If you are on this page, you are probably asking, how can I keep my phone number without service?
You want to be able to use the same phone number you have had for years even if you are no longer attached to the carrier.
For example, you got a Verizon monthly plan SIM with a phone number five years ago and have been using the same number since.
You are heading abroad for a year on business and do not want to pay the extra Verizon fees for using your phone overseas.
Instead, you want your old number without service so you can still see texts and voicemails.
Naturally, it is more convenient to keep your number and avoid having to inform all contacts that your number has changed.
Luckily, the law is on your side, and you can keep your number when leaving a network carrier.
However, there is no one-stop solution online showing you how to do this… at least until now!
How to Keep Phone Number without Service?
In the guide below we will show how to easily keep your phone number without service.
You will be able to get all your calls, texts, and other communication on the same phone number.
Unlock Your Device
First things first, you want to keep your phone and use it when you remove the service of one carrier.
To do this, you need to unlock your device so that it will work with other networks and in other countries.
In the U.S., unlocking a phone is relatively easy because major networks like T-Mobile and AT&T will unlock a device upon request.
As for Verizon, a deal the company made with the FCC means that all handsets sold by the company are already unlocked.
Park Your Phone Number
One of the lesser-known facts about the mobile network realm is that the carrier does not own the phone number it gives you.
In fact, FCC regulations state that the carrier must give your phone number to you if you request it.
That means if you are switching from one carrier to another (for example, AT&T to T-Mobile) the process of bringing your old phone number with you is fairly straightforward.
But what if you are not switching carriers and want to cancel your contract and keep your phone number without service?
This is where it gets a bit more complicated. If you simply cancel your contract, you will lose your phone number.
What you need to do is move your phone number to another location.
This is knowing as “parking” the number and essentially means you are placing the number somewhere online.
Take Ownership of Your Phone Number
When you park a phone number, you take ownership of the number from the carrier.
There are a couple of ways to park your number.
The first method is to use a VoIP service like Google Voice, which will allow you to use your number for text messages and other communication on your phone.
The second method is if you want to park your number with no service and involves using an online provider.
There are plenty of solutions for parking phone numbers online, so we will let you choose what is best for you.
For a small fee (a couple of dollars per month), you can park your phone number online and receive email notifications when you get a new text or voicemail.
You can also sign into the number parking platform to respond to these messages.
It’s All About Timing
When you have decided to park your phone number and use it without service, you must tell your current network carrier before canceling your contract.
It is particularly important to remember that once you tell a service to port your number and park it, your carrier will cancel your contract.
That means you will lose any benefits of your contract, such as data, minutes, texts, and more.
Considering this, you should get the timing perfect for when you want to park your phone number.
For example, do not park your number a month before you need to because you will lose your contract.
Instead, port your number as close to the date you want to cut off your service as possible.
Read Next: How to Check if a Phone is Paid Off?
How Long Can I Keep My Phone Number Without Service?
If you want to keep your phone number indefinitely, you can do just that as long as you keep paying the service you use to park the number.
Alternatively, you can port your phone number to another carrier.
Sometimes you may want to keep your phone number and keep using it.
While you can port to another carrier relatively easily in the United States, this is only worth doing under specific circumstances.
For example, if you have a Verizon contract but are moving to AT&T, porting your number makes sense.
However, in some situations, porting to another carrier is not the best choice.
Moving abroad is a good example.
If you port your number to another carrier, you will still have a U.S. number and still be subject to higher fees for using your service overseas.
Porting a Phone Number to Keep Using
If you do want to port your number to use it as you would on a phone, the best choice is to use Google Voice.
The reason Google Voice is a good choice is because of how versatile the service is.
Firstly, it is completely free to register and it allows you to make low-cost calls to overseas numbers, while U.S. calls are free.
Using Google Voice, you can call landlines, mobile numbers, other VoIP services, and receive voicemails and texts.
Use Your Old Number on Google Voice
Porting a phone number to Google Voice is easy.
Firstly, you need to check that your number can be ported by contacting your network carrier.
If your number is eligible (it should be), head to the Google Voice website and log in to your account.
Now you must set up the service by creating a new number.
Don’t worry, this number will be replaced by the phone number you want to port.
- Under the “Menu” button, choose “Legacy Google Voice”
- Navigate to “Settings” and then the “Phone” tab.
- Next to the number Google Voice has given you, choose “Change/Port”
- And then “I want to use my mobile number”.
- From here, follow the instructions to complete the process.
It is worth noting numbers take up to 96 hours to port, while network carriers will charge a fee of $20.
If you have ever asked, how can I keep my phone number without service?
You now know the answer. With the information above, you can port your current phone number and park it online to use without a service.
Alternatively, you can port it to Google Voice to keep using it as normal phone service.
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.