Know Your Rights and Obligations:
Your carrier can't stop you from switching or try to delay the process,
even if you still owe a contract-termination charge (typically $150 to
$200) or monthly dues.
On the timeline, be aware that even though the wireless industry has
said "porting" (as it's called) should take no longer than 2 1/2
hours, you might have to wait a bit longer, especially in the beginning.
· Initiating a Switch: If you want to change cell
phone carriers, or move your home phone line to a cell phone, contact
the new carrier, who will start the process. Do not terminate service
with your existing carrier before initiating a switch. Also, know that
you are obligated to pay any early termination fees that may apply
with your existing cell phone provider (or landline with contract) if you change the service
before the contract ends.
What you need for switching?
As per the FCC guidelines number port should require no more than the following information: (1) 10-digit telephone number; (2) customer account number; (3) 5-digit zip code; and (4) pass code, if it applies.
· Switching Time: It should only take a few hours to
move your current cell phone number to a new cell phone provider
(wireless-to-wireless transfer). It is expected to take several
business days to complete a home Landline to cell phone transfer
to wireless). Make sure to ask the cell phone company you are moving
to if you will still be able to use your home Landline during the
Extra Fees when switching carriers :
Some companies may assess fees to recover the costs that they incur in providing number portability.
Your old carrier could also require you to pay a porting fee, but cannot charge in excess of these “porting” costs.
Some companies may pay your current phone provider’s cost in order to get
your business, so ask your new carrier to reimburse you.
Don't Cancel until you find a new carrier:
Switch your carrier before you cancel your existing
service. Your phone number belongs to your current carrier until it's
transferred, so if you cancel before you switch, that number will simply
go back to the original carrier's pool.
Here's how it's supposed to work: You go to your new carrier and say
you want to sign up, but you also want to keep your number, your new carrier will put a request for your number transfer
directly with your current carrier. The two carriers will then match your
information (bring an old invoice to your new carrier to avoid possible
mistakes), and once the number is switched, your old service
may be automatically cancelled. Keep your old phone until the switch happens and
then double-check that your old service is no longer in effect.
Shop Before You Switch the Phone Line:
There are a number of Web sites to help you do that. You can find them
by doing a general search in any major search engines or
to compare and find Cellular Phones.
incoming is free but not the Wireless: Most cell plans are priced per minute, and
get pricey when you exceed your limit. However, local landline (home
phone) service is often a flat rate in which you pay the same fee
no matter how much you use the phone. Many cell phone plans charge for
incoming calls, but landlines do not. Take care to consider how much
you will use the phone and whether the cell plan includes a sufficient
number of minutes for your outgoing and incoming calls.
· Extras and Long Distance on home phone line: Home phone service
typically charge extra for such things as caller ID, voice mail and,
of course, long distance. Cell phone plans often include the extras
and long distance in their service. If you switch from a home phone to wireless, your long distance service will not move with you, so
make sure to verify your long distance options when changing to a cell
· Safety with Home Phone Line: If you dial 911 from your home phone, the
emergency operators can immediately pinpoint your location. If you
dial 911 from your cell phone at home or on the road, most emergency
operators cannot readily locate you, and unfortunately, there is no
guarantee that your call will get through.
· Service Quality: Consumers frequently complain about
wireless service quality, such as dead zones and dropped calls.
Overloaded networks and "dead spots" can affect your ability
to use a wireless phone in ways that are not a consideration for
Whether consumers are switching their home phone number to their
cell phone, or switching cell-phone companies, they also should
consider the service quality.
Phone Compatibility when switching the Wireless Carriers:
In some instances, wireless handsets of different wireless telephone companies are incompatible.
If you switch wireless companies, you may need to purchase a new handset, even if you retain the same phone number.
For example Verizon Wireless and Sprint uses CDMA technology phones but they may not work for each others' service. But GSM phones
used by T-Mobile and AT&T are capable of working for each others SIM cards as long as they are not in locked status by the carrier.
In this case you will need to use Unlocked Mobile Phones.
information on wireless-to-wireless transfers, or Landline-to-wireless
transfers, call the Federal Communications Commission, 1-888-225-5322
or visit www.fcc.gov.