AT&T Wireless Services Inc., which last week received an inquiry request
from the Federal Communications Commission regarding consumer complaints
related to its local number portability efforts, said it has implemented
software improvements that allow number porting to and from the carrier "in
times on par with other carriers-in some cases in just a few hours."

"Unfortunately, the first group of customers who have tried moving their
wireless numbers to a different carrier have had a frustrating experience,"
said Michael Keith, president of mobility services at AT&T Wireless. "AT&T
Wireless has certainly not been satisfied with the performance of our
porting systems in the first few weeks of the LNP process, and we regret
inconveniencing our customers."

The carrier noted problems with its software in acknowledging requests from
other carriers to move a customer's number that eventually created a
bottleneck in the system.

"As a result of changes we made in conjunction with the software provider,
we are now responding to more than three-quarters of these requests in 30
minutes or less," Keith noted.

While taking some of the blame for the porting difficulties, AT&T Wireless
also placed some of the hardship on its competitors, which it said
experienced periodic outages in the weeks prior to the implementation of
LNP, inhibiting the ability of AT&T Wireless' vendor to test its software.

"We have identified and begun to solve the problems affecting AT&T Wireless
and have improved the customer experience as a result," Keith added.
"Neither we nor our industry have all the issues licked yet, but we are
making steady, solid progress in these early days of an unprecedented

Analysts have noted that AT&T Wireless used a different vendor to handle its
porting system than its five nationwide competitors, which all reportedly
relied on Telecommunications Services Inc. to provide their porting
services. AT&T Wireless was also reportedly hindered by a software glitch
dating back to Nov. 1 that hampered the carrier's ability to access
information for its GSM customers and delayed its ability to sign up
additional subscribers to the network.
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