ConVERSAtion Blog

Business Line Local Number Portability in Canada

Business Line Local Number Portability in Canada

We provides our business phone service here, eh.

When you call or contact us through our “Get a Quote” form on our website, one of the first qualifying questions that we ask is “What is your business phone number”. We ask this because although we cover a fair bit of this great country, there are areas that currently we cannot service. We actually have a page on our website dedicated to providing details about our current footprint, and there is a tool on that page that allows you to enter your phone number to see if it’s portable to our service.

If you live in one of the major urban population areas of Canada, there’s a good chance we have you covered. If the tool tells you that your number is portable, that means that Versature is able to port your number to our service, and we can then proactively manage the phone number and the quantity of lines that you need. The number port process is still a bit archaic but it’s a process that we know very well. We’ll even give you a temporary number to forward your calls to while we wait for the number port to go through, which, depending on the provider, can take as little as 3 days or as long as 1 month. We are unfortunately at the mercy of the big telcos on this, and as you probably know from personal experience, they sure don’t move very fast. 😉

If it turns out that your business is in an area that we don’t currently service, you will receive a message similar to this :

  • Your number does not appear to be portable to our service at this time, but please contact us to confirm. (This is an automated system, and occasionally there are errors). Even if the number is not portable, there may be alternative options available for you that we can discuss.


Alternative options you say? What kind of alternative options are you talking about? Let me explain.

When a number is confirmed to be one that we cannot port, depending on the business, there are a few other solutions that we can propose.

1- If the business is one that has a national or international scope, and mostly uses it’s toll free (800 number) to receive calls instead of it’s local number, then we can still service this company as effectively as we could if we could port the local number. If the business requires a local number because it needs a local presence, then this toll free number option will not work. In that case, move on to option 2 …

2- If the business number is not portable, but the business is in an area adjacent to one that we service, there might be a way that we can do a fancy call-forward and still service this business. For example, if you have a business in the rural area outside of Calgary, we probably won’t be able to port your number. In this case, we can provide you with a local Calgary phone number that you can use in addition to your rural one, and since it’s a local call to Calgary from your location, we get you to forward your calls to the new Calgary number. In this way, you get to keep your business number, and you can decide if you want to advertise your Calgary number as well as your rural one.

An important caveat here – your business must be within the local calling region of an area that we service for this to work. This is one of the many reasons to work with a Canadian company that knows the difference between Kamloops, Grande Prairie, Newmarket and Galt. Never heard of Galt, Ontario? You’re not alone. Galt, along with Hespeler, Ontario were amalgamated into a new city you may have heard of called Cambridge, Ontario in 1973. That’s fine for us folks who live here in 2011, but if you’re talking number portability with the telcos you’d better know that they use the old names or else you’re not getting anywhere. Sorry, got off track there a bit…

3- If your business can’t get by with just a toll free number and you are not within a local call to an area that we service, I’m afraid that your options for signing up with Versature are limited. You can always get a new number in one of the 900+ cities and towns that we service, but I know that most businesses wouldn’t even consider changing their phone number. At this point, what we can do is put you on a list to contact when we do open up your area. We are adding new areas and growing the footprint each and every year.

Lastly, just a few more things to say with regards to local number portability in Canada. We are now able to port cell phone numbers to our service, so if you’re a small business who has been running your operations from your cell and need to upgrade, we’ve got you covered. Also, as mentioned above, ALL toll free numbers whether they be 800, 855, 866, 877, or 888 are portable, no problem.

Oh, and one more thing. If you’re still doing business with one of those old telephone companies that are stuck in the 70’s, isn’t it about time that you upgraded to Versature? I’d love you to check out our free whitepaper, entitled “Top 10 Things to Consider When Choosing Hosted PBX”.

About Sarah Dingman

Sarah Dingman serves as Versature's Senior Marketing Specialist, putting her experience in content marketing and digital strategy to work in a fast-paced tech environment. Sarah has 5+ years experience working in marketing, specifically within the telecommunications industry, and is passionate about advancements in her field as well as her volunteer roles in the nonprofit sector, such as her position with LiveWorkPlay.