As of May 24, 2004, all cell phone numbers were eligible for portability, according to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Cell phone number portability gives you the ability to transfer your existing cell phone number to a new cell phone provider. Before May 24, 2004, this was only available in select cities. Depending on the particular cellular providers, nominal fees may be applicable; however the transfer process itself is simple.
Things You'll Need
- Old cell phone provider
- New cell phone provider
Determine when your contract is up with your current carrier. All terms and conditions still apply with your current cell phone carrier. Early termination fees will be accrued if you port your phone number to a new carrier before the contract has expired.
Take a copy of your current cell phone bill to the new carrier where you are transferring your business. The transfer of the phone number relies on the billing systems. All information, such as name and address, must be transferred from the old bill exactly the same, according to the Cell Phone Carriers website. For example, if the bill from you old provider says "Jack E. Jones," your new bill must also read "Jack E. Jones;" the elimination of the middle initial would ruin the portability of your phone number.
Pick a phone with the new provider, as your old phone will not work with a new cellular provider. It is important to note that you cannot terminate service your old cell phone provider before the porting process of your phone number; your new cellular provider will cancel the service from the old provider at the time of transferring your number.
Tips & Warnings
- Inquire about the fees for porting your phone number. Usually such fees from the old service providers are small, ranging from two to five dollars. The new service provider may bill an additional dollar or two each month, but some may not, according to Cell Phone Carriers (reference 1).
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