New Yorkers: Local Number Portability Starts This Monday, in Top 100 U.S. Markets Only

ROCHESTER, NY — On Monday, November 24, the FCC's much-anticipated local number portability (LNP) regulation will take effect, allowing wireless customers in the nation's largest metropolitan areas to take their current wireless number with them if they choose to switch carriers, or make their landline phone number their wireless number. The FCC has mandated LNP be available only in the top 100 U.S. markets beginning this Monday. Wireless companies will be required to support LNP in all markets they serve by May 24, 2004.

On November 24, LNP will apply only to the Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany markets in Upstate New York. In all other Upstate New York areas, wireless service will remain status quo, and those customers switching carriers will be assigned a new number by their new provider. If customers are unsure if they are a part of the calling areas in which LNP will be offered, they can call their current wireless carrier for more information.

"Local number portability is all about consumer choice," said John Palmer, president of Verizon Wireless' Upstate New York Region. "It will benefit both business and individual wireless subscribers who wish to switch to a carrier that better suits their needs without the hassle and inconvenience of changing their number."

Verizon Wireless has invested more than $60 million to prepare for LNP. The company has opened a new call center with more than 900 employees dedicated to LNP, upgraded its IT systems and modified its network, trained thousands of employees, and hired additional ones to handle an expected increase in customer traffic in its communications stores.

Customers considering switching carriers and taking their wireless number should first contact their wireless provider to ensure LNP is available in their area.

"When LNP launches on Monday, wireless customers will have more options and control than ever before," said Palmer. "LNP will compel competitive carriers to strive for excellence. Customers will no longer be held back by the inconvenience of changing their number, but rather be empowered to choose the company that best serves their needs, especially in terms of network coverage and quality."

About Verizon WirelessVerizon 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