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How To Port Numbers to Twilio

February 05, 2019

Number porting is a key part of the process to migrating your existing call or messaging operations to Twilio.

There are a number of different ways to get voice and SMS traffic into Twilio, but for any enterprise deployment, porting your numbers to the platform is the recommended approach.

Porting numbers in is relatively easy, but be aware of any local or national restrictions that could add complexity.

The following steps outline our recommended process for porting numbers to Twilio:

Step-by-Step Guide

Twilio number porting timeline

Request Port

Submit a porting request through the Twilio console or directly to your Twilio account manager. This first step consists of 6 sub-steps, which can be found here.

Agree a Date

Once your porting request has been approved, you will want to agree a date for the porting to complete with your Twilio account manager.

It's advisable to choose a date that fits in with any key business requirements and at a time when your team will be available to support and monitor.

The first two steps are lead time items and can take many weeks depending on your existing setup. It's advisable to get these completed and then plan your tactics for the port.


Make sure you have a plan in place for the days pre, during and post the port. Circulate the plan so your team and wider business have visibility. The plan should cover the following points:

  • Risk: Porting numbers can be low risk if you plan correctly. Try to identify the path of least resistance for the initial phase of the port. If you are migrating live traffic, it's recommended to use a simple TwiML Bin to forward traffic on to an existing endpoint or application without adding new functionality at this stage.

  • Automation: To port a number successfully, you will need to configure it in Twilio. This process is quite straightforward, but in the heat of the battle you should look to automate it so you can repeat it reliably.

  • Monitoring: Active and passive reporting is recommended. Make sure you have your team on hand to actively monitor logs at when the porting completes to help identify any critical issues.

  • Rollback: Make sure you have a pre-agreed rollback plan in the event any critical issues arise that cannot be easily resolved. In the case of number porting, this may be a simple TwiML Bin with an outbound dial or perhaps a degraded service message.


Once you have identified the path of least resistance and written any scripts to automate the number provisioning process, you should do a dry-run.

The easiest way to do a try run is purchase a new number on Twilio (with the same capabilities as the number you are porting). You can use this number as a guinea pig for your script and can make phone calls or send messages to ensure the customer experience is what you would expect.


Before the porting completes and your numbers receive live traffic through Twilio, they will appear in the Twilio console. This will typically happen 24-48hrs before the agreed porting date and is your time to configure them with the relevant voice and messaging settings.

  • Run your script (or manually) to configure the numbers

  • Check in the console that the numbers are set up correctly


The day of the port has arrived and you will soon start to see production traffic flowing into your Twilio account. To help it run smoothly, we recommend:

  • Active monitoring of the Twilio console, keeping a close eye on the call and messaging logs for any failures for at least 30 minutes

  • Test calls or messages to verify customer experience

  • Passive monitoring after the first 30 minutes of active monitoring, making sure any Twilio console, or application errors are being reported correctly


Once live traffic is flowing through Twilio and your happy everything is stable and working as expected, it's time to incrementally adding functionality.


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