MVNO number port?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Joz3d, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. Joz3d macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2008
    Hi, I've heard of some troubles from people with MVNO's (virtual carriers that piggy-back on a larger network, usually pre-paid phones like TracFone, STI Mobile, Virgin Wireless, etc) having trouble porting their numbers over to their iPhone, even though AT&T's website shows the number to be portable.

    I have STI Mobile and would like to port my phone number over to my iPhone when I get it. I called STI and they said they don't have account numbers and I just need to give AT&T the password for my account. I've read online that it takes a long time to get numbers ported from MVNOs, and have heard of long hang-ups/confusion due to this when buying iPhone 3G at the Apple store.

    I really don't want to change my phone number. Does anybody have experience porting their number over from these carriers and any advice on how to go about it?

    Is it possible to just get an iPhone with a new number at Apple store and then port the old number over later just personally dealing with AT&T/previous carrier?
  2. Billy M macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2008
    You can always port your number later over the phone or at an AT&T store... and there's no additional charge for it. However, most likely (from what I learned in the couple years I was in cellular sales) the account number on the prepaid account is the telephone number, so you could tell Apple that.

    Honestly, I would treat Apple as with any indirect cellular dealer... don't let them do much more than just activate the phone on a new account and let AT&T customer service do the rest.
  3. Joz3d thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2008
  4. Joz3d thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2008
    No big deal!

    (I'm posting this for reference for anyone who finds this thread in a search.)

    Alright, so it ended up working out fairly easily.

    At the Apple Store when getting my iPhone and dealing with porting, I gave them my STI Mobile phone number as my account number, and my password. The number had no problem assigning to the iPhone (the Apple guy said "Ok, it ported successfully!"), and I left the store with my new iPhone having my old STI Mobile pre-paid phone's number. I did not get assigned any new phone number.

    HOWEVER, I was stuck in a limbo state as I could make calls from the iPhone, but if anybody called my number, it would still call my old STI Mobile phone. This continued into the next day, so I called STI, who unkindly stated that AT&T needed to finish the job. So I called AT&T and got forwarded to the porting department. The lady there saw that my number should be ported but then said that it can take up to 24 hours to finish porting with these pre-paid carriers. She then asked me for STI's phone number. I gave it to her and she called them while having me on hold. About 8 minutes later the AT&T lady came back on and told me that STI will be releasing the number at 5.21pm and at that time I should get a text message on my phone stating so, at which point I should turn off both of my phones and only turn the iPhone back on.

    The text message actually came through about a half hour later than she claimed, but it worked just like she said, and since then the number has been completely ported over! So it took a little under 24 hours after getting my iPhone to have my number completely ported over.

    I don't know if the number port would have happened by itself or if she hurried the process up, or actually got STI to release my number or what, but overall, porting my number over from STI Mobile wasn't a big problem. And the people at AT&T's customer service are way nicer!
  5. wehokev macrumors member


    Oct 18, 2007
    Anyone Port a number from Virgin?

    I am about to get an iPhone and want to port my number from Virgin Mobile (USA). Has anyone out there ever ported their number from Virgin to AT&T?
  6. Joz3d thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2008
    Well, when I was doing my port from STI, the AT&T lady at the porting department at first was like "Oh is this from Virgin Mobile?", like as if they're used to dealing with that one the most, so it should be a similar process to what I went through.
  7. DreamPod macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2008
    Hmm, well technically mine was from Virgin Mobile, though I dunno if it counts, since it was Helio who was just bought out by Virgin. Worked fine right from the Apple Store, took about a day to port over and I never had to contact anyone about it. Got a text the moment it was ready.
  8. wehokev macrumors member


    Oct 18, 2007
    Thanks Joz3d and DreamPod.

    I guess what has me worried / confused is I have never had an "account number" from Virgin, but I guess that must just be the phone number.

    Once I bite the bullet I'll post back here.

  9. wehokev macrumors member


    Oct 18, 2007
    No problem with the port.

    I got my iPhone 3G today. My phone number ported over from Virgin Mobile without a hitch.

    I gave the Apple store guy my 10 digit Virgin Mobile phone number as my account number and my vKey (aka the password you use to log into the web site). I also had to give the last four digits of my SSN.

    The iPhone was able to make calls right away, and the caller id was my phone number. Calls to my phone number did not go to the iPhone right away, however. It took an hour or so for that to work.

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