I have a phone number which people know me by. I'd like to keep it.

I also have to switch to Google Voice so I can use forwarding to switch between various eSims I will be buying as I travel Asia. Each eSim has its own number.

From what I can tell, the only way to make this work is to:

  • get a new fake number for my current carrier
  • port my current real number to Google Voice

My confusion is that I can't port my real number if I've already changed my plan to a fake one. And if I port my real number before creating a fake one, it seems like it'll cancel my mobile plan. So doing either of these steps first will negate the following one.

I'm currently on Mint Mobile, but a more general understanding on how these things work seems better suited to this context.

How do I give Google Voice control of my phone number without cancelling my mobile plan?

  • This isn't really a web app issue but a mobile carrier issue. What you could do is contact your mobile carrier and explain that you are going to port your number to GV to use for work calls (for example) but would like to keep your mobile services under a new number for personal (or sonething). It is in their interest to keep your plan active rather than lose a customer and they also control your mobile account so they have both the tools and the incentive to solve your problem.
    – Blindspots
    Feb 10 at 18:32
  • 2
    It's a bit of both. There's some amount of self managing these things. The solution I've found is all doable through web apps, granted you understand how to use them. But yes, there's significant overlap with number porting protocols and web carrier shenanigans.
    – Seph Reed
    Feb 10 at 18:37
  • That's great! Look forward to the solution.
    – Blindspots
    Feb 10 at 18:42
  • They aren't great solutions. If you know a better stack exchange for this to live, by all means migrate it.
    – Seph Reed
    Feb 10 at 18:49
  • I don't see it as a good fit here based on the question and answer. It might be on-topic at Android Enthusiasts or Ask Different though it might be too carrier-specific for them too. If you confirm your mobile platform I can ask the appropriate mods. It might also be worth editing your question to include the other carrier's name given the relevance.
    – Blindspots
    Feb 10 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


Okay. There's some carrier specific stuff, and it's not great. There's also some time contingent stuff, and it's dependent on your timing.

Possible ways forward include:

  1. Talking to the mobile company. Asking them to hold onto your number for porting after you've gotten a new one. They may do it, they may not.
  2. Talking to the mobile company more. Asking for credits for a new account that will be made after the current plan is cancelled. Unlikely.
  3. Waiting until the very end of a pay period, then porting. The tail end of the plan will be lost. This may or may not be an issue depending on your plan.
  4. Risking the number. Change the number, then immediately request a port. Hope for the best.
  5. Accepting financial loss. Port the number, lose the plan you've paid for.

I'm on a 3 month plan, so I'll be attempting item #3. Wish the news was better, hopefully someone else can answer this question with a nicer hack.

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