Welcome to Our WirelessAdvisor Community!

You are viewing our forums as a GUEST. Please join us so you can post and view all the pictures.
Registration is easy, fast and FREE!

Number Portability

Discussion in 'GENERAL Wireless Discussion' started by JFB, Jan 22, 2002.

  1. JFB

    JFB Gold Senior Member
    Administrator Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 1998
    Messages:
    5,015
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    7
    Likes Received:
    794
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    My Phone:
    Essential PH-1
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Simple Mobile (T-Mobile MVNO)
    It looks like phone number portability won't be happening anytime soon!


    01/21/2002 - Updated 02:11 AM ET
    FCC expected to put hold on cell phone numbers
    By Paul Davidson, USA TODAY
    In a move that critics say will hamper competition, federal regulators are expected to delay for up to two years a requirement that cell phone companies let customers keep their phone numbers when they switch carriers.
    The Federal Communications Commission, however, is likely to reject a request from big mobile phone companies to do away with the mandate altogether, say people familiar with the matter. A vote is expected within weeks.
    The FCC approved the requirement in 1996 in a bid to foster competition. A similar rule requires regional Bells to let customers keep their home or business phone number when they choose a rival local phone company.
    But the big wireless carriers fought it, arguing the software changes needed to ensure proper call routing are too complex. They convinced the FCC to grant delays that have pushed the original June 1999 compliance deadline to November 2002. Now, Verizon Wireless, AT&T Wireless, Cingular Wireless and Sprint PCS argue the mandate should be scrapped because the market is competitive.
    "There's no evidence that customers are locked into service providers," says Mike Altschul of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association. He notes that 30% to 40% of customers switch providers each year.
    Thus, he says, the rule is not worth the technical costs, which Sprint estimates at $1.4 billion over four years for the big firms.
    "That's going to be passed to customers," Altschul says.
    AT&T, Cingular and Sprint want the FCC to approve another delay of at least two to three years. They say the software changes would be especially onerous to make while they're making other changes to comply with an FCC order aimed at conserving a dwindling supply of area codes.
    But Consumers Union director Gene Kimmelman says, "It's outrageous for consumers to have to wait any longer to be able to take their telephone number to the cell phone company that offers them the best deal." He says the big carriers are exaggerating the costs "to hold on to their customers."
    In fact, Leap Wireless, a small carrier seeking customers from the big players, says the changes are "minor" and supports keeping the November deadline. "They're afraid of the competitive impact on their business," says Leap's Dan Pegg. He says many customers don't switch carriers because of hassles such as having to get new business cards.
    The FCC is mulling delays of six months to two years. Pegg calls even six months "extraordinarily long." Kimmelman says a two-year delay would virtually scrap the rule.
    Leap would especially benefit from the portability rule, which also would let customers transfer their home phone numbers to mobile phones. That could stoke a trend for many people to ditch their home phones and use wireless exclusively. Leap targets them with a plan offering unlimited local calls for a flat $29.95 a month.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2. Tommyboy

    Tommyboy Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was predicting the same thing on another thread, the date would be pushed back. I would, however, find it highly unlikely that the FCC will do away with the idea altogether.

    Thanks for the article.

    By the way, number pooling won't go away which will also be good for the consumer. The distinction is in how the carriers purchase blocks of numbers (pooling) vs allowing customers to keep and transfer their number (portability). The number pooling will be a soft benefit because the consumer won't notice any direct benefit but this should slow down the need to continuely split area codes.

    Tom
     
  3. Jack

    Jack Silver Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2001
    Messages:
    2,449
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ohio
    My Phone:
    Motorola T720
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Alltel
    Hope portability happens sooner then 2-3 years. It would be nice for consumers to jump from carrior to carrior with the best deal but be able to keep the same number

    Jack
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2001
    Messages:
    4,044
    Likes Received:
    739
    Location:
    Central Valley NorCA
    My Phone:
    Samsung S7-Edge
    Wireless Provider(s):
    AT&T & Verizon
    If it were only so technically easy as blinking an eye or wiggling a nose.

    On the surface, to the individual consumer, this seems like a good thing. However, working for a major telecom firm as a PC/Server Support tech, I have the opportunity to speak with many different departments. I have serviced everything from VP's to Corporate Legal to mass service rep environments and, yes, even including regulatory department employees.

    You all cannot imagine the huge headache this IS currently for the telecom industry and the even bigger, stinky FART it will be when the consumers exclaim: "Oh NO! I never expected it to turn out like this." Right now consumers are complaining that the telecom industry is dragging their feet (they aren't, there is just an overwhelming amount of logistics and legal), but they will complain 10-times more when records start getting messed up between carriers because fickle consumers can't make up their minds.

    Take a lesson from WorldCom. We all (myself included) bash it all the time. BUT WHY is WorldCom so bad? BECAUSE they have to call the actual carriers they are contracting with. Now extend that expotentially when ALL the carriers have to start calling each other to find out who has that particular number <u>this</u> week. I wouldn't be at all surprised if numbers are inexeplicably disconnected due to fowled-up records and then it take days (if not longer) before it can be reconnected because the carriers need to talk between themselves to find out who owns the number. Number Pooling is a much safer and more logical system.
     
  5. Tommyboy

    Tommyboy Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    200
    Likes Received:
    0
    Kevin,

    As always your insight is invaluable because you are an educated consumer, that's meant as a compliment. [​IMG] The latest thing I heard about # pooling and portability is the creation of a clearing house, my words not theirs, that is independent of the carriers to manage the process. I'm not sure if it's going to be privately owned or government owned but it will manage all the #s going in and out. If this becomes a reality then this MIGHT be less painful than I originally thought. I stress "might" because I've been saying all along what Kevin just said that this will be a nightmare. There's no way around it. In the long run, maybe 2 years, it will be a benefit to the consumer but for now it will be a liability for all.
     
  6. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2001
    Messages:
    4,044
    Likes Received:
    739
    Location:
    Central Valley NorCA
    My Phone:
    Samsung S7-Edge
    Wireless Provider(s):
    AT&T & Verizon
    Yes, I guess I did get a bit carried away. I just don't think the consumer will like it when they finally get it.

    I had heard only once about this "intermediary" organization. If number portability is going to work at all, it will definitely need something like this. It doesn't seem like the most expedient, but then I am absolutely not anywhere near an authority on the matter. I was just reverberating what I've heard from employees that are in the middle of all this.

    Surprisingly, at least from one article I read, the carriers DO want to see this happen.
     
  7. SirIsaacNewton

    SirIsaacNewton New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    What I suspect you are going to end up with if cell number portability becomes a reality is in fact "virtual numbers" much like you have today with 800- numbers.

    When you dial an 800- number today, the telephone switch sends a request to a huge master 800-number database which actually returns the "real" telephone number. This number can differ by the callers physical location, time of day, or any number of other criteria set by the owner of the number.

    Once the "real" telephone number is known, the switch then dials it.
    I suspect much the same thing will end up happening with cell number portability. The "public" (portable) number you are issued will internally be routed to the "real" number assigned to the cell phone. (You may never actually know the real cell number!) If you want to transfer the public number to some other cellphone, you will simply have the "new" (probably) carrier have the number transferred to the latest cellphone.

    What I want to see, is the same process applied to standard wireline numbers. If I move across town or across the state, why should my number have to change. If we can do it for cell phones, we can do it for ANY phone. Why shouldn't someone living in California have the same number they had while living in New York???
    And if you say that's stupid, I consider it much more reasonable than cell portability.....

    PS: Isn't that what the 700- numbers were originally supposed to provide?
     
  8. KevinJames

    KevinJames WA's 1st retired mod
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2001
    Messages:
    4,044
    Likes Received:
    739
    Location:
    Central Valley NorCA
    My Phone:
    Samsung S7-Edge
    Wireless Provider(s):
    AT&T & Verizon
    Sir Isaac:

    Nice piece. I actually carried a private 800# for a while through UReach.com. It was a very nice service. Once my company took me off the road, it just didn't make sense to use it anymore. I especially liked the "dial-through" and "follow-me" features which allowed me to call up my 800 number and then dial-through to any USA number. It also allowed me to go on the web and have anyone calling my 800# get transfered to any number I specified (follow-me). Now they have enhanced it so that a user can enter a series of phone numbers to be tried until one is answered by the subscriber.

    Kevin
     
  9. SirIsaacNewton

    SirIsaacNewton New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2002
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Kevin,

    Thank you!

    There are several providers of the services you mention. I didn't mention them in my post because the discussion was the current FCC "portable" mandate. (Stupid use of technology in my opinion since I don't see it as a problem needing solution -- but it's the government....)

    I personally don't change cell phones or providers sufficiently that changing my number matters all that much. But for those people who seem to care passionately about such things, I recommend they follow your lead and subscribe to one of the 'follow me' services. Never have to change their cell phone number again. And they can have it immediately..

    For those who don't like that idea, they could obtain a permanently forwarded wireline number from their friendly local telco...
     

Share This Page

Copyright 1997-2018 Wireless Advisor™, LLC. All rights reserved. All registered and unregistered trademarks are the property of their respective holders.
WirelessAdvisor.com is not associated by ownership or membership with any cellular, PCS or wireless service provider companies and is not meant to be an endorsement of any company or service. Some links on these pages may be paid advertising or paid affiliate programs.

Positive SSL
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice