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How to port 'ineligible' mobile numbers to AT&T and iPhone

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
Some iPhone customers trying to port their mobile numbers from carriers such as Verizon are being told by the iTunes software and AT&T customer service reps that their current mobile number 'cannot be transfered,' is 'ineligible' for a port, or 'isn't being released' from its existing carrier. Fortunately, we've figured out a workaround to this issue.

Attempting to port my Verizon phone number to AT&T on Friday, I was given all three of these excuses and then some. At one point, I sincerely believed that I would be unable to keep the same mobile number I've had for 8 years if I wanted to move to AT&T. But after three hours, a massive headache, and several calls to both Verizon and AT&T customer support, I was able to both activate my iPhone and port my number in under 20 minutes.

The problem arises -- at least in my case -- when your current mailing or usage address (specifically the zip code you enter into iTunes as part of your current address) no longer matches the region associated with your existing mobile phone number's area code. Customers experiencing this problem likely have moved out of the region where they first activated their non-AT&T account and phone number.

For example: say you lived in Cupertino three years ago when you opened an account with Verizon, but have since relocated and now live in Los Angeles. Since your mobile phone number's area code ("408" in Cupertino) is now outside the region where you live (Los Angeles), AT&T's stubborn porting system software will decline to transfer your number -- it's hardcoded into their system that numbers cannot be ported out of region, even if both regions exist within the same state. This restriction appears to follow guidelines prescribed by FCC, but I never had a problem porting my out-of-area number between other carriers over the years. Verizon was happy to port my out-of-area number from Sprint a couple years back. With AT&T and iPhone, iTunes will tell you the number 'cannot' be transfered. AT&T service reps will tell you that your existing carrier 'won't release' your number to them, and when your initial activation fails, you'll receive an e-mail explaining that your existing mobile number is 'ineligible' to be ported.

For people caught in this never ending loop of B.S., try what I did. Once your activation fails, start the activation process over again in iTunes. On the first iTunes activation screen, it asks if you want to transfer your existing mobile number information. Select the check box, then type in your current mobile number and account number. Where it asks for "Billing Zip Code," use your old billing zip code or a zip code that coincides with your existing mobile number even if you no longer live in that zip code. Enter in a password if you have one -- or skip the password field if you don't -- and the click "Continue."



You'll then be asked on the next three screens to pick your plan, enter your iTunes account info, and confirm your birthday. Enter all the information as you did before. The next screen "Billing information" is where you want to focus. On that screen, enter your name, social security number, and your current billing information and home telephone. When you get to the point where it says "Address where you will primarily use this iPhone:," instead of selecting "Same as billing," select "Other." Now enter in a false address that matches up with your existing mobile phone number's area code. I used my old address.



For example: If your mobile phone number has a '408' Cupertino area code, but you now live in Los Angeles, tell iTunes you'll be using your phone in Cupertino by inputting a Cupertino usage address and zip code. (Effectively, you're just telling AT&T that you plan to use your iPhone in the same region in which you first received your wireless number). Click continue, and you should be well on your way. After I took these steps, my phone was activated within minutes and my 'ineligible' mobile phone number that previously 'could not be released from Verizon' was magically ported, completely, in about 20 minutes.

Once your iPhone is activated and your number properly ported, you can call AT&T or use AT&T's website to update the usage address you entered via iTunes. Alternatively, you could do nothing and let some poor sap at that random address deal with all the snail-mail spam AT&T may send. Important material, such as your statement and bill, will be sent to the valid billing address you provided.

AT&T service reps are clueless about this quirky loophole and are not very helpful. Instead they leave you feeling helpless, not providing a clear explanation of how to port your out-of-area number and leaving you to believe it is not possible. But it is. I hope this little work-around I discovered helps some folks out. There's nothing more frustrating than being stuck with a $600 paperweight for hours on end while AT&T tells you that they cannot get a release on your existing number from your current provider, and hence cannot activate your iPhone.
post #2 of 61
Strong work.

Still think I'll wait a couple of weeks before getting one. I let these activation issues get resolved.
post #3 of 61
What a well written, concise article.
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post #4 of 61
Thanks for the good info.
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #5 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

Strong work.

Still think I'll wait a couple of weeks before getting one. I let these activation issues get resolved.

I wouldn't hold my breath. This kind of organizational/systems issue has likely been a problem since AT&T/Cingular implemented phone number transfer, and I doubt AT&T will step up to fix it in the reasonable future.
post #6 of 61
I guess this would affect me as I specifically got a number for an area code starting 5 miles north of me, so that certain people would be local calls regardless of carrier. I didn't move, it's just that the big city is there.
post #7 of 61
One can hope without holding their breath can't they?
post #8 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

One can hope without holding their breath can't they?

Certainly, and maybe Apple will exert some pressure on them to fix the matter, but my experience with the industry in general and Cingular/AT&T specifically doesn't support much in the way of optimism.
post #9 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Some iPhone customers trying to port their mobile numbers from carriers such as Verizon are being told by the iTunes software and AT&T customer service reps that their current mobile number 'cannot be transfered,' is 'ineligible' for a port, or 'isn't being released' from its existing carrier. Fortunately, we've figured out a workaround to this nonsense.

Great find. But why the condescending attitude. If this were a perfect world, a lot of us wouldn't be here. Including you.
post #10 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Great find. But why the condescending attitude. If this were a perfect world, a lot of us wouldn't be here. Including you.

The article was clear, cocise, and valuable. There's nothing condescending about the post, and all of us are wondering about your attitude. Perhaps mommy should have spanked you more.
post #11 of 61
This is slightly outside my area of expertise, but I believe there's an industry-wide issue here rather than something specific to AT&T/Cingular -- carriers are not required to port numbers outside of the local geographic area (see http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/NumberPortabi...come.html#FAQS), and there are technical and taxation issues that prevent it from being feasible (as in, some of those squirrely little taxes at the bottom of your cell phone bill become nigh impossible to calculate, and it becomes difficult to administer the pool of available cell phone numbers in any given region).

Along the same lines, I suspect AT&T would get into hot water with state and local tax collectors if they advised you to do what's suggested in your post -- your workaround works as advertised, and for the city of Los Angeles it's not worth the time and effort to track you down and make you pay the local taxes on your cell phone service, but if AT&T were advising people to do this, I suspect several states and cities (if not the FCC) would have something unpleasant to say about it.
post #12 of 61
HA !

in (good) old Europe we dont have any of these issues ! Do you know why ?

Because the device isn't on sale!! !!

No iPhone. No Worries...
post #13 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moukkis View Post

HA !

in (good) old Europe we dont have any of these issues ! Do you know why ?

Because the device isn't on sale!! !!

No iPhone. No Worries...

Is the reason they're not on sale because the European cell system is much more open than the plan-based US system, meaning Apple won't have the same level of control over it's new baby?
post #14 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ptrash View Post

Is the reason they're not on sale because the European cell system is much more open than the plan-based US system, meaning Apple won't have the same level of control over it's new baby?

I think they want to get it right before they launch in Europe. Despite what the EU thinks, Europe is not a single country - each country has their own currency (in some cases) and different carriers, so to roll the iPhone out across Europe would require a lot of negotiations with all the different carriers...

Equally some countries like Italy have virtually no market at all for contract-based phones, everyone uses Pay as You Talk...

Plus, I think 3G might be a required bargaining chip to get the carriers to accept the tall demands that Apple place on them. Many of them have invested an absolute fortune (tens of billions) in their 3G networks which are pretty under-used.

I think if Apple do try to release the iPhone in the UK at the same price in pounds as it is in dollars it could be a major issue for them. The exchange rate is currently almost 0.5, they treat it as if its 0.8...

Well, we'll see!
post #15 of 61
The activation problem must have been an overload on some system. I bought a 4 GB iPhone for my 16 year old daughter friday waiting under 1 hour in line in a small southern town. Brought it home and hooked it up to activate it. Hours went by and nothing. Went to bed, woke up at 1:45am central time and the iPhone was activated. It took me longer to set up her e-mail because she had changed her password and I could find her to ask.

Lovin' every minute of it!!
post #16 of 61
Damn, I shouldve waited a day.
Oh well, new number & me iphone is working like a charm.
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post #17 of 61
Do you think Apple will have any damage control around all the AT&T issues?

People are lining up against AT&T: http://www.nobosh.com/Article/Apple-...%27s-Turn/669/
post #18 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by expatinasia View Post

The article was clear, cocise, and valuable. There's nothing condescending about the post, and all of us are wondering about your attitude. Perhaps mommy should have spanked you more.

Well unfortunately, I should have included the entire article in my retort. Because is has been revised! For example. the last line in the first paragraph originally stated, "Fortunately, we've figured out a workaround to this nonsense" and not as it is now, i.e., " Fortunately, we've figured out a workaround to this issue."

Obviously the author took my cue and changed it. More like what is should have been right from the start.

Note that I applauded the author for his endeavor. As a developer, we try to think of everything that could potentially create 'issues.' We appreciate when our clients make us aware of a problem. Certainly, considering the lengths that Apple has gone to ease the activation process, the finding by Kaspar was one that they couldn't even imagine. Who would of thought? Well, not Apple, not AT&T, nor you or I. Just one person so far.
post #19 of 61
I've had much the same problem, activating my iPhone via iTunes and being told that my existing T-Mobile number was not eligible to be ported. The explanation given was that the number I'd entered was likely a landline. It was not; it was a mobile number that I've had for 7 years and moved between carriers before. In my eagerness to activate the phone I opted for a new number, thinking that I could later port my old number to the new AT&T account, replacing the number I was given last night. Having first called the AT&T general support line for the iPhone and been told the hold time was one hour and fifteen minutes, I walked down to my local AT&T-owned corporate store (on Wall Street in New York), where I was given another phone number to call (the store employees were exasperated at the lack of help they'd been given to deal with the issue). I spent thirty five minutes with this "porting" group at AT&T (the number is 888-898-7685), and was eventually told that I needed to call another group which dealt with the iPhone, whose number was 877-800-3701. The representative with that group asked for an "activation ID" which was meant to have been sent to me via email. I quickly read for her the 5 or 6 emails I'd gotten from AT&T and Apple after activating the phone, none of which included that code. I told her that I was calling her from an AT&T Wireless phone number which I'd activated and paid for the night before, and despite her best efforts (this was not her fault) she had no record of me as an AT&T customer. Yet I was calling her on a number that I'd gotten from AT&T and for which I had already started paying the company (giving the phone number, account number, and my social security number failed to produce my name as a customer).

I envy the original poster's foresight in not having accepted an AT&T-assigned number and insisting on waiting for his existing number to be ported. Also, no small feat in figuring that that the rejection of the pre-existing ported number was due to changes in zip codes - kudos there.

Thus far the issue isn't resolved. My old phone is no longer active, the number isn't ported, and I can't be reached by anyone who's had my old number for the past 7 years (including my invalid mother who's not prone to adding new numbers to speed dial).

I might add that I lined up for an iPhone at that same Wall Street AT&T store at 12 noon on Friday. There were 60 phones and more than 250 people on the line (there were 64 people in front of me and several of us walked back and counted 190 or so behind our group). The 200 people (or so) behind me who'd taken the day off work and had been told nothing by the AT&T reps about stock levels were out of luck. I then hopped the subway and went to the Apple-owned store in SoHo and waited all of about 8 minutes - got an 8 gig phone. Shortly after that I returned, via telephone and in-person visits, to the small hell that is dealing with AT&T. I love the hardware and the software of the iPhone and I'm a long term fan of Apple. And I think the customer-facing people who work at AT&T are doing their level best. But the marriage of Apple with AT&T, in terms of aesthetics and a general grace, hasn't been rivaled since Stephanie Seymour wedded Axl Rose.
post #20 of 61
I had similar issues porting from Verizon. I think the number was moved from its original region too. I called AT&T a few times, and after a few hours, they started saying that everything was fine according to their system, the number was showing as having been ported successfully. Right around then I got an email from AT&T saying that the attempt to port had failed. After receiving that email, I went into the iTunes activation screen and told it that I was an existing AT&T customer who wanted to replace the service on their account, giving it the Verizon phone number and the billing address I'd set up when I initiated the port. The activation went through and the iPhone works great!

It's frustrating that I've had to deal with AT&T customer service as much as I did (I also had some issues with my other number), but they've been very helpful and patient and they do get things working eventually.
post #21 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by min_t View Post

Damn, I shouldve waited a day.
Oh well, new number & me iphone is working like a charm.

Me too. Could not port numbers to two new iPhones. AT&T issued new numbers. Guess I will visit the AT&T store to complete the port. On the up side, the iPhones are working great!!!!
post #22 of 61
This is excellent. Thank you for being so clever.
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post #23 of 61
I have been waiting for 12 hours now, when i called the number porting att special number and explained what this article says, the specialist agreed that could be the situation, so i asked him to cancel my activation process so i could restart it in iTunes, but he told me that if i did that, I would need to go have a new SIM card inserted in the iPhone at an ATT store before i tried to reactivate it, because the SIM card is burned into the billing area you first try to activate it on??? I said i didnt think that was the case but he said he thinks my activation will eventually fail and I will need to get another SIM card installed no matter what now, than try to reactivate it?? Does this sound like the truth?? I am porting a Verizon number over which i originally got 5 years ago in another county and ZIP in NJ, so I am now about 15 miles south in a different billing area.
post #24 of 61
Wow, given the number of first posts I have seen during the past couple of weeks, someone should do a membership count of AI pre-two weeks and post-two weeks of iPhone's introduction!
post #25 of 61
when activating your phone, your info must match everything on record specially if you have a itunes account already, i suggest you open up a new one with your current info or get it updated, so you wont run into activation issues, but also keep in mind alot of people are posting missleading info about problems they claim are having for example at engaget, which if you really have the phone already you would know they are false, i really dont know why would someone make false claims to keep people away from buying it, what will be the point there
post #26 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by fraklinc View Post

when activating your phone, your info must match everything on record specially if you have a itunes account already, i suggest you open up a new one with your current info or get it updated, so you wont run into activation issues, but also keep in mind alot of people are posting missleading info about problems they claim are having for example at engaget, which if you really have the phone already you would know they are false, i really dont know why would someone make false claims to keep people away from buying it, what will be the point there

Engadget is posting more iPhone stories than TUAW. Despite having an Engadget link that is iPhone-free there many posters coming onto every iPhone page to say how much they hate these stories. Engadget also has a Mobile section which many posters feel these stories belong, while others feel that they aren't given enough coverage to other gadgets.

I don't blame Engadget as they always do extensive coverage of new products it's not their fault that Apple is releasing new tidbits every day. Still, I can see how it would be a much for some people.

Or... Motorola, Sprint, Verizon, Microsoft, Nokia and T-Mobile are forcing their employees to write scathing reviews across the nets or risk losing their jobs.
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post #27 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forbes View Post

I believe there's an industry-wide issue here rather than something specific to AT&T/Cingular.

Exactly! AT&T is actually handling the issue correctly: Everyone is supposed to have phone numbers that match up with the market where their phone is primarily used. The author's statements that other carriers have alllowed the porting to happen doesn't mean it's supposed to be done. They're just not following the rules.

In the example given, by entering an address in Cupertino, the author is misrepresenting their PPU (Primary Place of Use or Place of Primary Use; depending on who you ask.) Misrepresenting your PPU is unethical (and possibly illegal as well, depending on the specifics of the circumstances.)

If you've moved to another city (such as a change from Cupertino to Los Angeles, or some such other move), you're supposed to get a new phone number. Local Number Portability (or LNP for short) wasn't intended to let people move around wherever they wanted to & keep their same phone number for life. Rather, LNP was intended to let people stay in the same market and switch carriers. If you move to another market, you're supposed to get a new phone number (local to the place you've moved to) just like always. (That's why it's called local number portability.)
post #28 of 61
(Deleted duplicate post.)
post #29 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jxself View Post

Exactly! AT&T is actually handling the issue correctly: Everyone is supposed to have phone numbers that match up with the market where their phone is primarily used. The author's statements that other carriers have alllowed the porting to happen doesn't mean it's supposed to be done. They're just not following the rules.

In the example given, by entering an address in Cupertino, the author is misrepresenting their PPU (Primary Place of Use or Place of Primary Use; depending on who you ask.) Misrepresenting your PPU is unethical (and possibly illegal as well, depending on the specifics of the circumstances.)

If you've moved to another city (such as a change from Cupertino to Los Angeles, or some such other move), you're supposed to get a new phone number. Local Number Portability (or LNP for short) wasn't intended to let people move around wherever they wanted to & keep their same phone number for life. Rather, LNP was intended to let people stay in the same market and switch carriers. If you move to another market, you're supposed to get a new phone number (local to the place you've moved to) just like always. (That's why it's called local number portability.)

Is the author of this:

A) A Lawyer

B) A Civil Servant

C) In need of a life

D) A Troll

E) Swiss

F) An alien trying to pass itself off as human

G) Non of the above - simply beyond comprehension
post #30 of 61
It's not so black and white in my situation. My brother is an existing AT&T customer. He just added me to his family plan so I can get an iphone and switch from tmobile. He lives in California and I live in Boston. I am trying to port my Boston number to my existing AT&T account in the 408 area code and was told by an AT&T rep that I can't do that since the main account holder is in California and my number is 617 and is therefore inelligible. I have had the 617 number for over 7 years. Now I have call forwarding set up from my old phone to my iphone. I really wanted to cancel my tmobile account. Very frustrating.
post #31 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by area51 View Post

It's not so black and white in my situation. My brother is an existing AT&T customer. He just added me to his family plan so I can get an iphone and switch from tmobile. He lives in California and I live in Boston. I am trying to port my Boston number to my existing AT&T account in the 408 area code and was told by an AT&T rep that I can't do that since the main account holder is in California and my number is 617 and is therefore inelligible. I have had the 617 number for over 7 years. Now I have call forwarding set up from my old phone to my iphone. I really wanted to cancel my tmobile account. Very frustrating.

If it's just the a two line family plan I suggest you keep your number and get your own plan. Only $5/month per phone for two lines with a lower pool of minutes, and under $7/month per phone but a slightly large pool of minutes. I really don't see that as being worth it to save a dollar and change a week.

• 2-line Family plan with 700 minutes is $109.99
• 3-line Family plan with 1400 minutes is $159.98
• Individual plan with 450 minutes is $59.99
• Individual plan 2x = 900 total minutes at $119.98
• Individual plan 3x = 1300 at $179.97

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post #32 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

Is the author of this:

Hey back off a bit... sure perhaps he might have been a bit strong making his point but HE IS RIGHT... It's not called "KEEP YOUR SAME NUMBER FOR LIFE" its called "local number portability" and it was specifically put into place so you didn't have to loose your local number simply because you changed carriers... HOWEVER if you MOVE then you should NOT be able to take advantage of it... This act was never meant to provide for that. When you physically MOVE to a new area its a fact of life that YOU GET A NEW NUMBER. It would be a real problem otherwise and would (not so?) slowly deplete all of the phone companies exchanges and make 'local exchanges' non-existent... again... something the LNPA did not intend to do.

Dave
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post #33 of 61
I had the same problem. Spent 5 hours on the phone and a total of 8 hours in limbo. AT&T finally ported me from T-Mobile. I have a post on AI and Ars too with all the details.
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post #34 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post

Hey back off a bit... sure perhaps he might have been a bit strong making his point but HE IS RIGHT... It's not called "KEEP YOUR SAME NUMBER FOR LIFE"

Why not? What is intrinsically wrong with people wanting to keep their number for life? Just because legislation or a set of rules are half-arsed and not intended to provide for that doesn't mean people should not want it. It is a perfectly reasonable thing to want. If people have to bend a few rules to achieve that end I say fair play to them.

Quote:
its called "local number portability" and it was specifically put into place so you didn't have to loose your local number simply because you changed carriers... HOWEVER if you MOVE then you should NOT be able to take advantage of it...

Why not? Who is harmed by it?

Quote:
This act was never meant to provide for that. When you physically MOVE to a new area its a fact of life that YOU GET A NEW NUMBER.

That may be the intention, but why should someone put up with that if it is not in their best interest?

Quote:
It would be a real problem otherwise and would (not so?) slowly deplete all of the phone companies exchanges and make 'local exchanges' non-existent... again... something the LNPA did not intend to do.

Dave

Local exchanges? I thought we were talking about mobile phones? As far as I am aware there are no 'fixed' circuits physically tied to a particular number as with land lines. It's all done on computers isn't it?

Here in Europe we have number portability and effectively a number for life if you so wish. I am not aware that this causes any particular real physical problem except for the phone companies who would rather you couldn't keep your number, but who really cares what they 'want'.
post #35 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

Here in Europe we have number portability and effectively a number for life if you so wish.

So, if you move from Salzburg, Austria to Barcelona, Spain, you will be able to keep your Austrian number ??

Because thats like moving from NY, NY to LA, CA in the USA.

Also, in the US, for legacy reasons, ALL phone numbers, landline and cell, have an AREA code. For example 214 is DFW, 210 is San Antonio etc.
So even if you move within one state, for example from Dallas to San Antonio, you AREA code won't match where you live anymore, if you want to keep your old cell number.

While it isn't convenient, given how the phone number system works in the USA, porting all numbers, regardless of AREA code leads to a big mess. IMO, it is time to create a pool of cell phone pre-fixes instead of AREA codes.
post #36 of 61
i'm runing into similar problems with porting a number to at&t. i live and work in both nyc and slc, utah. i've had a nyc number for years. i just happen to be in utah when i bought the iphone. i literally got THE last 8gig at the at&t store, a fairly satisfying experience actually.

unfortunately buying it at an att store came back to haunt me. because i bought it in utah and gave them my utah zip code when they did the pre approved credit check, itunes won't let me fake out the system as described above (ethics and politics aside, this is a phone i pay to use and the laws are outdated for the modern multi-city worker) in retrospect i should have told them a nyc zip code when i bought it and that may have made it easier, or i could have driven 1 1/2 hours to the mac store in slc. 20/20 hindsight aside as well, the problem with att is they don't communicate very will internally between they're customer support/tech support/iphone support. i'm on hold with them now and will post the outcome.

so far they've suggested opening an entirely new account with a new credit check #
or giving up my phone #, which i won't do.
has anyone had luck activating on the phone in conjunction with itunes?

thanks

just got off the phone with att customer service activation dept (not the iphone customer service nor the port customer service) the nice guy activated it with a new "request" not tied to the old zip code. works!


Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

Why not? What is intrinsically wrong with people wanting to keep their number for life? Just because legislation or a set of rules are half-arsed and not intended to provide for that doesn't mean people should not want it. It is a perfectly reasonable thing to want. If people have to bend a few rules to achieve that end I say fair play to them.



Why not? Who is harmed by it?



That may be the intention, but why should someone put up with that if it is not in their best interest?



Local exchanges? I thought we were talking about mobile phones? As far as I am aware there are no 'fixed' circuits physically tied to a particular number as with land lines. It's all done on computers isn't it?

Here in Europe we have number portability and effectively a number for life if you so wish. I am not aware that this causes any particular real physical problem except for the phone companies who would rather you couldn't keep your number, but who really cares what they 'want'.
post #37 of 61
The whole concept of "area codes" needs to be abolished, because it's pretty much obsolete.

Pretty much all phone services have nationwide free calling, so there's no need for a number within the US to be considered "long distance" or not anymore. A few carriers still practice the whole "long distance" thing, but it's fading fast.

If I moved to New York and kept my Miami number (305), it could be a "long distance" call for someone on a New York land line to call me, even if I'm standing right next to them. This is what makes the old area code system so incredibly broken for celphones.

I'm sure it'll be fixed soon, though; once free nationwide calling becomes universal, there will be no reason for numbers to be tied to physical locations anymore.
post #38 of 61
I agree with the party poopers. Number portability exists so your carrier can't hold your number hostage when you want to switch carriers, not so you can keep the same number for life.

The idea of local exchanges isn't as dead as people think. The phone network is still made of physical cables, it's just that there are a lot more cell towers replacing the last mile of wiring to the user. When you're in your house your handset is going to connect to the same tower all the time. That's one physical location where you're going to use a lot of minutes. It's legitimate for the phone companies to continue to organize numbers geographically.
post #39 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by galore View Post

So, if you move from Salzburg, Austria to Barcelona, Spain, you will be able to keep your Austrian number ??

Because thats like moving from NY, NY to LA, CA in the USA.

No, I don't think you can do that. You can keep your number within a country, irrespective of where in that country you might choose to move to.

Your example was moving between countries as opposed to states within a single country. The two situations are not the same. In Australia I could buy a phone in Perth and move to Sydney and keep the number - a distance as physically great as probably any move within the continental US.

Quote:
Also, in the US, for legacy reasons, ALL phone numbers, landline and cell, have an AREA code. For example 214 is DFW, 210 is San Antonio etc.
So even if you move within one state, for example from Dallas to San Antonio, you AREA code won't match where you live anymore, if you want to keep your old cell number.

I can see that is a problem for people with overly tidy minds but in practical terms what is the problem? Are you implying that if you take a cell phone outside the area its area code pertains to it should cease to work or be deactivated?

Quote:
While it isn't convenient, given how the phone number system works in the USA, porting all numbers, regardless of AREA code leads to a big mess. IMO, it is time to create a pool of cell phone pre-fixes instead of AREA codes.

You are right about changing to cell prefixes.

Here in Europe (as far as I am aware) your prefix relates to your carrier. Those prefixes are recognised as mobile phone prefixes. But if you choose to change carriers your original prefix, being part of your number, goes with you, even though your prefix wont match that which pertains to your new carrier.

While that could be considered a 'mess' I am not aware of it being particularly problematic. I can see what you mean by 'mess' but is it a real problem beyond being just logically untidy?
post #40 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

Your example was moving between countries as opposed to states within a single country. The two situations are not the same.

No they aren't the same but they are a close match. True, the USA is one nation and it consists of several united states vs. Europe, which consists of several union states but is not one nation.
Still, if you say that you can port numbers w/o problems in Europe, well, it isn't correct because you can only port within a state. Whereas in the USA you can port between all states with this workaround.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

I can see that is a problem for people with overly tidy minds but in practical terms what is the problem? Are you implying that if you take a cell phone outside the area its area code pertains to it should cease to work or be deactivated?

It messes with the "system". One practical problem is that area codes get exhausted. Area codes are "shared" between landlines and cell phones. I, personally, don't mind the "mess" but it essentially ruins the area code system.



Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

While that could be considered a 'mess' I am not aware of it being particularly problematic. I can see what you mean by 'mess' but is it a real problem beyond being just logically untidy?

I don't know. But if the prefix is carrier dependent and people get different rates for calling phones on different networks then this is probably more annoying than a messy area code system.
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