How do phone companies let you keep the same phone number when you switch over to them?

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How do phone companies let you keep the same phone number when you switch over to them?

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In short, many governments explicitly required phone carriers to allow customers to move a number to a new carrier, and carriers can’t hold a phone number hostage due to other contractual obligations on the account.

The new carrier will require the account number of the old account holding the phone number to be ported, and some will ask for additional information to verify the customer’s identity.

Because there are laws about portability of number to prevent phone companies from being able to hold you/your number hostage basically. There are various phone-related protocols that all carriers use that allow communications between carriers, as well as ones for the transfer of numbers from one carrier to another.

Here in italy we have SIM cards, the sim and the numbers are your propriety and registered to you, you can buy a new phone and physically switch the sim card in any moment and keep your number on any phone in any moment.

Legality aside, there is an obvious commercial incentive to allow people to retain their numbers so that they’re not as hesitant to change carriers.

the sim card has its own id unrelated to the actual phone number. when you’re registered with the network, the operator says “ok so sim number X shoud be associated with phone number Y”

If you changed carriers your number will simply be associated with the new sim’s id