This article again makes Verizon sound like the good guy and Cingular as
the bad. What a rotten marketing ploy. If you read the article it makes
Verizon look like they are not going to loose any, but gain a bunch of
customers. While it's competitors are going to loose scores of
customers. The line that says the competitors should test the
portability so that it will work when their subscribers want to switch
is not acurate. How about for when Verizon customers wish to leave and
go to another company?

Also they were talking about the companies making it hard to switch.
Pointing out contract and early termination fees as a ploy to prevent
them from switching. Haven't these companies been signing contracts for
years? How is that ploy?

Here is the article:

CHICAGO, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. wireless
telephone company, on Wednesday challenged its competitors to stop
fighting a new government rule that would allow consumers to keep their
phone numbers when switching wireless services.
Many wireless operators are opposed to the so-called number portability
rule because of the cost of implementation and the expected increase in
customer turnover since it makes it easier for disgruntled customers to
go elsewhere.

Verizon Wireless has been virtually alone in actively supporting number
portability, even though its rivals have said they are ready to
implement it by the Nov. 24 deadline.

The Bedminster, New Jersey-based company said Alltel Corp. (NYSE:AT -
News), AT&T Wireless Services Inc. (NYSE:AWE - News), Cingular Wireless,
Nextel Communications Inc. (NasdaqNM:NXTL - News) and Sprint PCS Group
(NYSE:PCS - News) were making it difficult to switch.

Verizon Wireless said those companies were unwilling to consider testing
number portability between the operators to ensure that the service will

"The lobbying and legal resources being used by our competitors to
derail or delay number portability should come to an immediate end, and
that energy should be redirected to ensuring they are ready to let their
customers change service providers with their wireless numbers," said
Mark Tuller, general counsel of Verizon Wireless.

Verizon Wireless said it has already introduced new porting systems,
started training employees, conducted initial testing and built a call
center in preparation for number portability.

Chief Executive Dennis Strigl in June said Verizon Wireless, which is a
joint venture between Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ - News) and
Vodafone Group (NYSE:VOD - News; London:VOD.L - News), has no plans to
charge fees to customers who want to keep their telephone numbers when
switching customers.

The FCC on Tuesday urged the carriers to begin testing customer moves
even if they have not reached formal agreements ahead of the deadline
and told them that FCC officials would visit the companies in the coming
weeks to check on progress.

The FCC also asked for data from the providers about the number of
requests they are receiving for number switches in particular markets,
testing results and the level of training customer service
representatives have received.

Additionally, the agency asked whether the companies have coordinated
with land line companies and any related testing done. It sought the
information by Sept. 23.

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