by Dan Meyer
Nov. 26, 2003 11:58 AM EST

A survey by global marketing research firm Ipsos-Insight found that while 70
percent of wireless customers are aware of the local number portability
mandate, 73 percent of those questioned said they are not likely to switch
from their current providers during the next year.

"Providers have been concerned about the possible increase in customer churn
as a direct result of this new legislation," said Mike Bellmont, director at
Ipsos-Insight. "These findings suggest that although the ability to keep a
number is very attractive, for the vast majority of wireless customers it
does not significantly impact their decision to switch providers in the near

The survey noted that LNP awareness is highest among older wireless
customers, including 78 percent of those surveyed over the age of 55
compared with 56 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 18 to 34. The
survey added that awareness levels are also higher among respondents with a
college degree-76 percent-vs. respondents with a high school education or
less-59 percent.

The survey also found 3 percent of wireless customers said they are at least
somewhat likely to switch providers during the first month of LNP
availability, while 89 percent of those surveyed who said they would likely
switch sometime during the next year plan to keep their current numbers.

More than half of those customers likely to change service providers in the
next year also said they are willing to pay a $25 fee to take their numbers,
though Bellmont said that due to competitive forces it is unlikely carriers
would charge customers to keep their numbers.

"Wireless providers are carefully positioning themselves with offers to
entice new customers," Bellmont explained. "Although customers are willing
to pay a fee to switch, suppliers who charge for this service would have a
competitive disadvantage against those who do not charge a fee
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