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So, you've just received and activated your shiny new Republic phone and discovered that it's been assigned a phone number located nowhere near you. You've heard that Republic assigns your new number based on your address. You might be thinking, how did they get it so wrong and what can I do about it? No problem, you've found or been directed to Change My Phone Number. You proceed to attempt changing your number as described but, alas, there are no local numbers to be had. Usually, this works brilliantly, however, in some cases, Republic lacks available numbers in your local area. Among the areas Republic is challenged to provide local numbers are Washington state, Oregon, parts of Florida and New Hampshire. If this describes your situation, this article is for you. The workaround presented will explain how to acquire a local number from a broker or a service provider other than Republic, even if you have no current business relationship with them, then transfer that number to Republic at modest expense.
Two steps are required for this workaround to succeed. Choosing a broker or alternate service provider to acquire your target number from and making certain that number will, indeed, transfer to Republic.
The path of least resistance is use of a broker that sells telephone numbers. Here the broker highlighted is NumberBarn. NumberBarn allows one to search for and purchase a phone number. The price varies depending on the perceived desirability of the number one chooses. Here's how to search for and acquire a number from NumberBarn:
- Start here: Get a New Phone Number.
- Enter your desired area code.
- From the list presented, choose a target number. There are a variety of filters available to narrow the presented list.
- Prior to executing purchase of a number, verify it will transfer to Republic by checking here.
- Proceed with purchase of the target number of interest. In addition to the cost of the number itself, you'll need to select a NumberBarn plan. The $2 "Park" option is sufficient.
If paying roughly $20 for your new number isn't attractive, then in exchange for more effort you may reduce the cost somewhat as follows.
Let's tackle making certain your target number will transfer to Republic first. Republic, like all service providers, relies on a Local Exchange Carrier (LEC) to host phone numbers. LEC is telephone industry jargon for phone company. Republic uses Bandwidth.com as its LEC. Bandwidth needs to have a "presence" in the rate center where the number you wish to acquire and transfer is located. A rate center is a geographic area, usually but not always a city or town. The rate center your target number is located in is determined by the area code and prefix (first six digits) of that phone number. No carrier has presence in every rate center, however, Bandwidth has presence in most rate centers.
You'll need to determine that Bandwidth has the required rate center presence, so that your target number will transfer to Republic. Fortunately, a great publicly available tool, Local Calling Guide, can help with that. Here's how to find a rate center with Bandwidth presence as local to you as possible.
- Start here: Telephone company search.
- For Company name enter Bandwidth.
- For NPA enter your desired area code.
- Click Submit.
- You'll be presented with a screen that looks like the following.
- Clicking the link under Prefix information will produce a list of rate centers within the specified area code where Bandwidth has presence. That list may be multiple pages long.
- Locate and click the name for a desired Rate Center local to you.
- Doing so produces a page with information for your selected rate center.
- Generally, the information is unimportant with the exception of the list of exchanges within the specified area code and, perhaps, the local calling area.
- A number located in any of the listed exchanges should transfer to Republic. You might want to print that list of exchanges for later use.
- To test enter a few random numbers from any of the exchanges here.
Having determined a Rate Center with numbers that will transfer to Republic, the next step is to acquire the target number itself. Any of the big four wireless carriers, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon, are potential sources. If you have an old deactivated phone (it need not be a smartphone), take that phone to the appropriate carrier's store and ask that they activate it on their least expensive pay as you go plan with a number from one of the exchanges previously noted. If you don't have an old phone, purchasing a cheap prepaid phone is an option. AT&T Prepaid phones can be had for around $15. Other carriers' prepaid phones are options as well. If you prefer a do-it-yourself approach, read on.
Purchase and activate a Ting SIM. Ting SIMs are available at most Best Buys and, perhaps, other local big box retailers (Walmart, Target etc.) and may be activated on Ting's website. If unable to locate a Ting SIM locally, direct purchase from Ting online is an option. Amazon and/or eBay are other options. Ting SIMs purchased at Best Buy provide $30 initial service credit, so your net expense is the cost of the SIM itself. Ting SIMs purchased elsewhere may not provide initial service credit. Once acquired, here's how to activate that Ting SIM:
- Point your web browser to Ting.
- You'll be asked to create an account.
- Enter your Republic phone's IMEI or MEID number, then click "Check compatibility". Alternatively, click "I have a Ting GSM SIM card. Skip this step."
- Enter your Ting SIM card number (ICCID), then click "Continue".
- Select "Activate a brand new number".
- Enter your address, then click "Continue".
- Confirm the address by clicking "Yes, continue".
- Using the drop down menu under "Select your area code", be certain to pick a previously identified rate center, then click "Continue".
- Complete Ting's request for billing information.
- Agree to Ting's Terms of Service, then click "Confirm".
- Optionally, complete Ting's activation sequence (note you'll likely already have received an email from Ting indicating your SIM is already activated and providing the number you'll transfer to Republic.
Now that you have your target number, all that is left is transferring that number to Republic. Guidance for that is here: Number Transfer: Overview.
If you acquired your number from NumberBarn, please see NumberBarn's FAQ. Quoting:
How do I port a number away from NumberBarn?
When you purchase a number, your NumberBarn account will have the information you will need to port the phone number to your new carrier. You will need to provide this account information to the new carrier to port to their service.If you used Ting, guidance for transferring (porting) your newly acquired number is here: Porting Your Number Out of Ting.
When your transfer to Republic is complete the old phone used or the SIM activated will be canceled.