Q. When it comes to moving your landline number to a mobile phone, what about transferring it to Google Voice?
A. For those unfamiliar with it, the Google Voice service provides you with one centralized telephone number that rings on all the devices you have linked with your Google Voice account, like your mobile phone, office phone, Skype account and any other place you get voice calls. Google Voice also provides voice mail transcription, text messaging and several other features all under the unified telephone number, and mobile apps are available for Android and iOS devices. The service was introduced in 2009 and got an update this year.
Google’s own online guide to its Google Voice telephony service states that “corporate, landline, internet-based (VoIP) and some other numbers can’t be transferred.” However, with a few extra steps, you might be able to get your landline number connected to your account.
As several Google Voice users have reported, the trick is to transfer or “port” your home landline number to a wireless carrier first, which most major companies allow, but check with your desired carrier to make sure your landline number is eligible. If it is, transfer your landline digits to the wireless carrier of your choice using porting tools on the company’s website; customer service representatives at retail stores can also handle the task when you purchase a new wireless phone. (If you have an existing smartphone with a number you want to keep, port your landline to a new account on a prepaid phone model like an AT&T GoPhone.)
Once you get the landline number ported to a wireless carrier and it becomes a mobile number, you should then be able to transfer it to Google Voice for a $20 fee; Google has a page you can use to check the number’s portability. The Google Voice help guide has step-by-step instructions for doing so. Once you complete the transfer process, your acquaintances can dial your old landline number and get you anywhere.