Operator portability

  1. 1
    What is portability?

    Portability is the procedure that allows subscribers to change their telephone operator (fixed or mobile) keeping the same number.

    However, this process does not allow the subscriber to retain the number in case the service is switched [e.g. switching from the fixed telephone service to the mobile telephone service (or vice versa) or from the nomadic Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service to the fixed or mobile telephone service (or vice versa)].

    Portability rules are established by lawhttps://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1099877 and by ANACOM regulationhttps://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?categoryId=333120.

  2. 2
    If I am no longer a customer of a provider but want to reactivate my old number, is that possible?

    For a 3-month period after the contract's end - called the ''quarantine period'' - the old number may be reactivated either by returning to the original operator or by switching to another provider.

  3. 3
    Can all numbers be ported?

    Currently, for example, these numbers can be ported to another provider:

    • fixed telephone numbers (starting with 2);
    • mobile phone numbers (starting with 91, 92, 93, and 96);
    • Communications numbers by nomadic VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) communication numbers (starting with 30);
    • other non-geographic numbers (namely starting with 800, 808 and 707).

    On the other hand, these numbers cannot be ported:

    • ones relating to temporary accesses;
    • ones that have been inactive for more than 3 months.
  4. 4
    Do I have to pay for portability?

    When porting your number - that is, when you switch operator but retain the same number with a new operator - you are not required to pay the operator you are leaving for portability.

    The new provider may charge for the service or not.

    In some cases, you may have to pay compensation to the former operator (for example, if you are still under the minimum contract duration period).

    See more information on prices that may be charged by operators to new clients that choose to retain their numberhttps://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?categoryId=344151.

  5. 5
    What do I have to do to request portability for my number?

    You should contact the provider you want to switch to. This provider is responsible for the whole process, including the sending of the portability request to your current provider.

    The portability request entails the termination of the contract concerning the number(s) to be ported with the current operator, and the conclusion of a new contract with the new operator. While the portability process is dealt with directly through the new operator, the subscriber remains responsible for checking their situation with the current operator, including:

    • whether or not their contract is subject to a minimum  lock-in period, which may entail payment of a penalty where the contract is terminated early; 
    • whether or not their equipment is blocked (mobile phone or USB  PEN) and tied to the network of the current operator - this means that payment may be required before this equipment can be used to access the new operator's network.

    When making your request you should:

    • present an identification document (identity card, Citizen Card), whether a post-paid or a pre-paid service is concerned, as well as other documents that are required by the new operator (such as, in the case of companies, documents attesting to the power to sign the portability request); and
    • indicate the portability validation code (PVC) of the ported number(s).

    The new operator will provide:

    • a form that can be used for the new contract and to cancel the contract with your former operator, and also to transfer your number to the new operator; or 
    • or two separate documents, one for the subscription and the other for the termination.

    Portability requests only entail cancelling the service associated with the number to be ported. Where the subscriber intends to cancel all services included in a bundle, they should contact their operator to request their cancellation.

  6. 6
    How long do I have to wait for the number to be ported?

    The deadline for the completion of number portability is 1 working day. This period is counted from the time that the portability request is presented to the new provider, duly accompanied by the necessary elements. This deadline has the following exceptions:

    1. when a longer deadline has been requested or agreed upon;

    2. when it is the portability of an MSN number (multiple ISDN numbers) or DDI number (PABX extension blocs), that implies the need to request configuration and active numbers from the new operator to the former operator;

    3. whenever the change of operator to which the portability is related requires physical intervention on the network that supports the service to be provided, or when access to that network is not available;

    4. when the marketing of services for which portability was requested takes place through a distance contract or an off-premises contract (such as doorstep selling).

    In cases 2 and 4 portability should occur within no more than 3 working days, and in option 3 it should take place within one working day after the physical intervention is concluded or the access to that network is made available.

    In the case of portability requests or of physical intervention on the network that take place after 5 pm on a working day, the calculation of the time limit does not begin until the following working day.

  7. 7
    Could there be an interruption to my service during my number's portability? How do I know when this is going to happen?

    There is a maximum period of 3 hours, called the portability window, during which the service may be interrupted. It is up to the recipient provider to inform you.

  8. 8
    Am I entitled to compensation in case the established time limit for portability is not met?

    In case the time limit defined in the previous point is not met, the new operator is required to pay you a compensation amount of 2.5€ per number, for each full day's delay, except in the case of subscribers who are not consumers, whose contracts establish different compensation.

    Upon conclusion of the portability process, the service must be operational. Where, further to a portability request, the service is interrupted (except for up to 3 hours - vide previous point - during which the service may be interrupted), the operator to whom the number has been ported is required to pay you a compensation amount of 20€, per number, per day of interruption, up to 5000 euros per portability request, except in the case of subscribers who are not consumers, whose contracts establish different compensation.

    Any compensation amount due to the subscriber by the new operator does not require a prior request and should be immediately credited in the following invoice to be issued or through any direct means, namely bank transfer or remittance of a cheque, within at the most 30 days from the fact giving rise to compensation.

  9. 9
    Can I request portability on behalf of another person?

    Only the holder of the number can request portability. However, portability can be requested for a third party as long as:

    • the person to whom the number is being transferred is properly identified;
    • the person has been expressly authorized to sign the contract with the new provider.
  10. 10
    Can portability be refused?

    Portability may be refused where the portability validation code (PVC) for the number to be ported does not match the code supplied by the former operator.

    In case you have a contract with an active loyalty period and wish to port the number to a new operator - thus failing to meet the loyalty period -, portability may not be refused. Nevertheless, you are still required to pay the operator the penalty due for early termination of contract, on the terms described in the respective contractual conditions.

    Check also:

    What is the portability validation code (PVC) and what is it for? (Question 11)

    How do I get my portability validation code (PVC)? (Question 12)

  11. 11
    What is the portability validation code (PVC) and what is it for?

    The PVC, defined through Regulation No. 257/2018https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1435216, of 8 May, is a 12-digit code that allows operators to identify their subscribers and their number(s) for the purposes of portability, and is therefore used to validate portability requests electronically communicated between operators. Whenever you request portability for your number - vide previous point - you are required to indicate your PVC to the operator to whom you intend to port your number.

    Depending on the option of the operator, there may be a PVC for each of your numbers or a single PVC associated with all numbers (e.g. numbers associated to a bundled service offering). When you switch operators, a new PVC will be assigned to you.

    The PVC aims to simplify the portability process between operators and reduce the number of refusals of electronic portability requests, resulting from operator lack of subscriber identification data.

    Check also:

    How do I get my portability validation code (PVC)?  (Question 12)

  12. 12
    How do I get my portability validation code (PVC)?

    In case you have a telephone service contract, your current operator will already have notified you of your PVC through the various channels provided for in the Portability Regulationhttps://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1435216:

    • Invoices sent on a monthly basis, in the case of post-paid services;
    • SMS, in case of pre-paid services, within at the most 24 hours after it is activated;
    • The client's reserved area, where made available on the Internet or another platform, within at most 24 hours after the PVC is generated.

    Subscribers may consult their PVC at any time through the means referred above, or request it through face-to-face contact, telephone call or, in the case of the mobile telephone service, through an SMS sent from the number to which the PVC corresponds.

  13. 13
    Can I withdraw my request for portability?

    To give up portability you should immediately approach the provider you contacted and ask to cancel the request and confirm there is still time to cancel it. If your current operator still hasn't accepted the portability request or confirmed its date, it is possible to withdraw it. If the portability request has already been accepted and its date confirmed, it is not possible to withdraw it (the called "point of no return"). A new portability request must be made if you wish to go back to your old operator.

  14. 14
    What can I do if my number is ported without my consent?

    If your number is transferred to another operator without your request you should complain to your operator (the one with which you have the contract).

    Compensation of 20 euros is payable, per number and per day that a number remains unduly ported, until the situation is remedied, up to a maximum of 5000 euros per portability request.

    In this case, the user will not be required by the provider to which the number was improperly ported to pay for any calls, or pay fees or penalties.

  15. 15
    Can I change the provider of a non-geographical service (800xxxxxx, 808xxxxxx, etc.), and keep the support service provider (fixed or mobile)?

    Yes, because non-geographical services are different from support services and so they can be provided by different entities.

  16. 16
    After the portability of a mobile network number, can I continue to make calls with the pre-paid card?

    If you have a pre-paid card you will no longer be able to make calls from the initial card after you request portability, even if it has enough credit.

  17. 17
    Will I continue to pay the subscription of my fixed telephone after portability?

    When you switch operator you will stop paying the telephone subscription to your former operator.

    Your new operator may or may not charge a monthly subscription. Check this in your new contract.

  18. 18
    When porting my mobile telephone service number, will I continue to have access to the voice mail and short message (SMS) services?

    You should ask your new operator if you still have access to voice mail and messaging services. It is possible that you no longer have access to some services provided by your former operator, but the opposite is also possible, i.e. you may have access to more services than you had with your previous operator.

  19. 19
    How do I know if I'm calling a ported number?

    It is not possible from the number alone (or the number's first digits) to know if it was ported, given that the number remains unchanged further to the portability process, although the operator's network is not the same.

    As such, if your tariff system does not include prices for mobile-to-mobile calls that are the same to all networks, the call to a ported number could be more expensive as the network has changed, thus it could be useful to know in advance the network you are calling.

    In case you wish to hear a free message, when making a call from your mobile phone to a ported mobile number, providing information on the operator to whom the called number belongs, you must expressly make a request for this purpose to your operator. The activation of the warning is free of charge and may take place at any time.

    The recorded message made available (upon request) is as follows: "Aviso: está a ligar para um assinante que agora pertence à [nome do novo operador]. Aguarde." "Warning: you are calling a subscriber who now belongs to [name of new operator]. Please wait."

    If you wish to stop hearing the recorded message when you call ported numbers, you are also required to contact your operator, the deactivation of the warning being also free of charge.

    Click herehttps://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=235663 to check more information on how to hear (or stop hearing) the warning of calls made to a ported number.

    For more information, contact your operator.

  20. 20
    What is the price of calls to ported numbers?

    There is no change in prices in case prices for mobile-to-mobile calls are the same to all networks in your tariff system.

    Operators of the mobile telephone service and of the fixed telephone service are required to make available a telephone enquiry service providing information on prices of communications to ported numbers, whenever they put in place tariff plans that imply that a call to a ported number is more expensive than before it was ported.

    The access to this enquiry service on prices of calls and SMS/MMS to ported numbers is made through a free number, for calls originating on the same network.

    According to information received at ANACOM, free numbers, for calls originating on the same network, of enquiry services currently made available by operators covered by the Portability Regulationhttps://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1435216 are shown on the table provided at the Information services on the prices of calls to ported numbershttps://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=55443.

  21. 21
    How can I get an answer to other questions about portability?

    For any questions about portability (to change operator and keep the same telephone number), you may contact ANACOM through:

    Complaint about portability to ANACOM.

    • Letter: Rua Ramalho Ortigão, 51, 1099-099 Lisbon;
    • Telephone: 800206665 (free) between 9 am and 4 pm, from Monday to Friday;
    • ANACOM's Public Attendance Service: Lisbon, Porto, Azores, Madeira.


  22. 22
    How do I make a complaint about portability?

    In case you wish to make a complaint, you may use:

    • Complaint Book, in physical format, available at operator stores;
    • Electronic Complaint Book ''Livro de Reclamações Eletrónico Link externo.https://www.livroreclamacoes.pt/inicio'', through the option “Make complaint ” ''Pedir Informação Link externo.https://www.livroreclamacoes.pt/inicio/pedido-informacao''.

    Complaint about portability to ANACOM.

    In both cases, it is important to include in your description the data required to analyse the complaint, especially the number of the ported number or number to be ported. Whether you make a complaint via a physical complaint book, available at a store, or through the electronic complaint book, the operator is required to send you a reply within 15 working days. The operator must also submit to ANACOM a copy of the reply, for information purposes.