Phone numbers are a public resource and therefore technically owned by the state agency/regulator responsible for their assignments. Technically every phone number is linked to its user by the telecommunications provider selling the number. That’s partially why, in order to comply with local regulations, the telecommunications provider may sometimes ask for proof of identity. In the end, neither you, nor your telecommunications provider actually owns the number and the local authorities always have the last word in any question regarding phone numbers. In some countries, the rules and regulations are pretty straight forward, established for over 20 years, which ensures a stable environment for users of telecommunications (USA numbers are the responsibility of NANPA, United Kingdom numbers are the responsibility of Ofcom, ARCEP deals with phone numbers in France for example, but in other countries where telecommunications are state-controlled, regulations are on the blurry side.