AWE, T-Mobile Prep Portability

AT&T Wireless signs number porting agreement with T-Mobile, remains on track to meet November 24 local number portability deadline

October 23, 2003

2 Min Read

REDMOND, Wash. -- AT&T Wireless today announced that it has signed an agreement with T-Mobile USA, Inc. detailing how the two carriers will port customers' phone numbers between them once local number portability takes effect on November 24, 2003. After that time, wireless customers in the nation's largest 100 markets will generally be able to take their phone numbers with them when they switch wireless carriers.

"Today's announcement marks our first porting agreement with another carrier," said Doug Brandon, vice president of federal affairs for AT&T Wireless. "It is the latest of the many steps we have taken to prepare for LNP."

The number porting agreement between AT&T Wireless and T-Mobile governs the operational details of how the carriers will port numbers between them, including business rules and troubleshooting procedures. AT&T Wireless is also in the final stages of testing its LNP-related systems with other wireless carriers and training its employees to provide the best possible service during the porting process.

"AT&T Wireless intends to meet the LNP deadline and turn this obligation into an opportunity," Brandon added. "As the LNP deadline approaches, we are focused on making the porting process as smooth and secure as possible for consumers."

Brandon noted that the Federal Communications Commission's recently issued ruling on previously unresolved LNP issues has provided guidance for carriers entering into porting agreements. Nevertheless, one of the most significant aspects of LNP remains unresolved: wireline-to-wireless porting. AT&T Wireless again urged the FCC to make clear that once LNP goes into effect for wireless carriers, wireline carriers are also required to port numbers to wireless carriers, and within the same time frame as wireless-wireless portability.

"It's ironic that the wireless industry is devoting all these resources towards providing LNP within our highly competitive market when it's the residential landline market that needs competition." Brandon said. "We want the opportunity to serve consumers who wish to cut the cord and bring their number with them - and it's just common sense that they should be allowed to do so."

AT&T Wireless Services Inc.

T-Mobile USA

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