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Google Voice Announces Number Porting

Google has announced a potentially great new feature for its Google Voice service – number porting.  You can link to a descriptive article and video here, which I encourage all to watch before adopting the new feature.  Right out of the gate, it sounds like a winning feature.  Some cautious observations to share, however:

  1. Currently, I have my Google Voice number configured so that it sends SMS texts or emails to me whenever I receive a call to my Google Voice number.  Because I use my Google Voice number primarily as an electronic message service, this configuration works great.  I don’t want my mobile (or any other phone) ringing every time someone calls my Google Voice because it would interrupt me too often.  If you are the same, then you will not want to port your mobile or main numbers over, at least not the way I understand the new feature.  With number porting, callers will no longer be calling your Google Voice number.  Instead, your callers will be calling the number you give to Google – which becomes your Google Voice number – and it will, essentially, ring forward to the number provided.
  2. I have an unlimited data plan through Verizon, but the last time I checked, Verizon no longer offers unlimited data plans to all customers.  According to the video on the Google Voice blog, you must contact your carrier, cancel your service, and then re-establish it according to the video’s directions.  Will this result in me losing my unlimited data plan?  I imagine it will.

Having made these observations, let me reiterate that it sounds like a great new feature.  Many benefits can be realized from this new feature, not the least of which is that it reduces the annoyance of having several numbers to deal with and the fact that it makes your Google Voice number function much more like a traditional telephone service.  I am sure AT&T will be thrilled.

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