Google Voice Is About To Take Off: Number Porting Coming Soon For $20
We’ve been huge fans of Google Voice for quite a while now â€”Â it makes screening calls and managing multiple phones a breeze â€” but there’s always been a huge thorn in its side: it didn’t allow people to port their existing phone numbers over. In other words, in order to take advantage of all of Google Voice’s benefits, you’d have to get a new phone number. Now, after years of waiting, that’s finally changing: Google has quietly enabled number porting for Google Voice.
Update: Google tells us that this is currently just a test available to some users and is not rolling out to everyone yet. However, it seems likely that a wide scale launch is coming soon.
Here’s a statement from Google:
“We’re continually testing new features to enhance the user experience. For a limited amount of time, we’re making the Google Voice number porting process available to users. We don’t have any additional details to share at this time, but plan to offer this feature to all users in the near future.”
The feature was first noticed by Engadget, and I’m seeing it in my Google Voice account as well. The process appears to be fairly straightforward (and yet terrifying at the same time): tell Google your existing cell phone number, agree to some strongly worded warnings, pay $20, and you should be in business.
Oh, about those warnings. Transferring your number to Google Voice isn’t exactly painless â€” depending on your current carrier agrement you may have to deal with some steep early termination fees (ETFs) that can run hundreds of dollars. That means all of you who are about to buy shiny new Verizon iPhones may want to consider doing so under a new phone number, so that you can transfer your existing number to Google Voice.