News Release

Verizon and Verizon Wireless Reach Barrier-Free Porting Agreement in Advance of November 24 Deadline

Nation's Largest Local Telephone and Wireless Companies Pave Way for Customers to Change Services Easily While Taking Their Phone Numbers With Them

September 21, 2003

Jeffrey Nelson
Jeffrey.Nelson@VerizonWireless.com
908-306-4824Mark Marchand
Verizon Communications
Mark.A.Marchand@verizon.com  
518-396-1080

BEDMINSTER, NJ — Verizon Communications and Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon and Vodafone, have taken a major step forward to provide barrier-free and reciprocal porting of telephone numbers beginning on November 24, a move that will benefit customers and enhance competition.

The companies today announced they have signed a groundbreaking agreement allowing wireless and local telephone customers to easily switch service providers while keeping their phone numbers with them. The agreement means Verizon customers will be able to switch their home phone numbers to a mobile phone with service from Verizon Wireless, and vice versa. The agreement paves the way for similar landline-to-wireless and wireless-to-landline porting agreements between the nation's wireless and landline phone companies.

Verizon and Verizon Wireless formalized their arrangements through an agreement addressing significant issues that have hindered the ability of other wireline and wireless service providers to reach porting agreements. Verizon and Verizon Wireless have broken ranks with other wireline and wireless carriers who continue to cite these issues as reasons not to implement LNP (local number portability). The two companies have demonstrated that, when willing, these pacts can be accomplished by other wireless and wireline companies as they prepare for number portability.

According to this agreement:

  • Verizon and Verizon Wireless will not deny or delay a customer's request to port from one carrier to the other simply because the customer owes a fee for terminating service earlier than an existing service contract might permit, or because there is a balance due on an account. Switching carriers will not forgive a customer's financial obligations, but the changeover in service providers will not be delayed because of them.
  • Verizon and Verizon Wireless have agreed to port under the terms of the multi-state stand-alone agreement rather than through negotiation of interconnection agreement amendments. Verizon and Verizon Wireless believe no such agreements are necessary for any similar agreements between wireless and wireless service providers, and are instead impediments to portability.
  • Verizon and Verizon Wireless are facilitating barrier-free non-geographic porting by allowing customers to port their wireline numbers to a wireless service, even if Verizon Wireless does not already have phone numbers located in the same landline rating area ("rate center").

The Verizon/Verizon Wireless agreement shows that, while significant policy and procedural issues remain for both wireline and wireless companies as they turn to implementing number portability, the work can — and should — be completed quickly to ensure that the nation's phone users can benefit from this new freedom. The companies urged the FCC to quickly spell out what companies must now do as they complete plans for number portability.

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the nation's leading provider of wireless communications. The company has the largest nationwide wireless voice and data network and 34.6 million customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com.  

About Verizon Communications
A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $67 billion in revenues and 221,000 employees. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 137.6 million access line equivalents and 34.6 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 14.6 million long-distance lines. The company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.

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