Yes, it's possible to keep your phone number when you switch providers or move. This is how you can go about porting your phone number to a new service.

He wanted to keep his phone number. What happened?

All William Wilson wanted to do was keep his phone number. He’d had the same number for 36 years, and everyone — friends, family, colleagues — knew it. And, most importantly, he knew his phone number by heart.

But his new phone company didn’t seem to care. So when he switched service, it issued a new number, despite repeated requests. Since then, he’s been trying to get it switched back to his old, familiar number — and to get a refund for the costs he incurred. Why did the company make porting his old number so hard?