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Canada allows portable phone numbers

updated 05:25 pm EDT, Fri March 16, 2007

Can. gets portable numbers

Canada now officially allows wireless number portability (WNP) -- more simply, the ability to use the same phone number while switching between cellphone carriers. Though this has been commonplace in the United States for some time, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) only ruled on the matter in 2005, and set an implementation deadline for March 14th of this year. Furthermore, the decision applies strictly to the wireless realm unless local landline rules also enable portability.

Aside from increasing the convenience of cellphones, the main outcome of the switch is expected to be increased competition: since customers can avoid the hassle of a new number, they may well migrate to providers with lower fees or better service. However, as Ken Wong of the Queen's School of Business notes, many cellphone companies make it difficult to leave even with WNP. [via DailyTech]



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