Just saw this on Mashable.com, going to make Google Voice even better! Google Voice users, this is big: You might already be able to port your own phone number into the service. Google just unleashed a test program a few hours ago.
According to Google, this ability to port your own inbound phone number is currently in a test phase that’s available to certain users (such as us — we were lucky enough to be among the chosen few).
With a few clicks, you can have people call the regular phone number that you’ve been using all these years, without having to teach them to call a different number just so you can use Google Voice and all its Gmail-like features. Simply go to Phone, Settings, and if you see “change/port” next to your phone number, you’re in luck. Click that and you’ll soon be done.
Easy enough, except for that $20 charge you’ll have to pay to make it happen. Keep in mind that if you do select that option and pay your $20, whichever landline or cellphone provider you were paying to use that phone number before might want to charge you an early termination fee. Buyer beware.
On the other hand, this long-awaited feature will make it a lot easier for new users of Google Voice to adapt to the service. It’ll be simple to just drop your old service automatically by paying the $20 and importing that number to Google Voice.
Too bad this capability was not available a couple of years ago when I first started using the free Google Voice service, and told everyone in my address book about my new phone number. Now, I like that my chosen Google Voice number so much, there’s not an old number I’d rather port.