When searching for a business phone service provider, you may notice the terminology “fast provisioning” or “quick provisioning.” But what does phone number provisioning mean? And how does it affect your ability to purchase and use a business phone number?
Everything You Need to Know About Phone Number Provisioning
Many people think that the provider owns and controls their business phone number. However, in reality, you and your business own and manage your phone number. Right from the purchasing process, you choose the type, prefix code, and origination country for your phone number. And then your provider provisions or initiates the service, so you can start making and receiving calls with that number.
So, what is phone number provisioning?
Let’s dive in!
What is Telephony Provisioning?
Generally speaking, provisioning in telecommunication is the process of preparing and equipping a network to provide a service to new users. It’s the act of “providing” something or making a service available.
Phone number provisioning is the process of registering, activating, and maintaining business phone numbers.
Phone service providers have access to different types of business phone numbers. And you can choose the exact type of number you want. When you purchase a phone number, providers often need to provision your service so that your number is ready to use.
How Are Phone Numbers Provisioned?
Most VoIP providers offer phone number availability lists where you can browse and choose the exact number you purchase. Then, your provider needs to register, activate, and connect your number to their voice network.
Once a phone number is registered to you or your business, it is yours to use. You can then manage your phone number by assigning it to specific phone line(s) and extensions.
If you want to keep your existing phone number and switch to a new provider, you can port your number. The number porting service keeps your number the same but transfers it to a new service. Once the porting process is complete, your new service will be provisioned and ready to use. If the porting process may take longer, the provider might even provision a temporary number where your incoming calls can be forwarded.
How Does Phone Number Provisioning Help Businesses?
The sooner your telephony provider provisions your numbers, the sooner your teams can communicate with customers. This is why you’ll find providers offering “fast provisioning” as one of their benefits.
And since top providers work within regulations and offer high-quality services, you can expect them to have your number ready to use when you need it. Then, you can quickly set it up, add call forwarding and routing rules, and start making calls.
How Long Does Phone Number Provisioning Take?
Most activations take 2 minutes to a couple of days. The time it takes to provision a number depends on the carrier and the origination country for that particular number. The same goes for toll-free number porting.
Remember to always check with providers before purchasing. Ask them how long a particular number will take to provision. In some cases, you may even need to prepare additional documentation based on country and number type requirements.
Number Provisioning with Global Call Forwarding
Global Call Forwarding has a large inventory of available phone numbers from more than 160 countries. This enables us to provide fast phone number provisioning to help businesses scale whenever and wherever they need to.
You can browse through our inventory on our Pricing page or use our voice API to look up numbers from within your system. You can directly purchase the local, toll-free, and international numbers you need from our availability list. Or, port your number to our service if you want to keep your existing number.
Want to know more about our service and how we can help your business? Chat with our experts online!