Wireless Customers Nationwide Can Change Providers and Keep Their Wireless Phone Numbers on May 24

ROCHESTER, NY — Later this month, Local Number Portability (LNP) will take effect nationwide, giving all wireless customers the ability to switch wireless carriers and keep their existing wireless phone numbers. Initially launched in the nation's top 100 markets on November 24, 2003, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has mandated LNP be extended to all markets nationwide on May 24, 2004. Verizon Wireless, the nation's leading wireless carrier, has prepared its systems and trained its customer service and sales representatives to accommodate customers who wish to keep their numbers when switching to or from Verizon Wireless. Millions of wireless customers in the nation's larger metropolitan areas have already taken advantage of the newfound freedom afforded by LNP.

"Verizon Wireless is ready to make number portability convenient for our current and potential customers," said John Palmer, president of Verizon Wireless' Upstate New York Region. "Customers nationwide will now benefit from a more competitive wireless marketplace and have greater freedom and more flexibility with their wireless service."

Verizon Wireless has invested more than $60 million upgrading its network and systems, training employees, and opened a new call center dedicated to LNP transactions The company has successfully completed tens of thousands of "port-ins" since LNP initially took effect in November.

"Number portability will break barriers currently faced by wireless customers and push wireless carriers to strive for excellence," said Palmer. "Customers will no longer feel trapped by carriers because they do not want to lose their numbers. Their decision to stay or switch will depend solely on quality of service, especially network quality and performance, and customer service excellence."

Customers preparing to port their numbers should consider the following tips:

  • 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.
  • Numbers can be ported only in the same (local) geographic area. Check with your new carrier to determine if your number is eligible.
  • 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.

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 39 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.  To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto www.thenewsmarket.com/verizonwireless.