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cell phone number portability

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I didn't want to commit to a cell company contract, so I have one of those pay-as-you-go cell phones, just for emergencies. I'm always hearing complaints about poor service and unreasonable pricing from cell phone users who have contracts.

Do you think cell phone companies will improve service and lower prices to keep customers if number portability legislation is enacted?

Check this out...www.consumersunion.org/campaigns/escapecellhell
post #2 of 9
Yes - it is necessary to do. Lower prices? Not really, will ultimately drive costs up. Improve service? No - other factors will influence service improvements.

Where do I start? I'm with a telecommunications company, and I have been responsible for implementing this project since it was originally mandated by the FCC in 1996. We finished number portability for land-lines a few years back, and turned our attention to cell phone portability. November 24, 2003 has been stuck in my brain for many years now.

The FCC order in 1996 was intended to open up competition between telecom carriers. Nearly every aspect of that order has been fought over by the carriers, new entrants, and lawyers. There has been billions of dollars spend on fighting and implementing that order.

The fundamentals of the order allow you to go from one telecom carrier to another and take your phone number with you. It has been phased in over a 7 year+ period.

In order for a start up company to compete, yes, you MUST allow number portability. What customer would wish to change their phone numbers just to go to another carrier promising to save them $5 a month? If you are a business customer, think of cost to change out the phone numbers on your business cards, web pages, advertising, stationary, etc, just to go to a new carrier.

The real question is whether competition has legitimately taken hold. The majority of the start up competitive companies have gone bankrupt or merged into bigger companies. There is a fear that these bigger companies are going to form a monopoly, counter to what the FCC intended to do with the order in the first place. There is some legitimate competition out there, but not as originally planned. There have been billions of dollars spent getting to this point, within an industry facing major employee layoffs due to hard economic conditions. Competition is not really driving new invention or better service, economic issues and the need to retain customers and grow new business is. I say YES, this is necessary, but have mixed opinions on how they went about mandating this.

Now the disclaimer: My views do not represent the opinions of my company.
post #3 of 9
Lower costs? Nope. From what I understand, because my husband checked into it, it actually raises the monthly price to keep your phone number with a carrier other than the original one who owned it. I believe he was quoted about $2.00 per month, plus the changeover fees.

Improve service? Now why would they do that? Until a company breaks out with drastically improved services, none of the big dogs will spend the time and money to implement changes. They don't have to. They have us over a barrel and they know it - we have no alternative that is significantly better. Why do you think Qwest gets horrible customer service ratings year after year after year? They have no significant competition (at least not in Colorado), they have us all by the short hairs and can treat us and our service however they want to. If that is substandard.....well, where else can you go???

Back to the original topic. I do think that being able to switch cell phone numbers between carriers is worth whatever hassels they put us through to many people, especially business people who live on their cell phones.
post #4 of 9
One of the many reasons I don't have a cell phone; Cost, bad service, Insane contract lengths. Never really thought about the number portability, but hey I guess I can add that to the list.
post #5 of 9
I have one where you buy mintues when you need them,no monthly bill's .Only way I will have one.And it works just fine.
post #6 of 9
I think that cell phone number portability HAS to gain more momentum. More and more people are turning to the cell phone as their ONLY phone. Makes it tough to go to a new company when you have to change your number.
post #7 of 9
The wireless carriers put off this mandate for 2 years due to the cost to upgrade their networks to allow for this. At one point in time, there were proposals that people would have to buy new cell phones to take their phone number with them. What a joke to the consumer!!

Your insider information for the day.....
post #8 of 9
I had a pretty bad contract for years.. very limited minutes, so I just didnt use the phone that much. Now I pay $30 a month for 250 daytime minutes, and 3000 weekend and evening minutes. I can also call anywhere in the U.S. without getting long distance charges. I think that is pretty reasonable.
post #9 of 9
I've decided that once I move (in just a couple weeks), I won't have a home phone. I will use my cellphone as my primary phone. It's so much cheaper to go that way! Right now my plan is $49.51 (tax & etc included) for 700 anytime minutes & unlimited nights and weekends. I will probably change it when I move to have more anytime minutes, but in the long run it will save me a bundle going this route. No long distance fees & the comfort of having my phone with me at all times is a big plus for me.
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