Porting out a Skype Number
Number portability is not a new thing, but what about porting out a Skype Number? This is an optional (paid) feature available to personal Skype accounts that makes it possible to receive telephone calls via the Skype app. I recently ported out my Skype Number successfully so here’s a quick summary of my experience.
I think Skype is great but I haven’t been using it much recently, so I decided I ought to stop paying $14/quarter to maintain a Skype Number. However, I didn’t want to lose the number, so I looked into porting it out. Surprisingly little information is available on the web about porting out a Skype Number. One of the top results on Google, How do I port my Skype Number to another company?, is an official FAQ but doesn’t go into hardly any detail. I also found several forum threads and Reddit posts, but they too lacked detail.
When porting out a number the new provider will ask for several pieces of information, in particular the account number and PIN. I couldn’t find these in my Skype profile or referenced in Skype documentation. Despite the lack of concrete details I decided to try porting out my Skype Number to another service provider. There are many low-cost options, such as prepaid, VoIP (e.g. Ooma Telo), and Google Voice. I’ve previously written about such options. Note that it may not be possible to transfer a Skype Number directly to a personal Google Voice account since the number must be tied to either a mobile phone or another Google account (see Port or transfer your personal number).
I chose Tracfone, a prepaid mobile provider, which will ensure I can transfer to Google Voice later (I ported a Tracfone number to a Google Voice account a few months so I am certain it works). To transfer a number to Tracfone the following is required:
- Current service provider type (i.e. landline or mobile)
- Current service provider name
- Name on the account
- Billing address
- Account number
For the provider type I chose “mobile”, and for name “other” since Skype was not one of the available choices. The name and billing address are self-explanatory, but I did double-check that they were correct in my Skype profile. For account number and PIN, I put my 10 digit Skype Number and “0000”, respectively. These were recommendations I found in a forum post. After inputting the details to the best of my knowledge I submitted the request and waited. Surprisingly enough, the transfer request completed within a few hours without a hitch! Calls to the number now go to my mobile phone instead of Skype.
Tracfone is a good low-cost prepaid mobile provider, perfect for a spare phone, but also viable for a primary phone with light data use. You can choose the carrier network (the current choices are AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon) that works best for your phone and location. When signing up with Tracfone use my referral link and code — MSDO-F98A — to get a free month of service. This will work best for trying out Tracfone, or as an intermediate step before porting to Google Voice. Another option is to buy a SIM and plan from the Tracfone eBay store. They often have deals on more long-term service plans.