How do phone companies get the number that are assigned to us, and what happens when a different phone company assigns the same number to someone else (if that’s even possible)

702 views
0

How do phone companies get the number that are assigned to us, and what happens when a different phone company assigns the same number to someone else (if that’s even possible)

In: Engineering

I work at a phone company!

Basically when you activate a new line the system will pick a random unused number out of a bucket of unused numbers that the company owns.

Then, when you cancel that line, we hold it for 90 days in case you need it back, then we put it into the bucket.

If you want to change your number, we can look into the bucket and help you pick one out.

If you port your number to a different carrier, it because theirs afterwards. So if you switch carriers and keep your number, then later cancel it, the number will be in their bucket for their future customers to use.

For the US– Different phone companies are assigned different blocks of numbers, and each phone company in the area can get assigned numbers. This is done by the FCC and a private company that helps manage the system.

For example, one phone company may get 1000 numbers such as 123-4XXX, then next company may get another 1000, assigned as 123-5XXX, and so on.

Since every number is exclusive to one company, and just them, they can’t overlap and assign a number that is someone else’s or a duplicate.

If a phone number is disconnected, after 90 days, it gets recycled back into the phone company’s list of numbers they can give out.