ROCHESTER, NY — One week from today, wireless customers will be able to switch wireless carriers and keep their existing wireless phone numbers. They'll even be able to make their landline phone number their wireless number. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has mandated Local Number Portability (LNP) take effect in the nation's top 100 markets on November 24, 2003. In Upstate New York, that includes the Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany markets. Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless carrier, is preparing its systems to accommodate customers who wish to keep their numbers when switching to or from Verizon Wireless next Monday, and offers these tips for consumers:
- Do not cancel your existing wireless service if you are planning to change carriers. Cancelled numbers cannot be transferred to another carrier.
- Bring your latest bill from your current wireless provider. That will help your new carrier verify information and speed the transfer process.
- Not every wireless number may be switched. Check with your new carrier to determine if your number is eligible. Numbers can be ported only in the same (local) geographic area.
- Switching a number from another wireless carrier should take from a couple of hours to one day, but it could take longer if information cannot be verified. Switching multiple numbers may take longer.
- You will likely have to purchase a new phone when you switch carriers because your existing phone may not be compatible with the new carrier's technology.
- Read your existing contract carefully. Early termination fees and other contractual requirements will apply, but should not delay the process.
"Number portability is a great opportunity for wireless customers to benefit from a competitive wireless marketplace," said John Palmer, president of Verizon Wireless' Upstate New York Region. "Customers will now have more choice and more flexibility with their wireless service. Their decision to stay or switch will depend largely on quality of service, especially network quality and performance."
To prepare for LNP implementation, Verizon Wireless has invested more than $60 million upgrading its network and systems, training employees, and opening a new call center dedicated to LNP transactions.
Verizon Wireless is committed to providing consumers with a hassle-free experience when keeping their numbers when switching carriers. However, LNP is a two-carrier process, and both carriers need to be ready.
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 36 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.