keep your phone number for long without a service or plan with a network carrier. The carrier will cancel your phone number.
Thankfully, there are options available to keep your phone number without service. The two options available are to either park your phone number online or temporarily suspend your number with your network carrier.
What To Do To Keep Your Number Without Service?
Before we proceed to the options available, there is something important you must do. Without it, you can take advantage of the options available to keep your phone number without a plan. You must unlock your phone. We will explain why in detail below.
Unlock Your Phone
Some phones are locked to a network carrier. This is true especially for phones sold at a cheaper price. This means that you can’t use another network carrier’s SIM card on the phone. If your phone is unlocked, proceed to the options below. If your phone is locked, you need to take steps to unlock the phone.
For some carriers, you have to meet some criteria for them to unlock your phone. For instance, you will be required to use the phone for 12 months and maintain an active plan. For other carriers, they will unlock your phone on request. For instance, AT&T and T-Mobile carriers will unlock your phone if you request it. Contact the customer support of your carrier and request a phone unlock.
How Can I Keep My Phone Number Without Service Or Plan?
1. Park Your Number
When you park your number, you are placing the number online. It allows you to maintain ownership of your phone number so that you can activate the number in the future.
There are two ways to park your number. You can either park the number with an online company or a VoIP service. When you park your number online, you can receive voicemails and text messages to the number. For the VoIP service, calls from your old phone number will be forwarded to ring in your new phone number.
An example of a VoIP company to park your number is Google Voice. For the online number parking service, there are a good number of options available.
These are some phone number-parking solutions to consider: (We don’t take any commission when you subscribe to any of these).
a. Tossable Digits:
This service allows you to port and parks your number online for $3 a month. They send you an instant email notification on voicemails and texts. To respond, you simply sign in to your account and respond via their platform.
b. Park My Phone:
This is another solution to try out. Their basic plan starts at $3 a month which is charged annually. They have a one-time $15 fee to port your number. For other upgraded plans like the $5 a month plan, you pay no porting fee and get 100 minutes of voice mail recording, and 100 monthly minutes. For an additional fee, you get the SIM card add-on option and data calling features.
This company charges a one-time $5 porting fee. Their monthly plan starts at $2 a month to store your phone number. Also, you can send and receive messages on their app or their site. You have the option to record a 30-second customized message which callers hear when they dial your phone number.
2. Suspend Your Number Temporarily With Your Carrier
Most people don’t know about this option but most carriers can temporarily suspend your number for a limited time. For instance, Verizon has a Vacation Suspend plan in which they suspend your number for 30 days to nine months for a small monthly fee.
Also, T-Mobile has a similar plan. The company suspends your number for up to 90 days for a $10 monthly fee. The plan is called the ‘Seasonal Suspension’ plan.
Reach out to your carrier to see if they offer a similar plan to suit your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Can I Keep My Phone Number Without Service?
It depends on the option you opt for. If you are using a carrier’s temporary suspension plan, you can keep your phone number for the duration of the plan. On the other hand, if you opt to park your phone number online, there is no limit to how long you can keep the number without a plan or service.
So far, this post has explained some of the options available to keep your phone number without service. Whichever option you opt for, always consider the timing of your porting. You incur an early termination fee with your carrier when you port your phone number at the wrong time.