Switching Between Wireless Phone Service Providers



December 5, 2003

Re: Switching Between Wireless Phone Service Providers

As you may have heard in the media, "Number Portability" has become an option for wireless telephone users. Number Portability allows consumers to switch between wireless telephone service providers while at the same time retaining, or "porting," their existing telephone number. This FCC (Federal Communications Commission) mandate went into effect November 24, 2003.

As there may be some confusion with respect to this new service offering, I would like to make you aware of a number of items that should be kept in mind with respect to porting to a different provider.

(1) Restrictions: Currently, you can port only a number that is within your local service area (area code), e.g. a "530" area code cannot be transferred to the "415" San Francisco area. Also, at this time, Number Portability applies only to wireless telephone numbers.

(2) Recommended Wait-and-See Period: The cellular industry recommends waiting several months to "port" numbers, allowing time for all service providers to streamline the procedures required to support the Number Portability mandate. A transition between carriers is expected to take up to four days while service providers are adjusting to this mandate.

(3) Switching from Campus Service to Another Provider: If someone with campus service through AT&T Wireless wishes to change service to another cellular provider, they may do so. Only AT&T billing is coordinated through the campus billing process, however, so departments will be billed directly by the alternative service provider and will need to take responsibility for receiving, reviewing and paying these bills. Additionally, departments must also remember to submit a disconnect request for th e AT&T wireless service to prevent double billing. Porting the number does not guarantee that monthly service billing from the original provider will cease. If your department elects to permit individuals to "port" campus wireless telephone numbers to other service providers, please coordinate this transition through Communications Resources (CR) so the numbers can be authorized for release to the new vendor. CR staff are available to help your department with whatever choice you make regarding Number Portability, through email (cr-service@ucdavis.edu) or phone (752-4603).

(4) Switching from Another Service Provider to Campus Service: If an authorized user wishes to port their number from their current provider to the campus managed AT&T Wireless service, they may do so. Communications Resources should be contacted about this change and will incorporate billing for this service into the department's monthly recurring bills.

The FCC has established a website to address Number Portability questions: http://ftp.fcc.gov/cgb/NumberPortability/. For any additional information, please call CR at (530) 752-4603.


Doug Hartline
Director - Communications Resources
Information and Educational Technology

Directive #03-139