Verizon to take number portability to the next level

FRAMINGHAM (09/23/2003) - Verizon Communications and Verizon Wireless Monday announced that it will offer customers the flexibility to port their phone numbers between the service provider's local and wireless services.

Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon and Vodafone Group, inked a deal with its service provider parent Verizon that will allow local service customers to move their phone numbers to a wireless service plan. Verizon local voice customers will also be able to port their wireless number to their landline service plan.

The service provider's announcement comes as the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) deadline for wireless number portability (WNP) approaches. By November 24, wireless service providers are required to offer WNP in the top 100 markets across the country. Within six months, WNP is expected to be available nationally.

In recent months Verizon Wireless has come out in support of the FCC's long-time plan that will allow customers the flexibility to switch providers while retaining their existing wireless phone number.

The service provider is the only national company that's come out in favor of the commission's plan, although it did fight the FCC for years alongside AT&T Wireless, Sprint Spectrum LP (Sprint PCS) and Nextel Communications. All of which are charging customers a WNP service fee today, despite the fact the feature isn't even available. Verizon Wireless is not charging customers an additional service fee to cover WNP expenses.

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