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How to port 'ineligible' mobile numbers to AT&T and iPhone - Page 2

post #41 of 61
I had this happen to me when I tried porting my number about 3 months ago from T-Mobile to Cingular (AT&T). The deal is that you can't port a number from one billing area to another. I had to basically do the same thing...pain in the butt. Their billing areas are still basically an old setup from the Ma Bell days. Other carriers just have one giant billing area (the whole US) while AT&T has them broken up into areas of states etc... This isn't a problem that will go away (maybe sometime in the future, but not anytime soon). I would just try to trick the system to port your number. I live in PA and had to use my mother's address in NY to keep my phone number. Phone numbers don't really mean anything anymore...I mean who pays for long distance anymore?
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post #42 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.

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.

There is no number portability between countries in the EU. I'm inclined to say States in the US don't differ that much than different countries in the EU. We do have country wide cell phone pre-fixes that or not region related but do still have the country pre-fix.
post #43 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by a-maze View Post

There is no number portability between countries in the EU. I'm inclined to say States in the US don't differ that much than different countries in the EU. We do have country wide cell phone pre-fixes that or not region related but do still have the country pre-fix.

This whole discussion is because the whole system in US is so angient. In Europe and in the rest of the world I assume, doesn't bear any meaning, because we don't have these local vs. long distance calls, in cellular networks. Cellular network covering whole country is considered as "local network",how ever we do pay minimum "long distance fee" for calling from cellular network to land line. As well as we do pay "small" roaming fees when traveling outside our own providers network. In EU the commission has now taken bigger role in these roaming fees, and are actively pushing them down. Cellular network area codes used to point out for which operator you were signed, but this is also starting to loose it's meaning when people are switch operators frequently, and are now allowed to take their existing numbers with them. Maybe we even see Europe wide number transferring in future. Cellular number should be considered more as IP addresses, than the extension of the old global land line numbering policy.
post #44 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

Here in Europe (as far as I am aware) your prefix relates to your carrier.

Not always true, some countries use the same prefix for all carriers. F.i. in Holland a mobile number always starts with 06 and it doesn't matter if you're using Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange, Telfort, KPN.

So in short, a mobile phone number is related to a person, no matter where you live(in the same country that is)
In my opinion makes more sense than having it relate to an area. (landlines work that way though)
Just my 2ct
post #45 of 61
As reported on CNET
http://news.com.com/8301-10784_3-973...g=2547-1_3-0-5

A company called synchronoss is in charge of a crucial step in the iPhone activation process. They both handle the online activation process as the e-mail reporting.

Makes you wonder why this information wasn't out before?
post #46 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.

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.

Every state in the USA use the same international prefix (ie. +1), that is not the case between Spain and Austria. I agree about the pool of cell phone prefixes.
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post #47 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jack6294 View Post

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.

I hope some day I have a daughter I can spoil too. You seem like a nice Dad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jack6294 View Post

It took me longer to set up her e-mail because she had changed her password and I couldn't find her to ask.

lol How (i)ronic.
post #48 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

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!


The biggest issue about the iPhone + Europe is that Apple is totally forgetting about what the idea of GSM was. Its all about roaming. In USA you never roam, so they don't care. GSM was invented because different nation hat different incompatible system. So its all about being compatible. I would not call the iPhone a GSM phone, I would call it a proprietary AT&T phone! It won't work with anyone elses subscription.

I can understand that they got a good deal with AT&T where Apple earns money from the subscriptions. Montly. That might be a smart revenue stream in USA but it will evidently not work anywhere in Europe. SIMLocked phones have been banned from the european market because end users simply hate it. Europeans buy phones independentyl from their subscription. The subscription is their SIM card. Forcing anyone to change their carrier by selling them this phone is simply not going to work in Europe. Furthermore operators will simply say NO to Apple when they try to collect revenues from the subscription just because they sell the iPhone. I think Apple would pretty quickly get a class action case in europe when they try to do the same because there are simple rules which they forget.

I'm buying a phone, not a subscription. Even in many cases, you can buy phone+subscription as a bundle and you get financial benefits, you make two contracts. One with the store who sells you the phone (the hardware vendor) and one with the mobile carrier (the subscription). So if I buy an iPhone in a european store and I MUST use their subscription is just a killer to the business case. Lots of people have sim cards from their company but still want to use a nice phone. They cant change.

So Apple must provide phones which are not sim locked. Furthermore selling to the iTunes store is giving another problem in customer protection. Lets say I lived in Norway but because of better pricing I want to buy my iPhone in a store in Germany. Under European Union law, if something is sold in the EU it can be bought from the EU, wherever you live. The iTunes store doesnt permit this. If you go to Iceland, there isn't even a iTunes store. Excluding countries from the list of eligible countries to be able to use the phone will provide a constant source of anger towards Apple. People in Europe fly around. They even come to USA sometimes (durign WWDC's for example) and they also buy products there.

They often go to another country. They see a nice phone in another country and want to buy it. They take it home and can not activate it. They bought a GSM phone, they have the legal right to use it as a GSM phone. They bought a iPod and have the legal right to use it. If the device suddenly is converting to a dump of electronic parts, people can sue Apple for "repairing" their iPhone because its not working according to the GSM specifications it was advertised with.

Also unlike USA, Europe has many many many carriers, not just 2 or 3 mayor GSM ones and less unimportant ones. There is no way Apple can roll out their phone with even a single carrier in every country. It will make them loose a lot of time and market. Not even groups like Vodafone or Orange would consider. As even they appear as one carrier, they are still many country wide carriers. Just with some common marketing ideas and some common goals but every country is independent still. So you might end up in UK being Vodafone "owned", while France being "Orange" owned. So now you go to any other country and you might find a Vodafone or a Orange or both or none. So selling to those two would not work.

The only way Apple can ever go to Europe (or probably the rest of the world) is to provide a phone which is not bound to a subscription. You can bundle one as a free offer to choose but you can not make it binding because if Apple does they bind themselves to only a reduced market.

In other words, Apple is making stupid mistakes and predictions about the European market. I really believed Apple would be more open to international markets but I'm told wrong. Even launching in USA and leaving 90% of the world unsupplied is stupid. I think the marketing manager of Apple should be fired for this mistake. Customers are not stupid. Customers will find out what they pay at the end. So reducing the cost by filling in from subscription based revenues is not going to pay off on the long run.
post #49 of 61
just for the record, the at&t customer service rep that DIDN'T help me out actually called back 6 hours later and left a message on my work phone apologizing and admitting that it had bugged her all day that she didn't know the answer to my questions about zip code credit checks and number portability. i did get a hold of a nice guy at at&t who got my line up and running in 15 minutes.
i remember growing up as a kid i could call the last 4 numbers of any number in town and i would be connected, add the last number of the prefix for the next town. now a lot of places require 10 numbers to call next door.
post #50 of 61
I believe I have this problem - its been 4 days & over 10 hours on the phone with at&t and still no luck. My problem is that I cannot get the activation process to start over so I can follow the advice posted here. No matter what I do, when I connect the iphone, itunes says "Your activation requires additional time to complete". At&t says they cannot restart the activation process, something about needing to replace the SIM card. Others have mentioned that their activation timed out & they were able to go back in & activate again following the advice here. Mine does not seem to be timing out.

How in the world can I start the activation process over?
post #51 of 61
I tried the solution posted on appleinsider and it didn't work. What was weird is that my area code is within the zip code I currently live in. My trick, and I imagine this will work for anyone, was to use 00000 as the zip in the initial screen. I did that then put in the correct zip and info in subsequent screens. Worked like a charm.
post #52 of 61
my experience was that when i found the right customer service person willing to help, they went into their system and deleted the initial request from when i bought the phone and started a new request/fulfillment that happened right there on the phone, much like it works activating any phone at a store. again, 1 out of the 3 people i talked to actually helped me, the others just transfered me to a different dept. the activation dept helped me in the end. try calling the normal customer service number from the at&t homepage and go from there. good luck. you could also go back to the store and have them activate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gmoneyjive View Post

I believe I have this problem - its been 4 days & over 10 hours on the phone with at&t and still no luck. My problem is that I cannot get the activation process to start over so I can follow the advice posted here. No matter what I do, when I connect the iphone, itunes says "Your activation requires additional time to complete". At&t says they cannot restart the activation process, something about needing to replace the SIM card. Others have mentioned that their activation timed out & they were able to go back in & activate again following the advice here. Mine does not seem to be timing out.

How in the world can I start the activation process over?
post #53 of 61
Why would you call the iPhone a "proprietary AT&T phone". It's GSM standard, just SIM-locked.
You can travel with a Vodafone, O2, T-Mobile or eplus subscription in all Europe, theres plenty of room to roam...:-)

I don't see where SIM-locked phones are banned. The whole prepaid-market consists of them.
Where I see a problem is in the combination of subscription and SIMLock. Where over this since years.
But you don't need subscription. In Germany sbscription customers are used to buy their phones for a reduced price. But only if they sign the 24-months plan. Otherwise you have to pay the full price (both opportunities without sim-lock).
The thing is, is this really a problem? The Nokia N95 starts at 349, which is around 470$ with a 24-month plan. Buying a "free" N95 starts at 627,34, which is 854$.
Let the market regulate. Most people will buy the 24-months plan, because they are used to it and the want to save the money. Furthermore: They need the plan, they need a cheap data flatrate. It's a hell, it's so expensive to transfer data.
And there will be people who change their carrier. I changed to vodafone when they released the pocketweb with unlimited push-email an web-acces and this thing is a technical mess. But it was the cheapest opportunity to take my email with me...

Apple will have problems to negotiate with the carrier, because there's not one who covers hole Europe. They will have at least 2, Vodafone and T-Mobile? Who knows? It will not be as easy as in US, but I think Apple will do the trick. And after this Launch in USA? No, the european carriers want the iPhone. Even though Nokia is strong in Europe, it is simply stupid not to sell the iPhone here. There will be compromises on each side...

Where I don' agree is iTunes, there's no problem with that. People install all kinds of crappy software from Nokia...And really, who cares about iceland?!
It's like, oh it does not work in Springfield(Wisconsin). Who cares? There are just sheeps and one big city...
If you get Germany, UK, France, Spain and Italy, you can be perfectly happy.

Launching in US first is logical, the iPhone had a sharp cut timeline. There was not enough time for localization. And besides that, the european market wants 3G. Using WLAN in hotels and Starbucks is expensive. The only thing I can imagine is a ccoperation with t-mobile. They have a lot of hotspots in Germany.
Bit after all, we want 3G!*g


Quote:
Originally Posted by afink View Post

The biggest issue about the iPhone + Europe is that Apple is totally forgetting about what the idea of GSM was. Its all about roaming. In USA you never roam, so they don't care. GSM was invented because different nation hat different incompatible system. So its all about being compatible. I would not call the iPhone a GSM phone, I would call it a proprietary AT&T phone! It won't work with anyone elses subscription.

I can understand that they got a good deal with AT&T where Apple earns money from the subscriptions. Montly. That might be a smart revenue stream in USA but it will evidently not work anywhere in Europe. SIMLocked phones have been banned from the european market because end users simply hate it. Europeans buy phones independentyl from their subscription. The subscription is their SIM card. Forcing anyone to change their carrier by selling them this phone is simply not going to work in Europe. Furthermore operators will simply say NO to Apple when they try to collect revenues from the subscription just because they sell the iPhone. I think Apple would pretty quickly get a class action case in europe when they try to do the same because there are simple rules which they forget.

I'm buying a phone, not a subscription. Even in many cases, you can buy phone+subscription as a bundle and you get financial benefits, you make two contracts. One with the store who sells you the phone (the hardware vendor) and one with the mobile carrier (the subscription). So if I buy an iPhone in a european store and I MUST use their subscription is just a killer to the business case. Lots of people have sim cards from their company but still want to use a nice phone. They cant change.

So Apple must provide phones which are not sim locked. Furthermore selling to the iTunes store is giving another problem in customer protection. Lets say I lived in Norway but because of better pricing I want to buy my iPhone in a store in Germany. Under European Union law, if something is sold in the EU it can be bought from the EU, wherever you live. The iTunes store doesnt permit this. If you go to Iceland, there isn't even a iTunes store. Excluding countries from the list of eligible countries to be able to use the phone will provide a constant source of anger towards Apple. People in Europe fly around. They even come to USA sometimes (durign WWDC's for example) and they also buy products there.

They often go to another country. They see a nice phone in another country and want to buy it. They take it home and can not activate it. They bought a GSM phone, they have the legal right to use it as a GSM phone. They bought a iPod and have the legal right to use it. If the device suddenly is converting to a dump of electronic parts, people can sue Apple for "repairing" their iPhone because its not working according to the GSM specifications it was advertised with.

Also unlike USA, Europe has many many many carriers, not just 2 or 3 mayor GSM ones and less unimportant ones. There is no way Apple can roll out their phone with even a single carrier in every country. It will make them loose a lot of time and market. Not even groups like Vodafone or Orange would consider. As even they appear as one carrier, they are still many country wide carriers. Just with some common marketing ideas and some common goals but every country is independent still. So you might end up in UK being Vodafone "owned", while France being "Orange" owned. So now you go to any other country and you might find a Vodafone or a Orange or both or none. So selling to those two would not work.

The only way Apple can ever go to Europe (or probably the rest of the world) is to provide a phone which is not bound to a subscription. You can bundle one as a free offer to choose but you can not make it binding because if Apple does they bind themselves to only a reduced market.

In other words, Apple is making stupid mistakes and predictions about the European market. I really believed Apple would be more open to international markets but I'm told wrong. Even launching in USA and leaving 90% of the world unsupplied is stupid. I think the marketing manager of Apple should be fired for this mistake. Customers are not stupid. Customers will find out what they pay at the end. So reducing the cost by filling in from subscription based revenues is not going to pay off on the long run.
post #54 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.

As far as I can tell, the only reason for waiting is to not have to fight an overloaded server with 100k users all trying to activate at the same time. AT&T is a very large, big business corporation. Don't expect any red tape to magicly go away. The best quote I've seen so far is from AT&T Customer Support stating: "Because it's a business account I can't activate your business account". (of course not, it has to come from your accounting dept, not the end user).
post #55 of 61
I just wanted to chime in that I was faced with exactly the same problem but got around it in a very different way. In my efforts on the phone with AT&T customer support to fix the problem, they made things even worse, and I could no longer use the fix suggested in this thread. So, I:

1) Went to an AT&T store.

2) Had a rep create a new AT&T account associated with a bogus phone, using my out-of-state address. The new account was assigned a new (out-of-state) phone number.

3) Had the rep port my out-of-state number to this new account.

4) Went home and selected the option in iTunes to use my iPhone with an existing AT&T account.

5) Waited for activation to complete.

6) Changed my billing address to where I actually live, in-state.

While this certainly requires more effort than the alternative in this thread, this will work no matter how much AT&T support screws up the account that iTunes creates when it attempts to port, and all the steps are very quick -- porting happens immediately when done at an AT&T store, and activation through iTunes with an existing AT&T account is the fastest option.

(When I say porting happens immediately, I mean the new account is associated with the new number immediately, and you can make outgoing calls with that number as soon as the phone is activated. It still takes a few hours for the network to pick up the changes so that incoming calls arrive at your new phone instead of your old one.)

Hope this helps...
post #56 of 61
This information proved extremely useful, but there's at least one additional factor which may prevent successful porting, as it did for me...

After following these steps, I received a response in iTunes that stated that my 'previous address' was an area that did not have AT&T service, and thus they were unable to transfer my number. This is true, by the way, there is no AT&T service in SD, just Verizon. I eventually received an email from AT&T asking me to call them to complete activation, but the representative, after further discussion, stated emphatically that because the previous number was from South Dakota, it could not be ported to AT&T. Sorry. Hmph. Not happy.
post #57 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mylene View Post

Where I don' agree is iTunes, there's no problem with that. People install all kinds of crappy software from Nokia...And really, who cares about iceland?!
It's like, oh it does not work in Springfield(Wisconsin). Who cares? There are just sheeps and one big city...
If you get Germany, UK, France, Spain and Italy, you can be perfectly happy.

Icelandic will disagree for sure, and thats about it. But let's say you leave Finland out, not only will we disagree, whole EU will disagree. EU is after all a free trade zone, and as afink said limiting trade is not allowed.
post #58 of 61
was quite painful, i started on Fri, worked thru wknd, and got up early mon to do it
would not have been able to do port the 2 numbers from NYC to SF without the collective knowledge here
now i dont have to waste tremendous energy and time conveying to all my contacts my new number (and you know a lot of them wouldnt get it/forget it ,etc)
forever thanks
also check grandcentral.com for free control over a virtual phone number

G

PS : to all the 'those without sin types who cast the first stone', 2 words
post #59 of 61
I registered here just to reply.

Your post was very negative towards one company and one situation. The "Local Number Portability" rule is an FCC rule, not an AT&T rule. Per FCC rule AT&T isn't supposed to offer you service on a number that belongs outside your local area.

Your "loophole" is a temp fix. Let me explain what that does. You are editing your "Primary Place of Use" to make the system think that you will be primarily using your phone in your old service area (Which is why the system then allows your number to transfer at that point). This works and typically you won't hear about the situation ever again. This is why I suggest it to people porting over.

BUT with a Disclaimer every time. If somewhere down the road AT&T does an audit of the system and shows you've been using your New York number in Los Angles for a year, they CAN (and technically "have to" per law, though they don't too often) send you a nice letter in the mail that reads along the lines of "You have <So many days> to A) Move back to New York or B) Accept a Los Angles number or we will terminate your account, Thank You." Its called Excessive Off Network Usage. But typically its one of those things that you read about on Blogs but it never really happens to you.
post #60 of 61
Wow, I know this article is almost a year old, but it tottally helped me activate my phone! I was on the phone with multiple reps for over half an hour, at which point I realized why did I waste my time calling them to begin with when there's smart folk all over the Internet

Hey, I just wanted to say, there's something NOT quite mentioned in the article, although when I looked again, it was captured in the snapsots. And that is that if the store clerk already tried getting you a preapproval code and it was causing activation issues, do NOT use that code. Leave that field in the iTunes form blank and let AT&T run a credit check again! If your credit is good, it won't be a problem, anyway. When I realized this and it worked, I thought I had figured out something new but the OP already had it in the screenshots anyway, just not mentioned specifically in the actual article.

Also, YEAH I think it'd be great if the reps could know how to do this. The ones I was on the phone with even suggested using the addy from my previous Area code. Another 15 minutes later and they still could not get it to work, but not from lack of trying. They then told me to call another. # in the morning bit I am pretty bad about making phone calls during work hours -- personal ones, anyway, so this meant I would have had a $500 boat anchor for another two days potentially a week, NO WAY!

Personally I was NOT going to give up my former mobile # wthout a fight. I Agree that maybe they should have mobile prefices that have nothing to do with a physical location since there is demand for this kind of lifetime number, as it were. There will be no massive audit as they would lose tons of customers as result! If they terminate your service because of this, they probably didn't like you and were just looking for a reason to get rid of you anyway ... Haha

Typed on iPhone, just got it yesterday, sweet well, not that sweet, I can't proofread the top of my post
post #61 of 61
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