Last week we reported that Google had finally begun rolling out support for incoming number ports to its Google Voice service. Lack of the feature, as any Google Voice user will likely attest to, has been a sore spot for Google’s telephony product since the company first acquired GrandCentral in 2007. Today, Google has announced that the new feature is now available to all current Google Voice users. Number portability allows users to transfer their cell phone or landline telephone numbers between service providers. Google Voice has always supported outbound number porting, which allowed users to transfer their Google Voice number to another carrier, but incoming ports had been off limits until recently. Google charges a one-time $20 fee to port a number into Google Voice, and the process takes approximately 24 hours. Hit the break for a video explaining the process. More →
If you’re a Google Voice user and you’re not TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington (who was able to port his number into the service a long time ago), odds are pretty good you’ve prayed for incoming number portability at some point. And for years, your prayers have gone unanswered. Well, no more — Google has officially implemented incoming number portability as of Wednesday evening, and it is in the process of being rolled out to all users. Rejoice! To port your number into your Google Voice account, simply click on Settings in the top right corner, and then Voice settings. Now, on the phone tab next to your Google Voice number, click on Change / Port. Now click on “I want to use my existing mobile number instead” and follow the on-screen instructions to port your number. There you go — you now have 867-5309 as your phone number and $20 less in your pocket.
Google Voice is a service that has tremendous potential and as such, we’ll be watching it closely over the months to come. Last week, we showed you the service’s current mobile capabilities and posed a few ideas in terms of where Google could potentially take Google Voice. Interpret this however you wish, but further details were discovered this week that could certainly support some big plans:
We’re excited to count you among our users, and we want to continue to earn your business every day. We don’t lock you into minimum commitment contracts, charge you activation fees, or make it impossible for you to leave. If you want to move to another service provider and take your Google number with you, you can do so at any time.
- Your ability to transfer your Google number to another service provider usually depends on the providers, and whether they’ll support your number.
- If your provider supports porting over your Google number, please contact your provider’s customer service department for instructions.
Yep, Google Voice supports number porting. For the time being, only exiting users are able to port their numbers away from the service but a support page suggests Google is currently working on setting up incoming porting as well. As the service stands now, porting an existing number over to Google Voice doesn’t seem to make much sense — all the more reason to believe Google has some pretty grand ideas moving forward. If you’re a current account holder, definitely take a look through the support pages as Google seems very open about receiving feedback and molding at least some aspects of the service after the needs and wants of its users.