Cell phone users can now "port " numbers - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Cell phone users can now "port " numbers

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May 24, 2004

Albany- The cell phone industry is calling it independence day for wireless customers nationwide.

Now customers can shop around for the best cell phone plans, and not have to worry losing their existing phone number.

Managers at Verizon Wireless say South Georgians have been waiting for their chance to "port" since last November when it became available in big cities.

"A lot of people left their names and said when can I come in and all that, and this has been going on for months. We've been taking down their names and putting it in the system," says Verizon Wireless District Manager, Jeff Burdette.

Also, with the new portability changes you can take your home phone number and switch it over to your cell phone, good news for people who rarely use their land lines, have a cable modem and are tired of paying long distance fees.

"There's no sense in having too many phones now. Just carry the one, and it does everything and it works everywhere now so that's the great thing."

Before you get ready to port, there are a few things you can do to make the switch easier.

"Bring your current cell phone bill. The second thing is bring your ID. The third thing is you should be the primary account holder. It should be in your name."

If you're under contract, providers recommend finishing it out before you switch or you could face a termination fee.

Wireless carriers say it takes anywhere from 3 to 24 hours to move your cell phone number to a new provider, but for land lines it could take anywhere from 7 to 10 days to complete the switch.

Posted at 4:45 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com